Church Unusual, 29 March 2020
My dear Franciscans
Physical Distancing, Social Solidarity and Spiritual Reality.
As we go into lockdown – an experience we have never known before, I am sure that we are all experiencing anxiety, anxieties of many kinds. Some of us are anxious because our age or underlying health vulnerabilities make us particularly susceptible to infections. Some of us are anxious about being isolated and lonely. Some of us are anxious about loved ones, both near and far. Some of might are positive and are anxious about who we might have infected, or we have been in contact with someone who might be infectious. Some of us are anxious because we are going to lose jobs, watch livelihoods disappear before our eyes and experience financial ruin. And some of us are anxious about school work, graduations, and the list can go on! That is a lot of anxiety.
In the midst of this anxiety we need to deliberately spend more time in silence with God. Just take two minutes of out your day, several times a day, and be quiet, breathe and ask God to be with you. The more time we spend in quiet before God, the more God can fill us with peace and calm.
One way to help with anxiety is to look outward, to see those who are in more need that ourselves, and to respond as Christians with generous love. As the St Francis family we are going to devise ways in which we can generously and practically assist those in our Parish who are in very real need. The President in his address to the nation on Sunday night called on the generosity of the country to grow a Solidarity Fund. It might be that we do something like this in our parish to assist parishioners and maybe other parishes in the Diocese. These plans will unfold over the next days.
The greatest counter to fear and anxiety is love. In 1 John 4:18 we read that “perfect love casts our all fear.” We are perfectly loved. Let us rest in that love.