Maintaining Catholic Community, Remotely
My mom has always had a strong group of Catholic friends. When the first few cases of Covid-19 were identified in Wisconsin, she and some of those friends placed the Image of the Divine Mercy on their front doors as protection against the disease. While I can’t vouch for the effectiveness of such an action to prevent oneself from contracting the disease, I do think that it serves a greater purpose during this time.
Social distancing and lockdown measures have prevented so many from meeting with their friends, and for Catholics, we have also been unable to attend Mass in person and participate in church community activities. It is difficult to celebrate the Eucharist and to partake in the joy of the Lord without the community of the Church surrounding you. After all, Matthew 18:20 tells us, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them”. Especially for those of us who may be alone in lockdown, it can be difficult to feel the presence of the Lord in the absence of our community.
That is where I think the Image of the Divine Mercy comes in. Every time that I get back from a walk through my neighborhood, I see the Image of the Divine Mercy on the door and am reminded of my Catholic community at home and from Brown, who are now scattered around the world. I am reminded of the friends who have the same image on their front doors, who trust in the Lord to be with them during this time. I am reminded that even though I cannot see my friends when I am at Mass, they too are celebrating the Eucharist and are with me in spirit.
The Lord is present in the actions that we undertake, though miles apart, to glorify Him and to remember that He is good. We may not be able to see our Catholic community, but they are always with us. In this I find comfort, that even though I may not feel their presence I am never truly alone.
The Image of the Divine Mercy has written at the bottom of it, “Jesus, I Trust in You”. As I pray for those most impacted by the disease, essential workers who have sacrificed their own health to save others’, and the community I’ve found within the BRCC, I find myself reflecting on this message. Especially during times of crisis, it can be difficult to find that trust, so I often remind myself to give in to the Lord and believe that He will take care of me.
Jesus, I Trust in You. I trust that You will keep us safe. I trust in Your love. I trust that our community will continue to thrive, even though we may not physically be together. And most importantly, I trust that You will be by my side until the end of time- even if I feel alone and even when I am struggling. You will always be there.
Ingrid Mader is a senior concentrating in Archaeology and sent this post from Kaukauna, Wisconsin.