March 20: Sustaining the weary with a word
Although Nora and I have been reducing our outside connections since the weekend, today, Friday, is only Day 2 of self-isolation for me. The isolation already feels intense; how will it feel after six or eight weeks? Thank God that we have the phone and email. Without such technology, we would really be cut off from each other.
However, in the development of the Canadian Prairies, self-isolation was normal. Early homesteaders left their families and friends behind in the East or in Europe, worked dreadfully hard at clearing the land and rarely saw people outside their immediate family. Today, besides taking the dog for a walk or watching the neighbours’ kids play outside the window, we can stay in touch through technology.
Maybe our isolation is minor in comparison with that of the early settlers.
Yesterday, on my computer, I watched Pope Francis celebrate Mass in his chapel at the Vatican. I had never seen that before. I am now beginning to feel how central our weekend parish Mass is to my week. It is a holy gathering of friends, acquaintances and people I don’t know at all.
At Mass last Saturday afternoon, the crowd was extremely sparse, maybe 50 or 60 people. But the event was still my anchor. Now, all Masses have been cancelled until the COVID-19 pandemic is over in this part of the world. It could be a while.
Today, my morning meditation was on Isaiah 50.4-7, part of the third Servant Song. In it, I heard a call – to listen to the Lord every morning, to accept his inspiration and direction, and to “sustain the weary with a word.” So, that’s why I am writing this – to try to offer a word of hope to those who, like myself, are stuck in isolation. I will try again tomorrow. And maybe the next day.
– Glen Argan
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