Pandemic

Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles Catholic Community

Pandemic
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

3 Responses

  1. Stephanie D Markiewicz says:

    I have been reading a Gratitude Journal. Today’s reading: “I am Grateful for toiletries. Sweet-smelling soap cleanses the body. Minty toothpaste freshens the breath. Shampoo leaves hair shiny and clean. And moisturizing lotions soften the skin.
    I thought how appropriate this is as many of us have gone to the store and stocked up on items.

  2. Jane C. Rasmussen says:

    First, thanks to all who have made this virtual Church possible, especially Gary, Jackie, and Jim. Hello to all; I do miss you. Here’s my take on the theme of water.
    We live on a millpond in Door County. Recently a bureaucrat in Madison decided that our millpond should be drained due to the amount of silt that is piling up but that it would not be dredged to correct the problem. The dam has been opened and the draining is underway. Those of us who live on or near the pond know that the real problem is that corporate farms are dumping manure in Door County and that needs to be regulated. Meanwhile we watch the destruction of a recreational setting, the attack on wildlife, experience a critical threat to the village businesses that depend on tourism.
    But good has come of this attack. We now know our neighbors on the other side of the pond. We have learned to exercise our political voice and hired a lawyer to defend our pond. We have learned about the real riches in our river: eagles, river otters, loons, multiple species of fish beside carp, etc. We have gathered in fundraisers to hire an attorney, providing business for the local restaurants.
    Now we are all attacked by a virus. The treat is pandemic. But I have already seen positives all around me. This virtual church for one. Scholastic magazine offering parents free lessons for their stay at home kids. MPS providing free lunches. FiServ guaranteeing their workers will be paid. People recognizing the riches we have taken for granted: nurses, doctors, teachers, cleaning staff, stockers in grocery stores, etc. The list of good things goes on. We are finding new ways to connect with each other and to locate those whose lives might be impacted in critical ways.
    My thoughts: Good can come out of very threatening events. Sometimes we need a wake-up call just like the followers of Jesus who learned to take a second look at the Samaritans.
    Loved the last song. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at home since the parades were cancelled.

  3. Connie Byrne says:

    I really love this poem! It’s like a cold slap from a brisk wind – it wakes you up to the immediate now. It quite forcefully points out what our world – and country – so badly needs: a recognition that we all are part of one big community and we actually need each other to live. Our lives are intertwined and connected in so many ways – and we’ve forgotten that.
    Thanks for sharing this poem.

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