Scripture — Mark 1:35
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Spend 5 minutes in absolute silence. Turn off all of your devices. Find a secluded space without interruptions or distractions. This may be a challenge on many levels, but silence is good for us. It allows us to listen for God’s quiet voice. What is God saying to you?
- How has your routine changed since before the quarantine? What is the biggest difference you’ve noticed?
- What aspect of your new schedule is the hardest adjustment for you to make?
- What does the work of your day look like? Whether it entails work for a job, schoolwork, household chores, parenting, teaching, or anything else, what are the tasks you need to accomplish on any given day?
- What is your mission for this time in quarantine? What is your purpose to live by?
- Do you follow a daily schedule? Why or why not?
- Do you take time every day to pray? If yes, how do you pray? Does it feel beneficial to you? If no, why not? What is preventing you from spending time with God in prayer?
- How are you staying physically active while in quarantine? What are you doing to keep your body healthy?
- Who are you missing right now? Who in your life that you aren’t quarantined with would you most like to reach out to: to see their face and hear their voice?
Create for yourself–according to your personality and temperament–a daily schedule that includes time for productivity, prayer, recreation, and social connection. Be as specific and as comprehensive as possible. Write it out on a piece of paper and post it somewhere visible.
Make a list of all of the people you would like to connect with. Then, one by one, contact them. Whether by phone call, text, email, FaceTime, Zoom, or even an old fashioned letter, reach out to the people you love and maintain your relationship with them.
Scripture — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Reflection — Dorothy Day
I have been overcome with grief at times, and felt my heart like a stone in my breast, it was so heavy, and always I have heard, too, that voice, “Pray.” What can we do? We can pray. We can pray without ceasing, as Saint Paul said. We can say with the apostles, “Lord, teach me to pray.” We can say with Saint Paul, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Will our Father give us a stone when we ask for bread? We remember Jesus’ words, “I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them” (Matthew 18:19–20).
So I resolved then to be more careful not to omit certain devotions that I let myself off from on account of my irregular life and fatigue. After all, when I have been working from seven until twelve at night, or traveling fifteen hours by bus, I can realize all the more these words, “Can you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). That, I have resolved, is to be my motto for the coming year, in order to foster recollection. “Can you not watch with me one hour?” I shall remember this whenever I am tired and want to omit prayer, the extra prayers I shall set myself. Because after all I am going to try to pray the simplest, humblest way, with no spiritual ambition. Morning prayers, in my room before going to Mass. I always omit them, rushing out of the house just in time as I do. If I were less slothful it would be better… Around the middle of the day to take, even though it be to snatch, fifteen minutes of absolute quiet, thinking about God and talking to God. The thing to remember is not to read so much or talk so much about God, but to talk to God. To practice the presence of God.
May, today, there be peace within us.
May we trust God, that we are exactly where we are meant to be.
May we not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith.
May we use those gifts that we have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to us.
May we be content knowing that we are children of God.
Let God’s presence settle into our bones,
and allow our souls the freedom to sing, to dance,
and to bask in the sun.
It is there for each and every one of us. Amen.