“Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the church it has always been clear that a person's perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity.”
In addition to keeping our home together, educating our children, and counseling me through my neurosis, my wife, Tricia, actually has another full-time job at our parish. This Thursday, we learned that both of our priests had been exposed to folks who have tested positive with the virus and now they needed to be in isolation. Just as we had figured out how to live-stream Mass and started offering night prayer on Friday, suddenly new plans had to be made since our priests are quarantined. Tricia switched to Zoom for prayer, practiced the new medium with our priests, who self-admittedly aren’t lovers of virtual reality, and she got communication out to the parish so they could join Friday night. Despite some people accidently figuring out how to take themselves off mute and one parishioner inadvertently sharing his screen, parishioners at St. Patrick were able to pray with their quarantined priests on Friday night. The next morning, Tricia woke up early to help our Parochial Vicar, Fr. Arul, celebrate a Zoom Memorial Mass for his mother with his family located all over India, because he is not able to take his annual trip home to see his family. As we watched Father’s niece read the first reading somewhere outside of India, I saw my bride take a deep breath, grateful to have made it through this latest sprint in what has become Church ministry in the age of COVID-19.
Watching my wife stress and strategize, it made me grateful for all of those priests and parish leaders working so hard to climb this learning curve while we seek to flatten the other one. It also made me give thanks for the story of our Church from her beginning. Rarely has she come close to her ideal, but rarely has she stopped trying. Never has she reached perfection, and yet never has she stopped yearning for the Lord. For every person who says it’s not worth it, somewhere in the world, there is someone like Tricia working double time to help people connect to the Lord some way, somehow. Whether with myself or my parish, am I balancing the vision of the ideal with the journey of my effort? Particularly in these novel days of this novel virus, is my goal to be successful or to be faithful? Let us all be the people who help grow the curve of people who encounter our Lord in these days. Stay well and let’s stay ahead of the curve.
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