Prior to March, attending weekly Mass was vital to my well-being. Mass set everything right. I prayed for the issues of the past week and the week ahead. Joining with my fellow parishioners in praise and petition invigorated me. The fellowship of community reminded me that I was not alone. We were one body and looked after one another. The Eucharist, Scripture readings, and our priest’s homilies fed and strengthened my spirit.
To some extent, I still do those things via Facebook Live, YouTube, and network TV. In fact, I often “attend” Mass more often through the week and even at other churches. I also continue my private prayer throughout the day.
However, I have only walked into the church once since it’s reopened during this pandemic. Asthma and the risk of contracting COVID-19 restricts my ability to commune with parishioners as well as loved ones. Every time I plan on attending in person, I either don’t feel strong enough or hesitate to walk into church because of the virus.
One of my favorite saints, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin (Saint Theodora), wrote in her journals about parishioners in the 1800s who walked for hours year-round through the Midwest woods and prairies to attend Sunday Mass. They joyfully sang and prayed to and from the church. We are blessed to have churches close to home. It’s unlikely that any of us are walking several hours to go to church.
We may be dealing with this virus for a year or more. One of my concerns is that we will continue to be reluctant to attend Mass in person indefinitely. If so, will the virtual experience be the norm? What will it take to get us through the church doors once again? What will become of our churches, our community, and most significantly, our faith?
Please tell me your thoughts.
Have you seen “Nature Escape” on Midwest Mary?
Find out more about Saint Mother Theodora Guerin/Saint Theodora in Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God and Seven Principles of Sainthood Following Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.
(Photo: Church of the Immaculate Conception, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Campus.