“That peace which is
the portion of the chosen
servants of God is seldom
unmixed with interior
struggles.”

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

 

 

“You must be in
right earnest or
you will do little or
nothing for God.”

St. Elizabeth Seton

Finding the Good in Difficult Days: Sisters and Associates Reflect on a Pandemic

Mary Catherine Faller offers the following reflection she wrote on April 26, 2020 in her journal.

My Road to Emmaus

It is 2020
            The world is in the midst of a pandemic
                        A new, highly contagious virus that knows no boundaries
                                    rapidly spreading throughout the world
                                    killing many in its path
                        A virus unlike any in the last century
            Where is God in this?
It is Ash Wednesday
            My soul is dark and empty
                        as black as the ashes on my forehead
It is Mid-March
            Social distancing has become the rule 
throughout our city, our state, our country
                        even within the walls of our Motherhouse
                        our doors are closed to all visitors
Churches and most businesses are shuttered
            office work is done remotely
            most communication is now virtual
            human touch has become nonexistent
            no Eucharist can be shared
My soul is empty, wrapped in darkness
It is Holy Week
            Churches are still closed
            No palms or procession for Palm Sunday
                        My soul is empty, hollow, dark
            No feet are washed on Holy Thursday
                        My soul is empty, filled with darkness
            No traditional Good Friday service
                        My soul is empty, pierced by darkness
                                    My God, where are you?
                                    Why have you forsaken me?
            No fire or water is blessed on Holy Saturday
                        No Exsultet is sung
                        My soul is an empty tomb, shrouded in darkness
It is Easter Sunday
            Churches are still closed
                        Very few alleluias are raised
                        Even today there is no Eucharist
            My soul is empty, as dark as the ashes on my forehead on Ash Wednesday
It is the Easter Season
            Churches remain closed
            Feelings of isolation overwhelm me
            The need for human touch is indescribable
            My soul is empty and dark
                        begging for light
Throughout this pandemic
            We have shared prayer virtually
                        morning and afternoon
                        praying for the sick, the dying, the caregivers
                        spending time in contemplative silence
                                    my mind wandering
                        raising our voices in prayerful son
There is more time for personal prayer
            but my mind wanders
There is more time for crocheting baby blankets
            I offer a prayer for the unknown recipient
There is more time for relaxation
            I admire the beauty of spring’s arrival
Where is God in all of this?
            How did I miss it? !?
                        the prayerful songs lifted up
                        the unspoken prayers
                        my wandering thoughts
                        the baby blankets
                        the blooming spring flowers
            They feed my soul
                        in a way nothing else can
                        in a way I hadn’t recognized
            They are Eucharist for me
            They bring light into my soul
                        in a way I couldn’t see
                        in a way I couldn’t feel
            I just needed to let them in!
The pandemic continues
           Its end is unknown
           Churches and many businesses remain closed
           Social distancing remains the rule
           Feelings of isolation come and go
           I still long for human touch
           But light is beginning to permeate my soul
                        as I pray, sing, crochet
                        taking each day as it comes – a gift from God.

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