Imagine the anxiety I felt when my daughter called recently to say that her teenaged son, my grandson, had been exposed to Covid 19 through contact in the high school band. They had just received the news and she was nervous, asking for prayers. Her husband was driving them now to have my grandson tested and following that, he would need to be quarantined for the next two weeks. I assured her that, of course, we would pray, and then she added this bright spot.
“Mom, thank you for the Blessed Mother picture you sent to Aidan. He says he took it out of his wallet right away and began asking for help. He texted the image of the MTA to his mom with the caption, ‘So much praying. Tell Grandma thanks.’ It warmed my heart to know that the efforts I have made recently (due to the Covid pandemic), to reach out via mail and email to my grandchildren, had made a little difference in his life. Since we cannot see them in person, like we used to, I send a little note to each of the grandkids every month, with words of encouragement, bible verse, and assurance to them that God and our Blessed Mother are watching over them. These moments of joy are gifts that come with an otherwise troubling time.
Kate Otto, San Antonio TX,
As I sit and contemplate the gifts given to us …, I must include what God has placed in our path during the pandemic. For most of us, even those of us who have been able to retire, life was a hectic series of events. We had meetings, outings, appointments, and just plain things to do. Suddenly, the breaks were applied to our lives in all things. No more going out, no more meetings, no more church and mass. We had to sit back and wait. What were we given in place of all of this – Time!?
Suddenly, we had time to sit and talk with one another. We began to miss our family, our children, and grandchildren. Maybe we also began to appreciate them a bit more because they are more distant. Face Time and Zoom have become necessities. Our need for each other may have grown because we can no longer be together. And there is YouTube also. How many Sunday Masses have been attended and how able have we been to at least participate together?
Look also at the reading time and all the puzzles that have been made. There have been family game nights over the internet. Hopefully, a lot of laughing and joking together has taken place, maybe more often than before. Maybe there has also been time to sit and wonder. Maybe in our home shrine, we contemplated Mary and the Child. She is the one so sweet and calm amid the fears and anxieties of this time. Maybe we tried to burn her image into our hearts so that we can say: “Yes Father” when he calls. Do we find Our God and Lord in the songs of the birds that we hear in the mornings and evenings because we have slowed down?
Do we smell the roses that bloom along the way? As the storms roll through there may be fear and concern. Also therein is the power and strength of the Father followed by his love as rain renews the earth. In the blue skies, his smile, in the billowing clouds, his smile as he reminds us, he is near us always. His is the hand that reaches out to us. His is the arm that holds us when we stumble and fear the world around. With Father and Mother, we should not fear or give in to anger. Hand and hand, we can walk far and help others to come with us.
Rick Otto, San Antonio TX,