“Providence [is] the loving presence of God, active in us and through us, watchful over the created universe, and attentive to the needs of all.” (Constitutions and Rules Sisters of Providence)
We are now beginning our third year of understanding and coping with the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We keep wanting to return to our normal routines. We have experienced loss of control, anticipatory grief, fear of getting COVID, isolation and death of loved ones. Together we have been on a long Lenten journey.
Though we have worn masks there is no masking the continued needs of people experiencing homelessness, racial discrimination, violence, human trafficking, and environmental disasters as well as those who suffer from exhaustion, depression and mental illness.
As a spiritual director through SEEL (Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Living) I have been writing to two men in Prison. I have come to a better appreciation of the many freedoms I have taken for granted. As a spiritual companion, I am privileged to listen to people’s life stories and experiences. Many have noticed how praying, centering and quieting within has helped during this pandemic
Questions for personal reflection:
- What kind of communities are we creating?
- Are we more compassionate after experiencing the pandemic or are we less patient and more judgmental?
- How can we continue to respond to the urgent needs of the poor during COVID? How can we respond to the needs of those closest to us as well?
These are vulnerable times for all of us. We are seeing the fragility of life through new lenses and seeking deeper meaning while opening ourselves to God’s presence, possibilities and revelations. It has been difficult to be patient as we wait for the end of the pandemic. We are people of hope, not fear.
Together we will rise out of this pandemic because, “We know Providence will rise before the sun.” May we experience the blessings and graces of this Lenten journey.
For many of us our mantra has been, “How long Lord, will this last?”
“Trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability – and that it may take a very long time.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
(Reflection by Sister Bea LaFramboise, SP)