Living and praying in isolation
During these difficult months, it is important to remember that each of us is not on our own. Some of us are blessed to have a loved one or a number of family living with us; for others there are friends and neighbours who check that we are ok, and who are able to spend some time meeting us online or on the phone. These conversations and meetings are precious because they remind us that someone “out there” is remembering us and praying for us.
Solitude. Where loneliness is a time of self-introspection, sometimes painful, in which we are tempted to forget that anyone else cares for us, solitude by contrast is a moment of extended grace through which we learn to listen to our inner voice where Jesus, his Blessed Mother, the Holy Spirit, the Saints and even our dear God and Father may be trying to give us peace and consolation. While we fill loneliness with distractions (tv, internet, radio, music) solitude can be our time to really pray deeply, from the heart; to take a passage of scripture such as the Gospel of the day from the daily Mass, and to imagine ourselves in the scene, with the disciples, with the parents of the sick child or servant, in the boat on the lake, seeing and hearing Jesus as he carries out his remarkable mission to save us all. A special page of resources for all who wish to pray during the time of solitude is available here.
Sunday and Weekday Mass. There are parishioners who are now able to return to the church for Mass on Sunday and during the week. However, still some of us are unable to leave the house or to travel far. We can read our prayer books and follow the Mass readings, so take some time to pray the prayers and reflect on the readings, adding in our own intentions either in our hearts or spoken out loud. Even if there is no one else in the room yet still the Lord hears our prayers. You can participate, though unfortunately not fully, in Sunday Mass with us at 11:30am by clicking here.
The Catholic Publisher MAGNIFICAT has made the daily prayers and readings, including Morning Prayer, Mass and Evening Prayer for all the days available to all. Click here.
Prayer ministry. now that we are able to celebrate Mass in the church every day, we pray the Mass intentions that we have and which people send us. [firstname.lastname@example.org] Our Legion of Mary group has formed a WhatsApp group to meet together virtually and to pray for all who are in any need in the parish. The various small convents of religious Sisters within our parish are also praying daily for the intentions of all of our people , especially those who are sick or facing significant hardship.
Fr. Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ