Today my email box offered up a New York Times article with the title “The Covid Malaise.” 65% of Americans describe the national economy as functioning poorly due to supply-chain problems, labor shortages, and rising prices, the article stated. And, “a surgeon general report found that depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior and attempted suicides had all risen among children and adolescents” during the COVID pandemic. And yesterday I received notification that after a small event I attended five days ago, someone who was present tested positive for COVID. I’m grateful that we were all masked and careful to distance, and so far, there’s no indication that anyone else was infected due to being there. But still, it causes anxiety…
And so today I offer, for all of us, this poem-prayer to unite us in serenity:
O God of Compassionate Presence,
Teach us to find peace in our daily lives not by escaping them, but by living them, aware of your grace and attentive to the present company of others.
When we are bored and when we are agitated, open our eyes to behold all that is sacred.
Open our ears to the message
that serenity is possible
because your infinite love is always present within our very finite, ordinary, and uncertain reality.
Show us how to relax our grip
on our individual and communal anxiety,
and let us kindly encourage one another to soften, so that we may be united in a serenity that transcends our understanding.
Tracy Rittmueller, OblSB