On May 13, Steve Skojec issued a call for submissions detailing a “positive development” showing how “grace is at work in building up the Mystical Body of Christ” in the midst of (among other “demoralizing” events) the COVID epidemic. Here is how one man – namely me – has in the past year been taken in by such grace.
I’m blessed to live in a place (Hakodate, Japan) where the parish to which my wife and I belong keeps the church doors open 24 hours a day. (It’s one of the benefits of being in a country where, unlike many lands traditionally seen as “Christian countries,” church vandalism seems to be entirely nonexistent.)
I must admit, though, that for most of my life it has been difficult for me to pray without a book, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, or a set of Rosary beads in my hands. In particular, I’ve never been one to go to an empty Catholic church on anything even close to a regular basis and pray silently before the Blessed Sacrament. My mind races too much; my body is uncomfortable being in an extended state of physical inactivity that isn’t anchored to my concentration on some tangible task.