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Reflection: Suggestions During Quarantine Time

Apr 25, 2020
Greetings in our Risen Lord! We hope and pray you are well. As we continue to live through the new reality of our quarantine time, I would like to share with you some suggestions that may be helpful.

Create a schedule. This can help you to live a balanced life, which is very important especially now that you are spending most or all of your time at home. Following a good schedule can contribute greatly to your physical, emotional and spiritual health. One should include enough time for: sleep, work, house cleaning, personal hygiene, prayer, rest, exercise, family sharing, meals, entertainment, etc. Following a healthy schedule can help to bring you a sense of satisfaction, productivity and peace, and can keep you motivated to undertake your daily tasks. It will also prevents one from giving in to the demons of idleness, laziness, and overindulging in sleep, eating, and media entertainment, which will make one feel miserable and even depressed. Remember the saying: "Idleness is the devil's playground." There will surely be situations that may prevent you from being perfectly faithful to your schedule. That is ok, as long as they are justified reasons and don't become the norm. If you are at home with family I suggest you agree on a family schedule.

Be well-disposed when seeing Mass on live stream. We are learning how to live in virtual settings. When it comes to Mass have the same interior and exterior dispositions that you have when physically attending. Remember that God is not limited by space or time. He only needs our hearts to be receptive and open to his grace. Do away with anything that could be a distraction (media, food, phone, pets, etc.) remembering that this is sacred time in which we are to give God undivided attention. Get dressed and acquire a reverent posture as if you were physically at church. The way we dress and the way we sit or stand are exterior matters, but they say something about and contribute to our interior disposition. They send a message to ourselves and those around us. So avoid seeing Mass in shorts, a t-shirt, flip flops and sitting with your feet up on the coffee table.

Set time apart for personal prayer. This is one of the items to be included in our schedule. Many people pray as they drive, do laundry, work, run errands, etc. That is a good practice, but we need to set aside time for God in which we give him undivided attention. This is true for every important relationship in our lives. See when is the best time for you to pray and commit to it. If you are spending the quarantine with other family members it may help to let them know what is your time of prayer so that you don't get interrupted unless necessary. There are many things we can do to help us in our prayer time: meditating on Scripture (maybe the daily readings) or other book of meditations, contemplating an icon or statue, lighting a candle, contemplating nature, playing Gregorian chant, etc. Remember that the value of prayer is not measured by the intensity of the devotion we experience or how focused we are, but by the desire of our hearts to spend time with God and to nurture our relationship with him. That means that a prayer moment filled with dryness and distractions can be even more pleasing to God than one in which we experience profound consolations. This is so because it shows that we are not pursuing our own spiritual gratification, but acting in faith. Our radars don't always detect God's grace pouring into our souls. As St. Thérèse said: "Ah! let us remain then very far from all that sparkles, let us love our littleness, let us love to feel nothing, then we shall be poor in spirit, and Jesus will come to look for us, and however far we may be, He will transform us in flames of love...." (Lt 197).

Remember that we continue to lift you up in our prayers and Masses at Mt. Carmel Center. God is faithful and this situation will come to an end. 

Written by Fr. Jorge Cabrera of Mary Immaculate, OCD

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