Holy Stories in Holy Week during a Pandemic, continued

Every person’s life is a story.  A sacred story.  Worth telling, worth listening to, the joy of it and the struggles of it; the successes and the failures; the expansions and the limits; the beauty and the painful.  The Liberation times and the Good Friday times and the Resurrection times apply to us all.

Virtual Seder. From “How to Host a Passover Seder on Zoom” by Rachel Kraus on Mashable. Photo by Bob Al-Greene.

We do what we can do; and feel what we feel of deep grief and loss.  And the Holy Stories of this week remind us that the history of our ancestors and of humanity as a whole has rarely been remembered as one of triumph or as a paradise of shopping but rather as a tragic story where indifference and loss often dominate and hope is rare to come by.  All the more reason in this time of staying apart and indoors for the greater good, the common good, to hear anew the stories of survival and liberation of our ancestors as if for the first time.

Listen to Kate Woods who is writing her experience as she navigates each day not knowing her fate with the coronavirus inside her lungs.  She writes:

“This is a pivotal moment. It’s not a world war, where we would still have ‘sides’, it is a whole world experience.

Finding strength together. Photographer unknown.

My prayer/hope, on my personal day 5, is that we might come through  this with a new respect for the planet and for one another as a global  family, bringing about a new balance. That we might begin to work WITH nature and find, collectively, as a people, ways to harness this bounty without the ‘rape and pillage’ approach. To give as much as we take, globally, country to country and person to person. To prioritize real time with our loved ones, to turn inwards towards our elderly, our children, our communities. To slow the fuck down.

Comfort. Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

The speed of our lives, the demand we had put on the planet, ourselves, one another. It wasn’t sustainable was it? And it’s time to grieve it. To acknowledge the landslide. Our collective and individual mistakes. Where we went so utterly and completely wrong.

Perhaps  before the reinventing of your small business, collating materials to relaunch, perhaps even before you rush into rescuing, slow down. Stop.  Be bewildered. Feel the fear, the grief. Be empty.

Am I going to  survive this? Are you? We don’t know yet. That uncertainty makes us  transparent to one another. We are all emotionally naked now and are embarking upon the most unprecedented voyage of several generations, together. One people, trying to simply breathe.

Surely it is a time for not taking breath for granted.  Nor lungs that work.  Nor air that is clean.  Nor people caring for one another and competent people trained rightly to assist the sick and dying.

See Matthew Fox,  Original Blessing, pp. 33-56.

Banner Image: “Grief” Photo by Romain Donato on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Kate Woods speaks of the current pandemic as a world war where no one is on one side or the other—a “whole world experience.”  Might this change our attitude to wars?  And preparing—and spending—for wars?   Be with that possibility this season of Passover and Holy Week.

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5 thoughts on “Holy Stories in Holy Week during a Pandemic, continued”

  1. Avatar

    You more than anyone else has helped me grope my way through this pandemic. I realize now more than ever that I am part of a larger whole—interconnected with human and non-human creation. Greed and its offspring consumerism have driven us to the point where our Mother is striking back to chasten us and to get our attention.
    Blessings of health and wellness as we travel this road together
    Patrick Mahon

  2. Avatar

    These morning meditations continue to provide comfort, hope and context for the confusion and grief I feel.
    Thank you, Matthew. I so need your voice these days.

  3. Avatar

    Times of disaster make you / me aware of the reality as it is. It is always fragile; everybody is always in danger. Just, in ordinary times we can be fast asleep, so you/ me/ we, don’t see it: we go on dreaming, imagining beautiful things for the coming days, for the future. But in moments when danger is imminent, then suddenly we become aware that there may be no future, no tomorrow, that this is the only moment we have got.
    “So times of disaster can be very revealing. They don’t bring anything new into the world; they simply make you aware of the world as it is – they wake us up.
    But in this critical state it can become also a great blessing in disguise.

    (I pray for those who have lost love ones)

    It may make us more aware, more responsible. It may provoke us to do something so that humanity takes a surge towards the higher plane of “consciousness.”
    If one percent of human beings are changed towards, turned on to meditation, we may be able to change the whole worlds consciousness… just one percent. And a totally new consciousness can come into being. The world needs it now — it never been in so much need. It is really passing through a tremendous crisis. It has never been so in our life time

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Billy,
      Thank you for these reflections. I does seem that this crisis is not just one of public health, or personal loss, but also about planetary survival. The crisis has come to all people around the world. We are in it together. Our scientists are cooperating. Our manufacturers are cooperating. And people are cooperating, with deep compassion for those who are suffering or caring for those who suffer no matter where they live. What if Earth has had enough of our greedy ways and our conflictual behaviors, and has decided to send us a common problem to wake us up? If it only takes 1%, there may be hope yet for homo sapiens.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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