No church open here, the wind blowing, sitting with readings and solitude that feels more like a deprived loneliness. The world fading to secular.
Yet this has been a Lent of such giftedness and quite literal showering of abundance, work, connections, gifts, friendships, insights, intimacy with some withheld yearning aspect of the Beloved. A season of surprises. But no fellowship or sacramental togetherness except in solitary prayer. What does it mean to stay in the Church without a church gathering present?
“Redemption is meaningless unless there is cause for it in the actual life we live, and for the last few centuries there has been operating in our culture the secular belief that there is no such cause.” [Flannery O’Connor, 1957]
Some years are like this. The churches shut up and closed, few able to drive long distances to Mass elsewhere. I don’t drive because of eyesight disabilities so that is that.
Going back to Flannery O’Connor that great unsentimental mystic, in a hard time:
The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally. A higher paradox confounds emotion as well as reason and there are long periods in the lives of all of us, and of the saints, when the truth as revealed by faith is hideous, emotionally disturbing, downright repulsive. Witness the dark night of the soul in individual saints. Right now the whole world seems to be going through a dark night of the soul.