As Christians, we are no stranger to waiting. The Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert. They waited for the coming of the Messiah. The disciples spent three days believing their friend and teacher was dead. We have seasons of Lent and Advent which are centered on waiting. Our whole identity, in a way, is built around waiting, for we are the people who believe in things that we cannot see.
Therefore, we know more than most that although waiting can be uncomfortable it is also necessary and formative. Especially when it comes to the health and safety of others, shouldn’t we embrace this time of waiting more than ever, instead of fighting against it?
Of course it is uncomfortable, of course we long to hold our loved ones close, of course we yearn for the day we can once again congregate together and receive Our Lord. But, as He said to us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18: 20). He is still with us, no matter where we are. While we remain at home in order to keep others safe and healthy, He is still with us. While we patiently wait for this storm to pass, He is still with us.
As Bishop Caggiano has mentioned in his letters and online reflections, there are many things we can do deepen our spiritual communion and to make this time of waiting fruitful—nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies and spirit. I don’t know about you, reader, but I would rather embrace discomfort and remain at home than put one more person through the suffering that accompanies COVID-19. Wouldn’t we much rather live in this temporary discomfort than aid in bringing on a much more lasting and widespread discomfort?
How can we use this period of waiting in the best way possible? How can we embrace it for the betterment of ourselves and others? Luckily, we live in an age where there are so many resources available to us. Read that series you never had time to crack open, plant the outdoor garden you’ve been wanting to cultivate, use the extra down-time for prayer, spiritual reading, or exploring the outdoors. Connect with those in your household in ways you may not have been able to before, write a hand-written letter to family members who live far away.
This time is unprecedented. But instead of pushing for a return to normalcy, let us craft this new normal in a way that can benefit not only ourselves but those around us. What is He telling us we should be doing with this time? I can almost guarantee that all He wants from us is a little bit of our time—to sit with him, to reconnect, to let Him love us.
I would love to hear from you. Let me know how you are using this time! We’ve heard from so many of our parishes about the creative, loving and spiritual service projects they have undertaken.
Maybe we can continue to inspire each other to do that next thing.
My hope is that by the end of all this, we can look back and say we did everything we could to make it better for others. That we did what we could to ease suffering—small acts of staying home, wearing masks, and remaining six feet apart. That even though it was uncomfortable, even though it was difficult, we embraced this time of waiting and we were better for it.
By: Elizabeth Clyons, Fairfield County Catholic