Editorial – Stay home for the good of all

Marnie McAllister

It’s March and there’s no basketball. There’ll be no Derby in May. And, in a part of Kentucky where nearly every corner seems to have a Catholic Church, there’s no Mass for most of us.

Is it even Kentucky anymore?

Of course, life goes on with or without its traditions. But the COVID-19 pandemic has upended every routine we depend upon — from school days to nights out.

Families accustomed to spending most of their waking hours away from home are suddenly thrust into an abundance of quality time.

If you know a home-schooling family, mine them for tips. We’re going to need them to adapt to our new way of life, for now.

Pope Francis, who is living under Italy’s quarantine, is praying for families. During a live broadcast of his daily morning Mass March 16, he prayed, “May the Lord help them discover new ways, new expressions of love, of living together in this new situation.”

He also thinks being stuck at home with our families is a good thing.

“It is a wonderful occasion for rediscovering true affection with creativity in the family,” he said. “Let us pray for families so that relationships in the family at this time always thrive for the good.”

Thank goodness for his prayers. We will need them on this Lenten journey.

We talk a lot as Catholics about promoting the common good. Well, this Lent is our moment to live it in the smallest and largest ways.

We have to stay home. Yes, we are deprived of the Eucharist, our friends, our extended family, as well as movie theaters, concerts and shopping.

The list of deprivations goes on. Essentially, we’re giving up freedoms.

That’s not usually very American, but sacrifice is very Catholic. And the sacrifices will be good for us.

From Italy’s overburdened health care system, we have learned how important it is to stay put to avoid spreading COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus of 2019.

Even if we eventually do contract the illness, if we can avoid a big spike in illnesses, we’ll all be better off.

During this time of self-quarantine, reach out — by phone or other technology — to people who are alone or have few resources.

Check in with social service agencies, too, and see how you can help from afar. The needs of the working poor are expected to rise.

While we discern how this new — temporary — way of life fits into our Lenten journey, join Pope Francis in prayer for those who have succumbed to the virus.

“Let us pray today for the dead, for those who, because of the virus, have lost their lives. In a particular way, let us pray for the health care workers who have died in these days, who gave their lives in the service of the sick,” he said at the beginning of his morning Mass March 18.

Marnie McAllister

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