When I heard the news that we were to have a further 6 weeks of Lockdown in Stage 4, I thought that’s ok, if we have to. By week 3, I was over it, feeling isolated, and a bit down. Like others I now see and end in site and new hope.
During this Pandemic I decided to take 3 days a week for prayer and solitude in an effort deepen my listening to Jesus. Like many my phone had been on overdrive connecting with others.
All in all I can say the times of prayer and solitude have opened up a wider reality with new contacts within the Church in Australia and overseas. Concerns that have been dear to my heart, Laudato Si, our Common Home and our Australian Church. I’ve come to learn of many good people doing great things, from areas such as the Amazon, Ireland and Australia. There is a positive movement happening within the Catholic Church world wide, involving many young people and those of my own age.
Pope Francis recently said “This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we’re awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationship with creation and each other. During the season this year, we enter a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, that requires radically new ways of living with creation”. Importantly he is referring to the upcoming Church’s Celebration of the Seasons which we are to enter into this September. My hope and prayer is that our Liturgies, though on line will reflect this, enable us to feel connected with the wider Church and call us to ‘radical new ways of living with creation in our families and daily living’. Like Pope Francis suggests, the human spirit is strong, we can make a difference.
All the Same I do have concerns for us as a Parish as we prepare to come out of this Pandemic. I’m not concerned about numbers in the Church, more I’m concerned about our connectedness as an Australian Catholic Church, living the Gospel within the society and our world/environment which we are part of and responsible for passing it on to the next generation. This pandemic has pushed me to reflect on ‘what really is the meaning of Eucharist and it’s connection to sharing our daily bread with the poor and vulnerable’ and how can I better live this?.
What has helped me in this pandemic time has been;
.phone calls to and from friends in and outside of my parish and my family.
.connection with a Rosary group initiated by Ruth Hilton
.Vatican news updates and writings from Pope Francis, https:/vaticannews.va
.La Croix International – a daily independent Catholic news website. international.la-croix.com
. The ABC’s programme, Planet A ( currently Tuesday nights and ivew)
. Laudato Si Revolution an online course currently available at laudatosi-school-77aa.thinkific.com from the JPIC Rome (Justice Peace Integrity of Creation) office.
.Online group that have Reflected on the Liturgy of the Word. To see a woman or man reading the Gospel from their Kitchen/home has brought the Gospel alive.
Keeping up to date with the Plenary Council .Plenarycouncil2020@gmail.com though I do miss the groups we had where we could discuss things.
.Lastly connecting with a Poor Clare sister to pray The Church’s night prayer (Compline) at the end of the day. Which is open to others if interested.
Love and peace, Kathy Lord