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Love in the Time of Covid 19 by Ron Rolheiser, OMI

Well what's besetting our world right now is the coronavirus, Covid 19. Nothing in my lifetime has ever affected the whole world as radically as this virus. Whole countries have shut down, virtually all schools and colleges have sent their students home and are offering classes online, we're discouraged from going out of our houses and from inviting others into them, and we've been asked not to touch each other and to practice "social distancing".

Ordinary, normal, time has stopped. We're in a season that no generation, perhaps since the flu of 1918, has had to undergo. Furthermore, we don't foresee an end soon to this situation. No one, neither our government leaders nor our doctors, have an exit strategy. No one knows when this will end or how. Hence, like the inhabitants on Noah's Arc, we're locked in and don't know when the flood waters will recede and let us return to our normal lives.

The coronavirus has put us all, in effect, on a conscripted sabbatical and it's subjecting those who have contracted it to their own type of chemotherapy. And the danger is that we will put our lives on hold as we go through this extraordinary time and will just endure rather than let ourselves be graced by what lies within this uninvited season.

Yes, there will be frustration and pain in living this through, but that's not incompatible with happiness. Paul Tournier, after he'd lost his wife, did some deep grieving but then integrated that grief into a new life in a way that allowed him to write: "I can truly say that I have a great grief and that I am a happy man." Words to ponder as we struggle with this coronavirus.