With covid and the protests taking over the news, it can be tempting to lose some faith. Here are six connections we can ponder on to center us back to a better prayer state of mind, soul, and spirit.
Apart from the physical masks we have to not catch COVID, we can sometimes have other kinds of masks. Sometimes, we have masks being being cool, funny, intelligent, and strong. Jesus wants us to come to him with what’s underneath the masks. That can be weakness, loneliness, depression, struggles with sin, among other things. C.S. Lewis “We must lay before him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.”
2. Social distancing
We may need to social distance ourselves from our neighbor in current times, but Jesus always wants to come into us through the Eucharist and in a paradoxical way, us into him as the head of the Mystical Body of Christ.
3. Love (also known as charity)
The word “love” is being used a lot during these trouble times. Sometimes we can forget where love first originated. St. Augustine preached, “If you see charity (love), you see the Trinity.” God is love so if you see love, it makes sense that you are seeing God.
Furthermore, Cardinal Robert Sarah wrote, “Christian charity makes me love my brethren for God and in God.” Mother Teresa practiced this as she saw Jesus in the poorest of the poor she ministered to.
4. Trouble breathing
Words for the Holy Spirit include: “Paraclete”, which is Greek for summoning to one’s side, “sigh” as in eternal joy through an eternal sigh, a “song” in our hearts, a “kiss” as expressed from the early church fathers because it’s a universal way of expressing love, “gift” from St. Augustine as the Holy Spirit relating to us, and “bond” as the relation between the Father and the Son.
“Breath” is another word for the Holy Spirit. Breath gives us physical life as we would die without breathing. In a similar way, Holy Spirit gives us spiritual life. This is supernatural life as distinct from natural life. And that’s right. Supernatural life is better as the word “super” in latin means “above.”
5. Graceful protests
St. Francis de Sales earlier in his life struggled with anger, having a temper, and being impatient. The process took him about 20 years to be virtuous with patience, kindness, and gentleness. We can study his life and words of wisdom to get through these times. In his Introduction to the Devout Life, Francis de Sales urges us to invoke God as “O Ancient Gentleness! (O douceur ancienne) Why did I not savor you sooner!”