Tag Archives: COVID-19

Into the storm

I was reading the Urbi et Orbi message that Pope Francis gave today in an empty St. Peter’s square. He reflects on this time of Covid-19 in light of the story of the storm in Mark’s Gospel (4:35-41).

“Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this. …

Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.” -Pope Francis

Click here to read the entire message: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/27/read-pope-francis-urbi-et-orbi-address-coronavirus-and-jesus-calming-storm

More than once in my life I have echoed the disciples refrain… do you not care that we are perishing?

Imagine their consternation, frustration and fear that he is, of all things, asleep!

We are terrified … we think we are alone.

But Jesus is with us in the storm.

A few years ago I created this video prayer reflecting on this passage, set to “How to Sleep in A Stormy Boat” by singer songwriter Amy Speace. The Pope’s message reminded me of this video, and so I share it here in case it is a helpful reflection for others in this time.

Peace. Be not afraid. We will weather the storm together.

Locked in for the night

It’s becoming rapidly cliche to say this, but we are indeed living in strange times.

My coworkers are working remotely for social distancing, but since I live on campus I’m coming in each day to a very empty yet highly productive space. I live on campus, but I’m not going next door to where the retired sisters live for their protection. Separated togetherness.

Our sponsored hospital just down the road is treating patients at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis here in New Jersey. Holding all of the dedicated medical professionals and patients especially in my prayer.

Our sisters in the Seattle area are just down the road from the nursing home where it all started in Washington State. They’ve been in high gear for over two weeks now.

My Dad is in his own nursing home in Chicago where he receives excellent care. I was planning to visit him this past weekend, but that trip of course got cancelled. I just called and managed to get him on the phone to wish him a happy St. Patrick’s Day. “Are you all locked in for the night?,” he asked.

“Yes,” I answered. “The whole world is locked in for the night.” He then asked me how far reaching this was, so I told him. And I think he understood. He knows something is up.

As my Dad’s dementia has progressed, he has used more and more interesting phrases to get his point across. Sometimes they make no sense. This one was spot on. Locked in.

Praying for everyone on this Feast of St. Patrick, as we anticipate the Feast of St. Joseph later this week and the start of spring.

Stay safe and tucked in (locked in) wherever you are.

Remember social isolation only makes sense in solidarity. Even if you are alone, we are together.

Remember to breathe (just not on other people!).

Peace