Today, the words that fell on my heart, were we are more than the sum of our faults.
The devil would have us believe we are only as good as our accomplishments, and likewise, only the sum of those, all of which are invalidated by our sins, by our flaws, by our failures. Working with my own students, I’ve found that all of them have become dimmer versions of themselves. We’ve all lost some of our salt or some of our connection with what makes us the salt of the Earth and lights for the world.
We’re tired because we’ve done nothing but triage for fifteen months –and we miss the ordinary we’ve not had.
With the advent of vaccinations –and in Maryland, it’s been well distributed.
As such, the world around me keeps trying to re-assert normal. Pools and parks are open. Restaurants teem. On the radio, every day a new concert announced, another venue re-opened, the world is celebrating a post pandemic Spring of human activity. We want to connect, to share and say something about the long isolation we’ve experienced because of the quarantine. Everyone wants to share what they learned –gardening, baking, exercise routines, whatnot. They also want to know what everyone else did.
We are not looking at what still remains broken. We spent fifteen months as islands, we understand we don’t want to be them, but we’re not quite sure how. We need to rediscover how to plunge into life and not feel either threatened by that plunge, nor reckless in experiencing it. We are not talking about the long lonliness we all experienced when all community outside of immediate family, was reduced to being only virtual.
As people begin bussling about like bees, we are not thinking about what during Covid was better, only about what we missed that isn’t there in the stillness or the excessive activity. We shouldn’t want to go back to being so busy we no longer allow for the family meal, for the stillness that resulted in weekend rosary walks, in late night marshmallow roasts, star gazing and March Madness Mario Race Cart brackets. Holding onto the sacred time with your whole family, will require a willed response…because we’ve all known how quickly people overshedule and overwork to the point of being frayed if one isn’t disciplined about making some part of family life sacred and unique.
Sunday seems like the perfect thing to take away from the year of Covid –to make dinner something everyone experiences, to make coming to the Sunday table of the Domestic church, like coming to the Sunday table in the larger Church. Feast with your family, with the largest helping you serve being a large dollop of time. If we all learn to carve out the time for these people we profess to love first, last and always, to put them first, then we will emerge from this fifteen month retreat with a treasure that should not have been forgotten, a pearl of great price that should never have been lost.