Blessed Francis X. Seelos Catholic Church
Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church
March 20, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I hope you and all your loved ones are keeping safe in these extraordinary times that the world is dealing with Coronavirus (COVID 19).
I do not think any one of us expected to find ourselves in the scenario we currently find ourselves with COVID 19; especially in our modern, advanced and technological age. Yet, here we are facing the reality of what we have to contend with in life now.
Even though we did not envisage this happening, there is one who did; the creator of the universe! One humbling lesson in the midst of all the unfolding events in the past few days is; no matter how technologically advanced we may be, we are still limited. The only one who is unlimited, and infinite is the Supreme Being, God!
Going by the proverbial phrase, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” how can we as a people of faith make the best out of what COVID 19 brings us? Social distancing has been highly recommended as a way of curbing the rise of infection – and rightly so. The impact of this worthy approach can also not be denied as we are no longer able to congregate with more than ten (10) people to celebrate any Sacrament or any faith related activity.
How do we handle this as a people of faith? How can we make the best out of the social distancing for our spiritual lives? We can perhaps take advantage of our limited social contacts to redirect our focus on God and deepen our interaction with God through individual / family private prayers. Let us give ourselves the opportunity to grow in faith, trusting that when we rely on God in these chaotic times and in this time of uncertainties, He will give us the grace to sail through.
Let us form a prayer chain with our private individual / family prayers from our homes and places of isolation and invoke God’s intervention on this pandemic and on our world.
What can we do with the time we have available on our hands? Let us use the time as an extension of our Lenten Season; a time of entering more exclusively into the desert with the Lord; a special time for more prayers, fasting and almsgiving. Let us take advantage of this time that everything seems to be screeching to a halt; from the hustle and bustle at the airports, the sporting fields, restaurants, entertainment centers, amusement parks, beaches, etc. Let us take advantage of all of the above as our opportunity of eliminating some of the things that preoccupy us and prevent us from fully focusing on God. Let us tune out all the things we cannot do and tune in to God; I pray He gives us the grace to reassess the things that really matter in life and enable us to reset our priorities in life. In so doing, perhaps we will hear Him speak to us in a still, quiet, gentle voice in the midst of the chaos of this pandemic.
There are a variety of things we can embark upon to tune in to God – read the Word of God – the Bible! Read other spiritually nourishing literature / books. In addition to spontaneous individual prayers of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, supplication, contrition, etc., we can also ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, through the praying of the Rosary, for her intercession in this time of crisis. We have the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Stations of the Cross, there are various Novenas and prayers to our guardian angels and intercession of all the holy men and women who have taken the lead ahead of us.
It is my prayer that God allows His face to shine upon you even as we go into social distancing; may God wrap His mantle of love around you and fill your heart with His peace!
Yours in Isiah 41:10