Prayer in a time of covid-19
Many people may be experiencing the inability to participate in Mass as a deprivation, even as a desolation which is testing their faith. This is perfectly understandable; we, Catholics, are a sacramental people and the Eucharist is at the heart of our faith. The Lord is rich in mercy and grace though and he will continue to pour out his life upon us. He is with us.
Our Catholic tradition is rich in prayer and mysticism. Why not take up some of the aids to prayer which are a part of our tradition? I know get strength from viewing the Mass online or on TV, but there are other ways you can break open the word with your family, your household at this time. The Cathedral bulletin has Sunday scripture and reflections which an individual or household could use for shared prayer. You do not need a theology degree to know, to experience the Lord who is in our midst:
Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
- There are prayer resources available
- in the Cathedral bulletin each week,
- on the Archdiocesan liturgy office web site,
- and many other places online:
- Helps with praying the Rosary from the CMMB blog, Loyola Press, Presentation Ministries
- Sacred Space is a very popular daily prayer site which I can highly recommend.
- Prayer resources
- Ignatian Prayer Online
- Pathways to God
- LiturgyHelp is providing free sources at this time
- The Pope’s Mass at Casa Santa Marta
- You can find the daily Mass readings online for your personal prayer.
And many others.
We, at the Cathedral, will offer our support in any way available to us. I invite you to draw inspiration as I have from the following in the Archbishop’s 24 March letter:
I also want to reassure you that, in these changed circumstances, the Church will continue to be a living sign of God’s fidelity and God’s loving presence. But the Church will have to do this in new ways: we will have to do this in new ways, for all of us, the community of disciples, are the Church. We may not be able to gather together in our churches, but we can recreate the Church in our homes. Long before Catholics in Australia were able to build big churches for the celebration of Mass, they gathered together in their families for the rosary around an image of Our Lady. We may not be able to offer each other the sign of peace at Mass but we can offer each other the gift of our sincere prayer. We may not be able to organise morning teas for the elderly in our parish halls but we can ensure that those who are lonely and afraid are not left to themselves, even if all we can do is ring them on the phone or leave a casserole on their front doorstep. As our practical capacity to reach out to others is curtailed our determination to be disciples of Jesus, who gave everything he had and was for us, can lead us to discover new ways to live out our Catholic faith.