Below are some of the graces that younger religious have been noticing. We invite you to continue to reflect on your experiences during these times and take any new insights with you into our “new norm.” May God continue to accompany us and help us emerge gracefully from this pandemic.
When I awoke on the morning of March 14th, it was as though someone had flipped a switch. The usual sounds of traffic, barking dogs, and occasional siren were absent, replaced by something totally unexpected: silence. And then the silence was filled with birdsong. These days of the pandemic lockdown have produced a surprising grace. In the midst of confinement, I have found freedom and reconnection in the natural world outside my door, in the concrete jungle of Toronto, hidden within the cracks of the pavement and exploding in the greens and golds and pinks of Queen’s Park and the campus of the University of Toronto. As I take my daily walk, I notice the quiet presence of the Creator in the creation that surrounds me. The gentle gaze of the Father in the budding leaves on tree branches, the Holy Spirit rising in the fragrance of the cherry blossoms, and the companionship of the Son in the squirrels, geese, and robins that play in the grass of King’s College Circle. The intimacy of nature is an unexpected grace in a city grown quiet, revealing the steady presence of God and a promise of hope through the tenacity of Spring.
– Sarah Rudolph
Our world is a busy, full and beautiful place with much to see, hear and take in. One of the graces I have discovered since public distancing has become the norm is quiet. My heart often years for quiet and these days have been a gift to sit longer in the quiet and allow the Holy Spirit to breath and move more freely in me. In turn new prayers, soul stirrings, awareness in creation and creativity has arisen. These graces in turn will guide me in my interactions with others as I accompany them on the journey.
– Michael Perras
Knowing that God is in Contol. COVID-19 has proved human fragility. Even those who believe or consider themselves to be powerful cannot control what we are experiencing. BUT the giver of life is in control. It is very consoling amidst fear and panic.
I am finding grace in the ways that people are caring more about each other and doing small things to help out. One of the students at the high school I work at organized a non-perishable food collection where people can put donations on their porch and he will come pick them up. It is all going to help the local St. Vincent De Paul program that was running out of food due to increased need in the community. It’s pretty awesome to see initiative like that on the part of students.
– Christian Cahill
I think that the grace that I am receiving in this time, among many others, is a sense of support and communion with my sisters. We are in this together- living the present moment and walking day by day. We have had moments of tension, fatigue, sadness…but the joy, renewed creativity, simplicity and sharing has outweighed the difficult moments. We have discovered new gifts, new skills and new hope as we look toward the future. Without a doubt, I have felt the consoling presence of the Holy Spirit and am certain that the Spirit is making all things new- from the inside out!
– Kate O-Connor