It’s like I’m trying to swim in the ocean and I turn my head to see an eighty foot wave coming at me. The only conclusion is that I am going to be taken under and will likely drown.
That’s what it feels like right now as I read the newest suggestions from the CDC. If they insist upon their recommendation for faith-based groups, that will mean that no public Masses would take place at any church for eight weeks. The implications are many.
The spiritual implications are that our people will not be able to receive what they so desperately need: the Eucharist. It means that they will not have the solace of worshiping together. Many might feel lost.
Financial implications exist as well. Parishes still have bills but will not have money coming in from weekly collections. Parish employees may need to be sent home without pay. There will be less funds to help those who are in need as many parishes offer help with food, utility assistance, rental assistance, and the like.
Emotional implications are that many will find themselves being stretched to the point of breaking and will not have places to turn to. Support type groups will not be able to meet at our facilities. Many of the needy will likely fall through the cracks.
I know myself well enough to know that I am not a glass-half-full kind of person. For that matter, I am not a glass-half-empty kind of person. I am the doom and gloom type that says the glass has been bone dry, dropped, and shattered.
I see a lot of negative things happening to the people I serve and love. My heart is breaking for them. I will do my best to serve their needs as best I can and am allowed and I will keep them all in my daily Masses and daily prayer. If we get to the point of not allowing public Masses, I will still be able to offer private Masses for all.
I just fear that it is going to get much worse before it begins to get better. I am having a hard time seeing the distinction between the realities of the crisis and panic-induced hysteria and I fear that many others feel the same way.
Let’s keep each other in our prayers and look out for any ways that we can help others who are struggling.