theROCK

in Joy, Trust

Starting from Zero Again and Again

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This year, due to the coronavirus, we had to wait until the gradual reopening process allowed us to celebrate our Baccalaureate Mass for our eighth grade class. Even with the Mass, attendance was limited to parents only. As I thought about the limitations we are working under, and my belief they are here to stay for an extended period of time, I was contemplating what the average Catholic psyche is right now. 

This tragedy of the pandemic, has unfolded like a slow moving accident. If an asteroid would have hit our planet, we would have all responded quickly and in unity. But with the nebulous spread; broad, yet unsubstantiated restrictions, and unproven reopening, I am not sure what everyone is feeling. In a recent poll taken, well over half of Catholics do not yet feel comfortable attending public Masses, even with the accommodations. The haunting question is when will they? I borrowed the title of this reflection from an article I read a while back. It was from a young missionary, who described her experience of learning Spanish in Bolivia, re-learning the dialect in Peru, and having to learn administrative skills in her new job. She remarked on how she had to adjust to starting over again and again.

Maybe that captures our feelings best. In this atmosphere, more than ever, we ask ourselves, is God in control? If we answer ‘yes,’ we approach each day with confidence and joy. If we answer with doubt, we approach each new day with fear and trepidation. This young missionary put her complete trust in God in a new country, with a foreign language, and an insufficient skill set. She now has friends, speaks the language, and leads with confidence. Our situation is not even near as complex, can you put all your trust in God, starting today? 

God Can Heal

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“What Corona reveals God can heal.” 

The quote above is from Life Teen’s President, Randy Raus. I’ve been on a journey of healing from a series of traumatic experiences that snowballed because of toxic coping mechanisms in my late teens and early twenties. For many years I suppressed the need to heal, then in the past two years, through retreats, community, and prayer, I really believed that I was close to healing. However, the new trauma of Corona ripped out the stitches too early. The isolation, uncertainty, and lack of the Eucharist revealed that my wounds were still festering, and that those coping mechanisms I thought I had left in the past could easily pop up, if I was not vigilant.

Life Teen youth ministers from around the country have been gathering weekly through Zoom during  these weeks of Corona. This group has given me courage to reflect on how this new trauma could lead to a greater healing when I lean on God. The beautiful thing is, without a busy social calendar, I have the time to lean into those traumas, pick them apart, and invite Jesus into them for healing. I believe many of us have trauma we suppress. I invite you to reflect on the ways Corona revealed trauma or hurts of your past, and take this extra time we have to invite Jesus into that with you.

 

Community

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The loss of community has been the hardest consequence of this pandemic and has dramatically changed our lives. What had been classes, family gatherings, and Masses, became “virtual” classes, meetings, and Masses. These are awesome alternatives, but they don’t replace being with one another. There is nothing like physical proximity and contact. For now, it is what we have.

As we return to having those direct interactions with one another, we realize what we’ve been missing. Yesterday, I had class with my fellow brothers in formation, and it was awesome to be together. My daughter and her family were also at that class, so that I could “practice” marry her. It was an emotionally supercharged day because of the rite and being with those I love.

This points out how important community is. Jesus knew that, and gave us the gift of the Eucharist to unite us to Him and to one another. While being physically separate doesn’t change that union, being together is clearly better. I trust that as we return to “normal” you will feel the restoration of the profound community that is Christ in the Eucharist.

Posted by Kurt Peot

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