I remember an old poster from my college days, that had the message, “Keep on Keeping on.” Another, similar poster, told us to “Keep on Truckin’!” That is not a bad message for all of us today. Most of us are getting pretty tired of being home-bound, of worrying about getting sick, and tired of worrying about financial and economic matters.
Culturally, it seemed at first that everyone was being kind and thoughtful and considerate, taking the situation and making the best out of it. Increasingly, we are seeing people who are getting angry and resentful about the limitations. We are seeing more and more protests, and the tone of people on Facebook and other social media is becoming increasingly hostile.
Unfortunately, I think we are still at the beginning of this crisis. Although it will probably ease up somewhat soon, it will be a long time before we have put this pandemic completely behind us. In terms of the Church, at this point, we are only allowed to have 10 people gathered for a funeral or wedding, and they must keep appropriate distance. When this begins to ease, we will not be allowed to instantly return to full churches. The same will be true with other public gatherings, such as ball games, concerts, etc.
So what do we do? First of all, focus on what is good in our lives. Yes, there are serious problems, and we are not sure of what the solutions will be. But what is going right in our lives? Are there blessings coming to us and to our family because of the slower pace of life? If not, why not? Make things better. Be creative at reaching out and being connected to others. Call people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Write a letter (does anyone still write letters?) Send positive friendly emails. Let people know you are thinking about them and praying for them.
Start a hobby. Read a book. Listen to music. Cook. Eat (my favorite thing to do when I have too much time on my hands, when I am bored, or anxious).
Read your Bible. Pick one of the books of the Bible and slowly work your way through it. Read the Acts of the Apostles. The first readings throughout this part of Easter are from Acts, which shows how Jesus continued to be present and active in the early Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It contains some great stories and focuses primarily on Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
Pray the Rosary. Pray the Chaplet. If you aren’t sure how to do this, there are many internet sites that will help you. There are also a number of videos on YouTube that will lead you through these prayers.
If you are angry and resentful, pray about that. Pray for whomever you are angry or resentful with. Ask God to help you to stay peaceful in this difficult time. One of the best prayers for this is the Serenity Prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Know that all of you are in my prayers, and please keep me in yours. I really miss seeing you, and look forward to a time when we will be able to be together.
Keep on keeping on. Keep on trucking.
— Fr. Mike Comer