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In Spirit and Truth in the Time of Coronavirus

It’s a strange time, isn’t it?


School has been cancelled for my kids, and my husband will be working remotely for the foreseeable future. I already work from home, but it will certainly be much less quiet at my house in the coming weeks!


I did not attend Mass this Sunday, for the first time in… maybe 20 years? (Although I did find participating in the livestream from my cathedral surprisingly prayerful.)


For the last few days, as things have been shutting down around the country, I have been wondering what I should be doing with this ministry in the midst of this pandemic. Everything feels like chaos right now (especially for those who have to make decisions about closings and cancellations, and for parents who are trying to figure out how to manage life with their children home from school). As a person with an autoimmune disease, I am being careful, but I’m not wasting time on worry. I am more concerned for my friends in prison, for people in detention centers, homeless shelters, or unstable homes, and for those who are made vulnerable by poverty, lack of medical care, or an absence of social connection.


The issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church does not suddenly become unimportant when the world is focused on other things. There are still people hurting, and there is still much work to be done. However, a big part of my work is raising awareness and understanding among Catholics who are less engaged with this issue, and honestly, I don’t think many people are in a mental or emotional space to increase their engagement with this right now. For those who are wrestling with worry and anxiety, I don’t want to add to that struggle in this moment.


I have a few blog posts lined up, and plenty of news and articles to share on the Facebook page, but my gut is telling me that maybe it’s best to take the next week off from posting, until everyone settles into a new normal.


So, this will be my last post for a little while. I will still be doing plenty of work behind the scenes (and hopefully catching up on my email!), but I want to give everyone the space to take a breath and focus on caring for themselves and their community.


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Before I sign off, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to point out today’s Gospel reading from John’s account of the woman at the well. It’s such a rich story, with so much to ponder, but what stands out to me are the words of Jesus that inspired the title of this blog:


“The hour is coming, and is now here,

when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;

and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.

God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)


Indeed, the hour is coming and is now here. I began writing this blog because I believe it is time for us, the Church, to be attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit and bold in seeking and speaking truth. We may need to take a little break this week, but we still have much work to do together.


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Let’s pray for one another in the week ahead - for our Church and for our world; for all who are impacted by the coronavirus and for all who are carrying other heavy burdens.


Jesus, we trust in you.

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©2020 by Sara Larson