By Beth Lema
“Faith lifts the soul, Hope supports it. Experience says it must and Love says…. let it be” Elizabeth Ann Seton
Indeed, we have been seekers of Hope during the trying times of last year and to the present as we face this Covid 19 and Delta Variant pandemic head on. So many emotions and feelings overwhelm us from our day-to-day struggles in life, and now we find ourselves still dealing with the fall out of the pandemic invading our everyday lives. Where is there hope for the future, you might ask? This question brings me to this quote from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. St. Elizabeth faced many challenges in her life. It was through her faith and prayer life that she found hope to get her through. Her conversion story to becoming a Catholic is so relevant to our story today. She preserved and listened to her hearts yearning to serve where God called her to be.
St. Elizabeth really speaks to me. Her words “For it was my faith that lifted my soul” resonated with me during this time last year. I remember watching Sunday mass from home, wondering if and when we would be able to return and receive the Eucharist ounce again. I was longing for the Eucharist to fill my soul with the presence of Gods love, bring me hope for the future. It was during that time that I focused on my faith more. My prayer life was evolving, and I was challenged to look within and face my fears about the pandemic that seemed to me to be overwhelming somedays. Listening to the news, was frightening and hearing the state totals of numbers of diagnosed and the ones whose souls were claimed by God was heart wrenching. Prayer was my main focus, my intimate release of these fears and emotions laid directly at the feet of God. My prayers became conversational and at times I felt one-sided. Yet I knew God heard me. Yes, indeed God heard me, and I began to sense God’s presence more and more with every passing day as I too, took my turn with this virus. It was during that time that I drew on faith more than ever. As I recovered my soul was ever filled with Gods love and presence in my life. My journey was not over but, had just begun. As St. Elizabeth declares, “Experience say it must and Love says…. let it be” This experience was life changing in so many ways and I imagine for all of you as well.
If you are struggling with fear and emotions from this trying time in our lives, seek hope in knowing that God hears your every word. Seek hope in knowing that God knows your fears, emotions and struggles; and seek hope in your prayer lives. For all of us opening our hearts together in prayer and community brings us hope in the messiness of our lives. May we go in peace, love and hope of our God. Amen