I never anticipated that now, in the midst of an abundant summer following a beautiful spring, we would still be living out a winter spirituality. But the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought this upon us.
But…We’re All in This Together, Right?….except….
Lowering of pollution that first month—the air so crisp and clear and breathable. Everything stood out in beautiful colors.
The pandemic has starkly revealed the economic, racial and social inequalities of the status quo in so many countries of both hemispheres which makes for poor physical and mental health in all sections of the population, an increase in injustice and unstable communities. We remember the people of Portland, Oregon, USA and other cities where political machismo is rampaging over elected officials and the populace; for the democracy candidates in Hong Kong being imprisoned and denied their right to stand; for activists in so many countries standing up against corruption and violence, losing their lives and disappearing without trace: be close to those in China, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Russia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Lord, you are the God of justice and truth: lead us from darkness to light
We have seen that people of color and the poor have borne the brunt of the crisis: much higher rates of virus infection and morbidity as well as greater economic devastation. Help all those researching in the UK, the USA, India and elsewhere for the reasons for this. May we all embrace the proven results and change what is wrong and protect our brothers and sisters of all colors and creeds.
Lord you created us all in your image. Open our eyes to see the beauty in the diversity you have created and celebrate our differences as well as similarities. Together we make up a beautiful image reflecting You.
The Pandemic has laid bare the gross social inequities in our nations and the many things we have taken for granted which have failed us.
Help us to embrace that the new “now~” has to be different from the old “normal” if we want our children to have a future on this wonderful blue marble we call home, Earth.
Sojourners Magazine calls this Kairos time—”a propitious moment for decision or action.” Certainly we have seen an alarming escalation of hate crimes (especially targeting Asians) in many countries whether the predominant population is white or of color. We name for healing our own countries… but also South Africa, Russia, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Greece, Hungary.
We give thanks for the generosity and welcome of individuals daring to stand out from the crowd to share your Love and welcoming heart to those fleeing violence, war and starvation. Thankfully we have also seen a broad shift in attitudes and perceptions around the nations. Mercifully and providing a source of hope, the new generation is choosing not to tolerate what has been accepted for too long by too many people. This is very encouraging, but I must remind myself of the shortness of attention spans and the limits of bureaucratic imagination. Will our changing cultural consciousness have a real effect on laws, policies or practices of our flawed social structures?
The bottom line is: We cannot go back to “normal” because “normal” is what got us here.
A statement from URI (United Religions Initiative USA) regarding this moment of choice sums it up for us:
“We choose love.
We choose compassion.
We choose non-violence.
We choose equality.
And we choose to dedicate our lives to creating cultures of peace, justice and healing.”
We choose to follow you, Jesus, Prince of Peace. Send your Holy Spirit to fill us with hearts brimming over with love for one another and the planet and all its component plants, resources and creatures which you have created for each one of us to enjoy and have our needs not our wants met.
‘God of grace, you invite the despised,
you touch the unclean,
you lift the head
of those who are brought low:
give us that hope against all hope
for a world transformed
by your healing touch;
through Jesus Christ,
the mercy of God. Amen. ‘
(Steven Shakespeare, Prayers for an Inclusive Church)
(Inspired by and adapted from
The Canticle, July 2020, Voice of the Community of St Francis, Province of the Americas)