The recent spread of COVID-19 has given all of us an excellent opportunity! I won’t pretend to be an expert under the circumstances. Like many others, I have also been confused about what to think and how exactly to handle this unique and unexpected situation. I do however think there is one thing we can all do to draw some good out of this event.
Find some quiet.
You never have time to go on retreats. You never get away from the office. You probably feel like you never have time to really pray in your life. When was the last time you did a real holy hour? Consider how often you aspire to give God more of your time, but somehow you are never quite able to manage it.
What’s your excuse now?
It used to be very common practice among Christians to spend long hours in silent prayer, go on pilgrimages, or spend a day fasting even when it wasn’t required. Not only is this sort of retreat into silence a valuable practice during any time, but in the modern age it is actually more important than ever because there is so much noise in our world. Cars, radio, television, social media, cities, subways, iPhone, text messages, podcasts, advertisements, sports, movies, memes, and a ridiculous amount of overwhelming technology means very few of us ever get even just a couple minutes to silently and privately reflect with God.
Why not take this time, during lent, to actually dive deeper into prayer and do some things you’ve never been able to do. God is giving you a unique opportunity to reflect on your life and the way you are following him. It is time to re-examine, plot the course, and get back to basics. It is time to step back for a minute and make sure you are still on the right track. In other words, it is time to repent.
Take just one hour to do this, in total silence, all alone, and see what you come up with. Go shut yourself in your room right now (seriously, right now), and pray for an hour. You might be surprised at what you find.
When you look at COVID-19 in this way, the situation looks a little bit brighter. It’s like a rest in the fight, a breather during the race. Take advantage of it! All you have to do is pray. Pray for yourself. Pray for your family. Pray for those who are sick, suffering, and out of work. No more excuses. Go do it. You won’t regret it. It will make you holy.