After celebrating & recording Mass for the 5th Sunday of Lent on Friday afternoon, I returned to the rectory which has been closed for some time now, to discover one of our receptionists in the front office, retrieving some needed information. The weather was beautifully sunny, & she walked over with a couple of other women from their homes, a fair distance away. It was good to see some familiar faces & hear their voices in this time of near isolation & social distancing.
They asked me how I was faring, & I said that I was doing okay—all things considered. I expressed my gratitude for my chocolate-point Siamese cat, Pasha—who keeps me company so that I don’t feel altogether alone. I said that I’m also grateful for my 25 years as a monk in religious life, which lifestyle required of me that I learn how to cook (something I now love to do as a hobby) & to launder my own clothing. So, I’m not altogether helpless in those areas as I might be otherwise!
I want to express to all of you—members of our Visitation BVM parish family—that you are very much missed, thought of fondly & often, & prayed for regularly! In these strange & surreal times, you are being forced by health considerations to hunker down & practice being the domestic church within the confines of your family homes. I hope that you are making use of the many spiritual resources that are available to you, & that your family is spending some of your time together by praying with the sacred scriptures, saying the rosary together aloud, & finding ways to exercise the virtue of patience; & also realizing the importance of being extra-gentle with yourself & your family members during this crisis time.
Our holy father Pope Francis, in yesterday’s extraordinary Urbi et orbi blessing from the City of Rome & to the Whole World teaches us that God is calling us to seize this time of trial as a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to the Lord, and to others. Let us strive to make the most of this precious time that is allotted to us! With love & prayers, Fr. Terry.