From a reader…
We can’t know what’s going to happen with the pandemic. But what do you think will happen socially? In the Church?
It see it as a strong incentive to correct our badly compromised supply chains and outsourced manufacturing. This is a serious problem that needs a nationwide effort, on an almost war-time footing as in WWII to correct.
Even if this pandemic may not be quite as bad as people, in anxiety, might imagine, I foresee this COVID-19 outbreak as a rehearsal for the Really Bad One. After reading some dystopian fiction that games out various TEOTWAWKI scenarios, I see some effects where I live, and things aren’t even bad here yet. Yesterday when I went to the grocery store, as is my routine nearly everyday for fresh things, I saw whole shelves and bins empty. In a time of really serious crisis, we might see people at their worst.
I think this will also bring out the best in a lot of people. Even as people are being forced apart through “social distancing”, I foresee that people will network together creatively for works of charity. There are a lot of people out there who can’t help themselves. Network now and consult with doctors and others about how you might, safely and prudently, be of help to the shut in or vulnerable.
That’s for the material.
Here’s for the spiritual.
I pray pray pray that this time of challenge will produce a vastly greater awareness of traditional practices and devotions and some seriously bad-ass spiritual warriors.
It is beyond question that, in our fallen human state, familiarity can breed contempt. Routine can make people lax. And the way our sacred worship has been – appalling and flaccid for decades – there is little surprise in the results of research that reveal disaster levels of belief in what the Church teaches about just about everything.
We are going to rediscover many traditional practices that nourished and sustained in truly horrible times our forebears in the Faith. I have been receiving notes about, for example, processions. Fantastic.
Also, I just posted about how to make a Spiritual Communion. HERE
Think about the impact a revival of good Spiritual Communions might have on the whole Body of Christ: thousands discovering the practice and then making it their own, habitually. Think of how that will impact the reception of Communion and the great good that will do for the whole Church.
I think we might see rise up some truly bad-ass spiritual war fighters because of this. That will help all of us in the challenging times to come.
We still will have to deal with the massive demographic sink-hole that is about to open up.
If bishops are paying attention, and priests, then sounding and acting like bishops and priests in this time of crisis might capture the attention and imagination of young “nones”, who are going to disappear.
Put on all the gear. Pull out all the stops. Process. Preach. Lie down flat on the floor and pray. Sing and chant and use incense and falls of Holy Water and blessings and deprecatory prayers! We’ve been there! The Church has done this before.
We are all in this together. We are our rites.
Today I celebrated Holy Mass using the Votive “Tempore Mortalitatis”.
At the offertory I prayed, from Numbers 16:48:
Stetit pontifex inter mortuos et vivos, habens thuribulum aureum in manu sua: et offerens incensi sacrificium, placavit iram Dei, et cessavit quassatio a Domino.
We are our rites.
Save the Liturgy. Save the World.