The other day, I was walking our dog, Xena — who would be worth a column all to herself — when I noticed that one of the neighbors had her front lawn all decorated for Easter. This neighbor is known for having her front lawn all decked out for every holiday — Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, you name it. Often, they are lit up at night, which is a sight I look forward to on my walks with Xena.
When the reports started coming in about COVID-19 it seemed so remote, so far from our little corner of the world. And then one of my sons, a critical-care nurse at a Valley hospital, sat down and had a chat with me. He was deeply concerned about the path of destruction this disease was unleashing, and he wanted his dad and me to take it seriously.
With the rapid changes brought on by COVID-19, there is an incredible level of stress for everyone in the country. We have worries about our families, our work, finances and loved ones living in areas that may be experiencing an even greater impact than where we are.
I felt a call to adventure in September when my friend, Lexie, a FOCUS [Fellowship of Catholic University Students] missionary, asked me to join her on a mission trip to Belize over spring break. I’d never been on a mission trip, although it had been on my heart for a while. After discerning that this is what God wanted for me, I decided to sign up.
Social distancing has become the new normal and for all of us, and that means not being able to go to the movie theater. Thanks to modern technology, there are hundreds of movies available via streaming services, making it possible to bring the magic of the movie theater into your own home.
On a recent Sunday, my 4-year-old and 2-year-old were “having a moment” during Mass. Either they both wanted me to pick them up at the same time or they were fighting over one of their Church-approved books. Whatever the cause, I’d taken them outside to sit on a bench in the Church courtyard until they calmed down.
Do I remember St. John Paul II? Yes, I remember him well. I write of him as the centennial of his birth May 18, 1920, approaches. It would be impossible to list all my lasting memories of him in one article. So that is not my goal.
“Peace be with you,” Jesus says in the Gospel reading for Pentecost Sunday (Jn 20:19). Peace — as in harmony, or even as in a lack of noise — is not exactly plentiful these days. Certainly not in an election year, when cacophony seems to be the (dis)order of the day.
“Lord, give me strength.” This has been my mantra of late, every morning when I start to hear the first whines and cries from my 17-month-old around 5:20 a.m.
It seems as if there are two kinds of graduation narratives for what happens after young collegians toast each other, flip their tassels and head out to take on the world.