Thank you for the many greetings, cards, gifts that came for my birthday. It was a full day of calls, emails, prayer and thanksgiving and I was sorry when it came to an end.
Many of the days of “lock-down” have been similar in terms of busyness and I plead with God to help me be there for everyone. So many requests for prayer, some private and not to be brought to the mass except in “Our Loved Ones”, and others that speak of the sadness you are suffering in worries, bereavments, not being able to visit or be visited.
And all the time there is the strain on our politicians, medical and caring staffs, business leaders and those who serve us in many ways, our education people, the trades unions – all wanting to give and follow the best advice, and we waiting critically (even impatiently) and fearfully.
Unemployment I knew in our family and I suffer with those for whom their present employment is over. Starting again, but where and how, mortgages and various payments to be faced or failed. “Gissa job” was a catch phrase in a TV series set in England’s north-west some years ago, and the ache behind such plea and sense of failure still haunts me.
The emotional pain of sickness, not being able to visit the sick, not being able to attend funerals, not being able to save lives . . . Every patient and resident in our hospitals and care homes is spoken with by their first names. For that stay they become part of a family or community and belong. To lose them is awful, to watch them recover to go home or stay at home is wonderful.
The applause along our streets on Thursday evenings, the ringing of our church bell, is “Thank you” to everyone who wants to help. We thank God for them.
Over the page you will read details of community activity which reaches out to those who are hungry, finding it hard to manage, lonely and especially with dementia. Please feel invited to become involved, either by helping or bringing to the attention of these good organisations those who need help.
May God bless us with a richer sense of community – making our society and the world a better place.
(24th May 2020)