Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
I cried when my Archdiocese canceled Mass. Honestly, I thought it was too extreme. It felt like a win for the enemy and it made me angry. When the government called for social distancing, I checked how cheap flights were so I could go see my friends. Then, toilet paper became impossible to find and I was baffled by the fear of my brothers and sisters.
I am human. I am imperfect. I experience anger. I forget to be compassionate. I try to rebel when I am told what to do, but I am such a rule follower that I usually just get super frustrated. But I long to be like Jesus in this. I long to be with Jesus in this.
The other day I went to confession. After I confessed my sins, the Priest said, “healing, you seek healing.” I don’t remember what else he said because those four words touched on something so deep. I do, I seek healing. These days, a lot of people seek healing.
This time of social distancing is allowing me to heal, but it is also purifying how I think of community. It is giving me new eyes to see the Body of Christ rising up, joining in prayer, and uniting in the face of uncertainty.
“Do we not often take the reception of the Blessed Sacrament too lightly? Might not this kind of spiritual fasting be of service, or even necessary, to deepen and renew our relationship to the Body of Christ?… A fasting of this kind…could lead to a deepening of a personal relationship with the Lord in the sacrament. It could also be an act of solidarity with all those who yearn for the sacrament but cannot receive it.” -Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)
If nothing else, I want to leave this time of social distancing closer to the Lord and even more in love with Him. I desire for this time of quarantine to lead to deeper intimacy. I hope to grow in understanding of the Body of Christ – even when we cannot physically gather as a Church.
This fasting, while incredibly painful, will bear fruit. I have full confidence in the Lord; He will restore the Church’s devotion to the Eucharist. He will build up His Church. He will bring healing to the sick. He will comfort the lonely. He will bring about good.
The past few days have not been the best, but somehow, I feel a deep sense of peace through it all. I’m frustrated because I feel a lack of freedom in this situation, but I am blessed with a lot of friends that are helping me see the good right now. I am grateful that thousands of people across the world tuned in to pray the Rosary together. I am in awe of the kindness people are showing to their neighbors. It gives me hope. I can see the good in all of this.
Not being in the physical presence of the people I love is a big sacrifice. My best friends are scattered across the country. The few friends that live near me are now just out of reach. The past few months, since ending my mission year, have prepared me well for this. I had to fight for many of my relationships, and that’s exactly what we have the opportunity to do right now.
As crazy as this sounds, I’ve never felt closer to the people I love. Don’t get me wrong, as someone who receives love through physical touch, this is excruciating, but I feel united to so many through conversation and prayer.
Allowing Jesus to have a larger role in my life and opening myself up to Him for healing is bearing tangible fruit in my relationships with others.
I am in a group chat dedicated to listening to a few podcasts. After we listen, we reflect and share our thoughts, much like a book club or a bible study. It is incredible to see how the Holy Spirit is speaking to us and uniting our hearts in this simple group message.
I reached out to a friend that I hadn’t spoken to in a while and it’s shocking how similarly the Spirit is working in our lives.
I feel a sense of solidarity with every person I contact. I feel a new freedom to share more of my heart, to be more vulnerable, to hold nothing back.
Lent is meant to be a time of fasting. Lent is a time to strip ourselves from the things of this world and to become more like Jesus. I never dreamt that I would be fasting from receiving the Eucharist during Lent. I never dreamt of being stripped of so many worldly things. I never dreamt of being unable to meet with my friends face to face. In this season of uncertainty, however, there is room to become more like Jesus. There is room for deeper intimacy with our Triune God. There is room to become more united as the Body of Christ.
We are the Body of Christ.