The situation that we are all currently experiencing, in one way or another, has on several occasions led me, to contemplate the solitary, spiritual, quiet and prayerful life that many monks, friars and nuns have purposely chosen on entering Monasteries, Friaries and Convents, to follow their spiritual calling. It is not quite the same, but the lifestyle that is being forced upon us today, due to Covid-19, shares some elements with the life of prayerful solitude experienced in Monasteries and Convents.
For hundreds of years, Christian men and women around the world have chosen this lifestyle of quiet prayerfulness, giving up much of their freedom to live in a monastic community rooted in religious tradition, humility and obedience to God. And while many of these communities are involved with Retreats and service to others, one of the most consistent aspects of their service to God was in prayer for the faithful and for the Church. Some Cloistered groups are solely focused on praying for others.
And so in this time of isolation and solitude, the lives of those in these communities have not been changed to such a great extent as has been the case for the rest of us. Oh, their lives have indeed been altered, but their prayer lives have remained consistent. Within their communities, they care for each other and they continue to pray for the Church and all believers.
In our social distancing and self-isolation, we can look to their lifestyle as an example of how we can continue to serve others. Within our families we can help each other in the maintenance of our place of residence, sharing the duties and making things easier for each other. And we can also pray. While we may be limited in our ability to physically help and serve others while maintaining our isolation, we can contribute to the well-being of others by keeping them in our prayers. Please pray for our Priests and Bishops and other leaders of the Church. Pray for our Churches, they may be opened as soon as possible. And pray for our Monasteries, Friaries and Convents, in thankfulness for their good example.
Fr. Edward Gibney
Associate State Chaplain