After the Coronavirus first became present in the United States in March and April of this year, I posted some articles here about how we were responding in terms of our stress and adjustments in our lives. (For some of those articles, see “Seeing the Best and/or Worst in Us”, “What Will Your Life be Like After the Coronavirus?”. For all articles I placed under a Coronavirus category, click here – this includes articles not directly about the virus response).
The Coronavirus continues to affect our lives but we are thankful that, with restrictions, we can gather for Mass and restaurants and some businesses are open. However, we acknowledge that some businesses are still not allowed to open and that some states are seeing their worst number of cases. So, we continue our prayers for God’s assistance in ending the Coronavirus pandemic.
How are you doing with the current status of restrictions where you live? Are you happier now than two months ago or are you more frustrated? Are you ambivalent about the current status? I will admit that some days are a challenge for me. When the shutdown first began, I was very stressed at how the restrictions were changing everyday. Then, things stabilized and I had some peace. Then, it seemed to go on and on, leaving me to wonder when things would get better. Then, things began to reopen in phases. I was glad to see things reopening but I have to admit I had some very stressful days as we worked to deal with all the restrictions.
How has your prayer life changed during this time? Did you pray more when you were stuck at home and stressed out? Maybe you don’t have as much time to pray now if you are back to work but how much are you praying? Are you praying differently? Through this time of the virus, my own prayer routine has been different. It might be best described as more spread out throughout the day. As things begin to return back to normal, I am trying to find a new prayer routine. It seems like it should be simple, especially since I am a priest, but we get distracted. We need God’s help to keep us on track in our prayer.
How are you doing with your personal relationships? Are you able to see your loved ones now or do you still need to isolate for the protection of those vulnerable to health issues? Who have you missed?
Thinking especially of those with underlying health issues, but for all of us, do you feel safe with your health right now? I know a lot of people aren’t coming to Mass yet. If you need to stay home to be safe, that’s okay. That is why bishops are leaving the dispensations from Sunday Mass in place right now. You know your health history and God wants you to make wise choices. That’s why we are working to continue our livestreaming of our 10:15 am Mass on Sunday (We are sorry for the problems last Sunday. We plan to try again this Sunday).
For those who are able to safely come to Mass, how have you felt at Mass? I thought the face masks would make it seem odd. It is different, but I find myself not looking at the face masks because I am so happy that we can gather together, that I “look past” the face masks to see the person, even if I can’t recognize them behind the mask (smile).
Do you find yourself with a greater appreciation of the Mass? (I am working on a series of presentations to help us uncover the meaning of what we do at Mass).
I ask these questions about how prayer life, stress, etc. are now. We are still dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic now. Have you made changes in what your life will be like when the pandemic is completely over with? If you were very busy before, are you going back to that busyness, or do you plan to let some things go to focus on more important things? Have your discovered that you haven’t missed some things you thought would?
Where did God rank in your life before the Coronavirus?
Where does God rank in your life right now?
Where will God rank in your life when the Coronavirus is gone?