In these troubled times, we feel an invisible scourge but see visible suffering in health and death, job layoffs, businesses shutting their doors, and us all having to hunker down and be mindful of our every step so as not to endanger others or ourselves. We wonder what more is coming and how long we shall shelter in place. We wonder how to pay our bills and how our friends and family members will. We wonder what the world will look like after this is "done," what our personal situations will be and that of those we love. We wonder what we can do to help, while feeling helpless to buffer against things more we know are coming.
The times have happened before. Yet, for the first time in decades (or perhaps in a hundred years in the 1919 pandemic), we feel that we are experiencing things together, as a community, a nation, a world--even though we are practicing social distancing. We are not alone. We are not alone! And we must struggle to remember this, and to remind each other of this. To reach out with phone calls, cards, emails, grocery deliveries, thank yous to healthcare workers, handmade masks to guard them from nonCorona ills, gratitude for all who keep the groceries and toilet paper coming, the milk and the cheese, the heat and the water, the kindnesses. We must remember the power of a human voice over a line, a face in the midst of a video chat.
While we are struggling, the earth and ocean are breathing. They too are getting a rest as we are. They have needed it. The fish are coming back to the canals of Venice, the atmosphere is clearing over China and Europe.
We, too, must breathe. And make our lives mindful and prayerful in our actions going forward. Friends and organizations in different countries are meeting at set times for prayer via video chats. Worldwide rosaries are being said together. Join one of these international prayer circles even if you don't know if you believe or you believe differently, just to be part of this communal breathing of love, this thread of grace circling the world in longing and hope for good things together, this asking for all the loving energies of God and this universe, however you understand these Mysteries to be, to let us feel Presence, to be with us, to hear us, to guide us, to come as a healing balm. And to help us to be part of the chains of good action and reconstruction of our priorities for a better world after this has passed as a shared crisis. Let us now sing to each other from the balconies as the brave men and women in Sienna and Napoli. And here is one of the sites for the gathering of kind acts in the US: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/489046-selfless-acts-how-americansa-are-helping-each-other-through-the-coronavirus
These are happening around the world. Take it slow, but join in.