Prayer During Isolation

A prayer by an American Franciscan Friar
confronting our situation.
Yes, there is isolation.
Yes, there is panic buying.
Yes, there is sickness.
Yes, there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan, after so
many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with
But blue and gray and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family
around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of
is offering free meals and delivery
to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her
throughout the neighborhood
So that the elders may have
someone to call on.
Today people are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick,
the weary.
All over the world, people are
slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking
at their neighbors in a new way.
All over the world, people are waking
up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So, we pray, and we remember that
Yes, there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation.
But there does not have to be
Yes, there is panic buying.
But there dos not have to be
Yes, there is sickness.
But there does not have to be
disease of the soul.
Yes, there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of
Wake to the choices you make as to
how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen behind the factory noises of
your panic.
The birds are singing again.
The sky is clearing.
Spring is coming.
And we are always encompassed by
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
March 13, 2020