“All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”— Blessed Julian of Norwich
by Meredith Kelly
Right now we are surrounded by “supposed-to-be’s.” We’re supposed to be on campus. Supposed to be in classes. Supposed to be with friends. Supposed to be at work. People are supposed to be healthy, not in cold and lonely hospitals and nursing homes. Most of all, we’re supposed to be in Christ’s Presence with the Blessed Sacrament. We’re supposed to be at Mass.
Without access to the sacraments or Mass, it is easy to give in to discouragement or wonder how this could possibly be God’s will. However, hope lives on. The truths of the Catholic faith can still bring us peace, even during this unthinkable time.
A Church without sacraments?
It seems unnatural that the Catholic Church should restrict access to the Sacraments. The Seven Sacraments make the Catholic Church, Catholic. They are the beacons of God’s grace and love that cannot be found anywhere else. They are the reasons for conversion and aid in Christ’s salvation of our souls.
Even here and now, Christ has not left His Church orphan. He is active and present. Priests are still offering the sacrifice of the Mass, even though lay people may not have the joy of attending them. Religious brothers and sisters still pray the Divine Office for the Church and all Her faithful. Christ is still truly present in silent chapels and tabernacles all over the world. In many ways, the Church’s heart still beats.
The Catholic Church is still the One True Church. Her teachings and doctrines are still true, Her Sacraments are still valid, and She is still the Bride of Christ.
Yet, even though all these things are true, why is this still so hard?
“Jesus, I need you. Lover, don’t leave.”
These are the first lines of one of my favorite songs, “Teresa” by Audrey Assad, and I think they sum up the sentiments of so many Catholics right now. There are no two ways about it: this time is difficult. Perhaps you are going without the Sacraments, and their accompanying graces, for the longest time in your life. In that case, this pandemic has temporarily taken a supremely valuable part of your life. The liturgical rhythm that governed your life is now strangely absent.
Maybe you are a recent convert like me and are still rejoicing that, at long last, you have found the truth for which your heart longed. Like me, maybe you waited with anticipation and longing for your confirmation and first Eucharist. Then Easter Vigil came and went, without the joyful reception you waited for.
Whatever your experience, these blows strike the heart with dull intensity. If you desire the Sacraments, that is a very good sign. It shows that you care about the Church and Christ’s Graces and that you recognize their importance in your life.
It shows that you miss Christ, that His nourishment means the world to you. Christ sees your heart thirst because He thirsted too, on the Cross. He also thirsted for comfort from His Father. He knows that you desire Him, and it will not be forgotten.
Mother of Perpetual Help
Mary is the Mother of all peoples, especially right now. Her prayers have incredible power in the eyes of her Son, and she wants to intercede for us. Like a good mother, Our Lady is walking with us.
She is a good Mother and our friend, and she will take us by the hand to lead us closer to her Son. St. Louis de Montfort says in The Secret of the Rosary, “She is our Mother and our friend. She is the empress of the universe and loves us more than all the mothers and queens of the world have ever loved any one human being.”
She is not an abstract, pious, or sentimental ideal. She is real, reunited with her Son in Heaven. Just as Our Lord did not turn up His nose or hide His face from illness and affliction, neither does Our Lady. She holds the hands of all the sick and dying, and prays for them with deep love.
Please, ask her to pray for us. She can’t be refused.
His perfect, mysterious will
I know it is hard to imagine how this will all work out. It seems insensitive to say, “This will all work out in the end.” However, despair is insensitive and naive, not hope.
Even amidst this lockdown and its associated disappointments and casualties, the truth is this: God does not allow anything to happen that is not for His Glory and the good of His children. He does not delight in punishing us. Rather, every trial, even the most evil and vicious ones, can bear fruit for God’s Kingdom. Whether this fruit springs forth in this life or in the next, for the sanctification of our souls or the salvation of another’s, all shall be well.
Pray for an end to COVID-19, for first responders, healthcare workers, souls of the departed, the lonely, and the Lopez family.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!
Rex est Christus