Lent looks very different now than it did at the beginning. These weeks have been packed full of voices clamoring for our attention — all the news, disrupted routines, school closures, economic uncertainty, and recommendations from medical experts and political leaders.
St. Ignatius, I think, would remind us that paying attention to what is happening in our heads and hearts is especially important right now. Do not let the clamor outside overwhelm you. Pay attention to your emotions and what is happening within.
Fear and anxiety are particularly palpable this week. Through the Spiritual Exercises, we learn that such feelings must be discerned, for they can easily push us away from God. When we are able to recognize these movements within us, we can resist (with God's help) their power to consume, and instead root ourselves in greater faith, hope, and loving service.
Below are some resources for prayer, meditation, and reflection. While we cannot go to Mass or gather with friends, let us remember that God is with us. We are not alone.
May Christ the Healer be with the sick, may He protect those caring for them, and may He draw us closer to Himself amidst so much uncertainty.
Rev. George M. Witt, SJ
Prayers and Reflections to Help During this Time
Each day brings an inundation of news stories and uncertainty about what the future holds. Here, we have collected some of the best prayers and reflections that we have seen.
Pope Francis' Urbi et orbi
Pope Francis meditated on the calming of the storm from the Gospel of Mark during last week's prayer service over which he presided on the steps of St Peter's Basilica on Friday evening.
COVID-19: Discerning a path to God
"The current experience of COVID -19 is showing us many things about ourselves and our world. In particular, I want to focus on how it is lighting up various aspects of our path to God and how, even in difficult times, there is consolation to be found."
Click here to watch Fr. Arturo Sosa's message as the Society of Jesus, in solidarity with the whole world, lives in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
A Coronavirus Prayer
Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
Click here for the full prayer in English. In Spanish. In Italian.
|RELIGION NEWS SERVICE
Spirituality in a Time of Quarantine
"What would Jesus do? Jesus would tell you to stay home for your own good and the good of your neighbor.
But is that it? As Christians, we know that spirituality is not just about avoiding evil. It is also about doing good. Every crisis is an opportunity to do good. Here are some suggestions about what individuals, families, neighbors and parishes can do during this quarantine." Click here for more.
|IGNATIAN SOLIDARITY NETWORK
Reflections and Resources in Light of COVID-19
Responding in Prayer, Reflection, and Solidarity: Coronavirus Resources, as the Jesuit and broader Catholic network responds in unique ways with love, compassion, and new means of building community, ISN will compile them in this space.
Coronavirus: A Reminder that We Are All Connected, a letter to students from Dr. Philip Metres, professor of English and the director of the peace, justice, and human rights program at John Carroll University.
Coronavirus: News, Reflections, and Analysis
Faith in the time of Coronavirus, by Fr. James Martin, S.J.
How Catholics Should Respond to Coronavirus, by the Editors
|THE JESUIT POST
When I’m Social Distancing I Need Christ: Resources to Finding God During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We have put together a list of resources that could aid your discovering God’s presence through virtual communities in a time of social distancing.
|ASSOCIATION OF JESUIT COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES
Information from AJCU on the Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Jesuit Colleges and Universities
As of Monday, March 16, staff members for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) are working from home for at least the next two weeks. Click here for links to webpages with information from Jesuit colleges and universities on ways that they are addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) on their campuses, along with video messages from presidents.
|RELIGION NEWS SERVICE JESUIT CONFERENCE OF CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
A Meditation for the Anxious During COVID-19
"Become aware of your breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Bring your breathing under control. It’s hard. We’re in uncertain times, uncharted waters. Our breaths might be short, panicked. We may have forgotten to breathe all together..."
|HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC CHURCH
Pray at Home Resources
|LOYOLA JESUIT CENTER
Interactive Rosary and Stations of the Cross
Join us by conference call for an interactive Rosary, every day at 12:00 PM (EDT) To join us in prayer, please call this number a few minutes before 12:00pm (EDT): (646) 769-9900 (Conference ID: 07960#).
Interactive Stations of the Cross, led by Rev. George Collins, S.J., every day (including weekends), at 6:30pm (EDT). To join in the stations, please call this number a few minutes before 6:30pm (EDT): (646) 769-9900 (Conference ID: 07960#).
|OFFICE OF IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
Online Ignatian Resources for Lent 2020
As we come to terms with what the coronavirus and associated quarantining and social distancing have done to upset our lives, we still seek solace in the spirituality of our faith and this Lenten season. Click here for a list of resources from the greater Jesuit and Ignatian community.
Parishes Live-Streaming Masses
During this time of Mass cancellations, suspensions and closures, many Catholic churches around the country are still able to celebrate Mass and offer live-streams for those of us unable to attend in person.
|Our Lady of Hope (Portland, ME)||Radio Mass of Baltimore||Paulist Fathers' Motherhouse (NYC)|
Mon-Fri: 9am, 7pm
Sat: 4:30pm; Sun: 7am, 9am
St. Ignatius Church (Baltimore, MD)
Sun: 9:00am, 6:00pm
Sun: 10am, 12:30pm (Spanish), 5:15pm
St. Raphael (Raleigh, NC)
St. Thomas More (Atlanta, GA)
St. Francis Xavier (NYC)
|Sun: 9:30am, 2:30pm (Spanish)||Link to Daily Masses||Sun: 11:30am|
Click here for a full listing of the Jesuit parishes and ministries live-streaming Mass every day of the week, courtesy of America Media.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.