The opportunities of ‘social distancing’

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

I hope this note finds you well! We are all now aware of the novel (new) coronavirus that has been labeled COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease first discovered in 2019). We are all experiencing its impact on the social, learning, spiritual, mental and emotional aspects of our lives.

Having to physically distance ourselves from loved ones, friends and co-workers can have an isolating effect that increases our sense of vulnerability and loneliness. On the other end of the spectrum, having to work from home with the entire family under one roof can also cause stress.

Guiding our children’s learning for an extended period of time coupled with our separation from parishes and social groups can cause emotions to run high even in the best of us.

During this (temporary) disruption in our lives, be sure to take inventory of your various areas of your well-being. If you are married, ask your spouse to let you know if there is a noticeable change in your mood. If you live alone, do not be afraid to reach out to family and friends or your parish if you are feeling depressed or isolated.

Take this opportunity to dive deeper into your spiritual journey with Christ. How is this time of isolation similar to Christ’s time in the desert? How is this time of separation from the Eucharist similar to Good Friday when the tabernacle stands empty? How is it similar to the diaspora, when the Jews were dispersed from their homeland?

But do not stop there. Reach down into the wellspring of your soul and truly know that God is here … now … present. God is the eternal I AM … the Ever-Present. Whether you live alone, with a spouse or with a motley crew of kids, remember that God is in the midst of it all.

Even though we are separated by distance, we are closely knit to one another in community. We are the one body of Christ. It is very important, especially during times like these, to remember that none of us is ever truly alone.