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Rejoice Always

Posted on: January 8, 2021 1:00 pm
Tags: Jpic, Associates,

Jane Bratton is an Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

The National JPIC Office invited SND Associates to reflect on this opening quote from Gaudium et Spes: "The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ” (1). 

This is Covington Associate Jane Bratton's reflection (featured in the January 2021 JPIC Newsletter):

Advent 2020, of course, came during the middle of a deadly pandemic raging across the world, causing many of us to remain sheltered in place in our respective homes, isolated.

I'm sure I'm not the only one grieving the loss of the human connection, which, personally, is something I didn't realize I'd taken for granted until now. Every once in awhile, this feeling of loss overwhelms me, and through my weeping, I cry out to our Good God, begging for His mercy, His intervention, praying with tears and sorrow. I just want things to go back to the way they were. And then He's with me.

He comes to me through a feeling, or a thought, a text, or a song, or some other seemingly tiny gesture, and His love fills me.

I realize that pre-pandemic, I wasn't always seeking God in my life, but through this loss and mourning and isolation, I've relied on prayer, meditation and discernment more than anytime in my life.

On Sundays, I'm attending Mass virtually at the Covington SND chapel with my sister who lives 100 miles away from me, and we pray together every Monday and Tuesday morning. I'm virtually sharing with associates and sisters through monthly faith discussions, and I'm praying the monthly Family Rosary with our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality in New York.

None of us knows when COVID-19 will abate, or if things will ever go back to normal, but personally, I've learned joy can be present during times of difficulty and grief. And like the words found in the second reading (1 Thes. 5:16-24) on Gaudete Sunday 2020, I hope to, "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."

Luann Bender, SND
Date: 1 week ago

Thank you so much, Jean, for sharing your beautiful thoughts.

Sr. Rit
Date: 1 week ago

Thanks, Jane for so beautifully succinctly capturing our common experience. There is a silver lining: God.

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