Back in the Chapel

(Eucharistic adoration in St. Paul’s sanctuary. (Sauk Centre, Minnesota; May 20, 2020))

First, the bad news.

We’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the good news. A small part of it. That’s important mostly to folks like me, who have made Eucharistic adoration part of our routines.

St. Faustina’s Chapel of Divine Mercy is open again, as of last Sunday: June 14, 2020.

The chapel was closed March 18, 2020, the day after our bishop said that public Masses in the diocese were on hold until April 13.

Bishop Kettler pushed the April 13th date back, as situations in Minnesota changed. But public Masses are happening again. With limited attendance, and other new rules.

I could be upset about our bishop trying to keep our mortality rate down. Or angry that he temporarily lifted the Sunday Mass obligation. Or both.

Maybe I would, if I thought trusting God means ignoring what we’ve learned about health and disease. I don’t, so I won’t. (October 8, 2017)

I’ve talked about dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, worship and promoting the common good before. (April 4, 2020; March 21, 2020)

The local parishes set up Eucharistic adoration via streaming video, several hours a week. It wasn’t just like the real thing, but I’m glad we could do it. ( April 4, 2020)

‘Live and in person’ Eucharistic adoration resumed on May 20, 2020, in St. Paul’s sanctuary. (May 18, 2020)

The Masked Minnesotan Rides Again

Health authorities say that wearing a face mask in public and keeping six feet away from my neighbors are good ideas.

Seeing that as a threat to my freedom is an option. Not, I think, a reasonable one. But an option nonetheless.

So I’ve been limiting my errands to what’s necessary, wearing a face mask when I do, and extending my personal space to the recommended six foot radius.

A face mask won’t keep me from getting infected.

The idea is to lower the odds that I’ll infect someone else.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But I haven’t been tested, and probably won’t be. So I can’t be sure I’m ‘clean.’ Since this is an occasionally-fatal disease, wearing a face mask seems reasonable. Besides, it’s easy to do.

Easy, but not entirely comfortable. My face mask preheats the air around my nose and mouth. Minnesota summers can be hot. I’d probably enjoy the mask more in winter. And that’s another topic.

And now, back to good news.

Scientists are learning more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The question isn’t so much whether we’ll get a useful vaccine, as when we’ll get it.

Emergency regulations, recommendations and suggestions are still changing.

That’s good news on two points. First, is strongly suggests that folks in decision-making positions are paying attention. And the trend has been to reduce restrictions.

That last may or may not be good news, since 20-20 hindsight may say that easing some restrictions was a bad idea. I’m a bit concerned about what’s happening in a few other states, and that’s yet another topic.

Jesus and Options

I think of Eucharistic adoration as hanging out with our Lord. I’ve yet to see someone else describe it that way.

Which isn’t surprising, and that’s yet again another topic. (December 17, 2017: July 2, 2017; March 19, 2017)

Genuflecting, my culture’s full-body gesture involving getting down on one knee, is an old sign of respect in my culture.

It’s also a recommended act when entering an adoration chapel,1 and not an option for me. Getting down on one knee is possible. Getting back up, maybe not so much.

That’s why I settle for making the sign of the cross and bowing. And not turning my back on the Host, unless doing so lowers the odds that I’ll fall over.

Some folks who visit the chapel when I do spend their time praying. Silently.

At least it looks like they’re praying. Others may be praying, but without the usual outward appearance.

Some read. I’m in that group.

Lately, I’ve been dipping into “Joy of the Gospel,” “Evangelii Gaudium:”

I pray, too. And I just sit back and think about our Lord, why following Jesus matters, and how it should make a difference in what I do. Or whatever else comes to mind, provided that it relates to Jesus and the Holy Trinity.

Since I’m living inside God’s creation, and am a created being, that covers pretty much everything. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 279314, 355378)

The ‘thinking about our Lord’ part of my time is arguably in the neighborhood of meditative and contemplative prayer. (Catechism, 27052719)

Fretting over whether it’s in either, and if so which one, is an option. But I don’t see that as a good use of my time. (April 6, 2019; February 18, 2018; October 8, 2017)

Then there’s the matter of why I spend time with what looks like a bit of flatbread.

And that’s a topic for another day.

Somewhat-related posts:

1 Eucharistic adoration:

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About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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