FR. John MURRAY, Member of the Order of St Augustine,
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Last week, I kept hearing people talk negatively about their experiences of the pandemic. I know it is no picnic; I know there is a lot of suffering and death; I know about the UK, Germany, and the USA where it is so bad at this present time. Despite all this, our world and life cannot be defined solely by tragedy and despair, even when it may be so overwhelming.
For me, I experience positives happening in the midst of this pandemic. That is my experience.
I have been graced to experience this pandemic through the eyes of spirituality, searching to see where is God in this and to hear what is God saying to us. In what I discern, I assure you that I have never seen a punishing God, wreaking havoc on a “sinful people”. Rather I see a loving God giving humanity a needed kick to remind us who is in charge here and how we need to better our act.
I am so inspired by Pope Francis’ presence and message during this time. I am with him that we will come out of this renewed, a new church and a new world, where people care more for each other and the planet. I am not naive but hopeful, praying that this is so.
I have learned the RSR theme of this pandemic: Respect – Solidarity – Responsibility. Through the live streaming of masses, I experience a deep communion with those sharing in these times, with humanity generally. I know personal stories of growth and discovery arising out of this pandemic.
It is not all bad. There are good things happening. People are reaching out and helping others. People are finding new and richer dimensions of life. People are coming together. There is all the rest as well – the isolation, the poverty, the despair, the violence. Let us not be overcome by what is but enlivened by what could be. If nothing else, a time like this demands imagining, visioning, and recreating. As a great friend says, this is not a time for pressing the ‘pause’ button, rather for pressing the ‘reset’ button.
A time for creativity