FAST4EARTH – HOW HAVE YOU COPED SPIRITUALLY WITH 2020?
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Proverbs 5;15
“Spirituality is that aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred”. (Christina Puchalski)
COVID19 is a battle for our souls, a “spiritual battle for the 21st century”
Never in our lives did we think we would see our churches closed, be unable to receive the sacraments, be unable to attend the funerals of our loved ones. We have suffered the painful loss of not being able to gather and fellowship, we have missed our great Festivals of Christmas and Easter in some countries twice.
COVID-19 limits religious freedom but kindles faith
Human beings tend to turn to prayer in a time of crisis. Unfortunately, religious gatherings were closed. Some people felt hopeless : “Oh God, where do we go now”. It has been amazing how much creativity has been unleashed, online services, bible studies, webinars. The reality is that many people are limited by access to data, but others have been able to attend services all over the world and find spiritual inspiration. People were able to attend Bible studies without needing baby sitters. Those who didn’t have transport or find it to dangerous to go out at night could attend evening meetings. People joined virtual choirs in different parts of the world
A call to pray from home gives more responsibility to non-ordained members. Praying from home makes us realise that we can have access to God through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:18. It helps us to understand that the family altar, family members praying together in their homes is also the real Church (Body of Christ) in a spiritual sense. The call to pray from home equally assures God’s presence in line with what Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew 18:20: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’. Church buildings shut, but the church was still open.
Many people have developed new spiritual rhythms, finding blog posts that resonate with their soul, or new personal practices of prayer, spiritual music or meditation. They are learning to drink from their own cisterns…
For many people, reconnecting with nature this year has drawn them closer to God, working in a small home garden or taking walks or hikes in nature.
“As G. K. Chesterton observed, “A religion is not the church [one] goes to, but the cosmos [one] lives in.” ] Once we know that the entire physical world around us, all of creation, is both the hiding place and the revelation place for God, this world becomes home, safe, enchanted, offering grace to any who look deeply. I call that kind of deep and calm seeing “contemplation.” Richard Rohr