The natural instinct of so many of us is to help someone in any way possible. That, of course, is one of the many things Xavier High School tries to instill in its students.
Social distancing means that, for now, helping one another rests primarily in the digital space as we deal with the coronavirus. It is a time to keep spirits up, and to keep spirituality in our lives.
That is borne out both here at Xavier and in the Catholic Church.
"Pope Francis has prayed for the children who cannot go to school, the parents who cannot go to work, the sick who are quarantined and those who are isolated from their neighbors and friends," Brother Philip Revell, C.F.X., said. "Let us join him in prayer for one another asking the Lord to show us how to love and serve in this time of crisis."
So the past few days Brother Philip has sent along various ways to stay engaged in your faith. Churches may not be having a Mass in which people can attend, but there are options. Brother Philip sent along two:
"At this time when our churches are closed there is the possibility of praying the Mass via social media. This link is to Bishop Robert Baron's You Tube channel," he said. Go here: https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/
He also sent along an alternative with music. Go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1khUWoMIFw
When students are in school, each Friday during Lent at about 2:45 the Stations Of The Cross are held in the chapel. Brother Philip sent along this link, saying, "the recorded version has been filmed as a group of pilgrims follow the ancient Way of Sorrows, the Via Dolorosa, in Jerusalem." Go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uofRteUvhQ
On Thursday, the Feast of St. Joseph, the Pope asked Catholics to pray the rosary. Director of Campus Ministry Peter Lyons sent that along, saying, "This may be a wonderful step into, or back into, the beautiful tradition of family prayer, which has served to unite so many families over the years, especially in times of difficulty and hardship."
There are other online resources. The Norwich Diocese (http://norwichdiocese.org) has a lot on its website, including this prayer:
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
And in the tradition of Xavier High School we close with:
"St. Francis Xavier Pray For Us."