Well, today we didn’t have to make a hard decision about Mass, since Cardinal Sean had suspended all Masses. But we did have to make a decision about the previously scheduled cub scout hike.
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To tell the truth, I slept in. Honestly, I stayed up too late reading articles and chatting with friends and then reading my novel later into the night. I’m a night owl and this is my processing time.
We live streamed Mass from Catholic TV. We all gathered in the office where we have our one big tv. I made the kids dress– no Mass in pajamas– but they didn’t have to wear their church clothes. And yeah we were all barefoot. The kids lined up on the couch and Dom and I sat in chairs. We sat, stood, kneeled, said the responses, prayed along, and made a spiritual communion.
Then we had our usual Sunday morning pancakes while Dom and I did the crossword. Trying to keep as much of a sense of normalcy as we can.
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We did decide to go on with the hike. It’s a small den and we figured being outside on the trails would be a low-contact activity. We met with three other kids from the Bear den and four other parents, so with our five kids that was eight children and then a total of six adults.
It was a beautiful sunny day in the low 50s. We hiked a good 3 miles, didn’t circumnavigate the pond, but we made it to the boardwalk into the bog. Everyone agreed that it was a much-needed outing and we all hop we can do another hike again soon. Quarantine doesn’t have to mean staying indoors. A lot of other people had the same idea and the trails were busy, though not crowded.
We got home around four, having stopped for more milk and eggs on the way home– we had to go to three stores to find milk, but on Sundays the convenience stores and pharmacies are often out of milk. Neither of us felt like cooking, so we ordered pizza and had an early dinner.
The kids are a little worried. We are trying to be cautious about what we say, but at the same time not trying to hide things. Reassuring and calm, factual and hopeful. And trying to remember to encourage them to pray, to pray with them, and to turn our hearts and our hopes to God.
It feels weird to have gone on a hike but not to Mass, but we did our best with the hand we were dealt and I think we made the right call. We fulfilled our Sunday obligation to the very best of our ability and then gave ourselves a release from stress by enjoying his beautiful creation with friends.
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The woman at the well thirsted for the Water of Life that only Jesus could give her. May this time of trial and separation renew our thirst and draw us closer to the one who can satisfy it. May it be a time of renewal and rebirth of faith, hope, and love. May it be a time of repentance and conversion. May love grow and abound, love of God and of our neighbor. This is my prayer tonight.
God bless you all, my virtual friends, and keep you safe in this time of trial. I pray that your faith will be strengthened and that you and your families will be safe in this historic time.