Canh, Covid and Hope

I have slowly got used to Lockdown now. I found the first Lockdown more difficult especially as I have had to stop working as a volunteer in a Centre for the Homeless where I started to make friends and at the reception in a Home for the elderly.

Canh's chapel cornerCanh's chapel cornerI decided to use this God-given time to arrange the flat that I had just moved into. I wanted to make it peaceful and conducive for prayer. I made a beautiful prayer corner which is like the focal point of my flat.

I had begun to get to know some of the other residents before Lockdown and we would all have fish and chips together once a month and every 6 weeks there was a Tenants meeting to share concerns and news. Now although I am surrounded by people in 25 flats I have only been able to get to know a few of them. I phone those who gave me their number, especially if I hear they are ill. Above all I carry everyone in my prayer. I feel as if I am living as a hermit.
I have a friend , who lives just down the road. She lost her faith and found it again. She is very much at peace. Now she has cancer and has radiation therapy. Her immunity is very low. But she carries on and is ready for whenever God will call her. She is so free. Her faith helps me a lot.

In 2016 I had the opportunity to follow a theology course on the History of Salvation. During these past weeks I have reread my notes and I have asked God to enlighten my faith through discovering more deeply these mysteries.

One story stands out in my mind: It is the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. He had a dream: there would be 7 years of abundant harvests in Egypt and 7 years of distress and famine. Today we are in distress. But God has his plan, we are his creatures , God is the creator. God created. He separated the sea from the land.

hazle nutshazle nutsIn her Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich writes about God showing her how much he loves what he has created:
“He showed me a tiny thing in the palm of my hand, the size of a hazelnut. I looked at this with the eye of my soul and thought: ‘What is this?’ And the answer came to me: ‘It is all that is made’. I was astonished that it had managed to survive: it was so small that I thought it might disintegrate. And in my mind I heard this answer: ‘It lives on and will live on forever because God loves it.’”
These words give me a lot of confidence, a lot of trust. I have no need to be anxious. God created everything and he will look after it. This is a time for us to slow down, to think, reflect and pray. I deepen my life of prayer, especially the prayer of Adoration because the one I adore is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ became as we are. He became one of us. He is very close to us.

I remember when Little Sister Magdeleine, the foundress of the Little sisters, was alive someone asked her: “What do you mean when you say, ‘be little’?” The answer is found in how she lived. “There is such a big difference between God and Us”. Our littleness stems from this fact.

One of the first songs composed by the little sisters says: ‘We are little, we are little, we are little before you, O God. ‘ I didn’t understand this very well at the time but now the situation today has helped me understand better. It is the attitude of a little child who knows he/she will always be looked after by their mother and father.

I remember seeing a photograph taken in the Grotto chapel in Tre Fontane, Rome, of Jesus in the manger. There wasn’t much light, but what light there was, was focused on the Baby Jesus. This very small child was surrounded by darkness, as we are today but He is the Light which gives us Hope.