I went to visit my Grandpa last week and spent some time with him. However, because of the Coronavirus, I was limited in being able to see him while I was up there. At the same time, I wasn’t able to see two of my sets of Aunts and Uncles because they were either unavailable or wanting to keep their distance because of the virus. As I returned home, I come back to a limited number of things to do, at least in terms of seeing people. So a question that comes to my mind is how we can love God and love our neighbor during social distancing.
My first thought is to pray more often; we will have the time to read spiritual things, read the scriptures, and pray and be with God. We don’t have to fight traffic, go into our work-places for hours. We still may have a lot to do, but we still have some open time for prayer. How do we love God? By praying more.
Secondly, before this virus broke out, it may have been common for us to go and visit the sick, the poor, others who are broken. Maybe we would see family members, loved ones, and friends almost regularly. Now we have to distance ourselves from each other. It can be difficult, but I believe this is a response of love, especially if we have loved ones or family members who are in an at-risk population. I think of my visit to my grandfather in Ohio. I wish I could have seen him every day; I wish he could have come to the mass I celebrated in Ohio. While this would have been great, it would have been a risk not only to him but to all of the residents in his nursing home. As hard as it is to accept only seeing him once was best for him and was maybe the response of love.
If we are struggling during this time, or maybe we haven’t seen someone we regularly see. Take this opportunity to call them more often. You may have some elderly friends or family members who need to isolate. Give them a call and ask how they are doing. As difficult as it may be, staying at home and keeping each other safe from this virus may be the best way to love God and our neighbor. I hope God blesses everyone during this crisis, and it can pass quickly so we can return to normal.