Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We’re all pretty familiar with the phrase, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” This statement is a way of conveying the patterns of behavior in people and the joys and struggles of daily living are usually pretty consistent despite certain circumstances changing over time. It’s a handy phrase and one that I use fairly often. However, the converse of that phrase “The more things stay the same, the more they change,” also has a ring of truth to it.
The pandemic has done many things to the daily lives of so many, but one of the consistent feelings that has come out of it has been a certain loss of time. Remembering what day of the week it is, the experiencing months just flying by, even having difficulty at this point recalling how life was like before the pandemic hit are all signs that our concept of time has changed as we’ve dealt with the coronavirus. This has occurred in large part due to the fact that so many things fell into a new routine and many other things that used to differentiate the passing of time were not possible to mark or celebrate. Things like holidays and family gatherings, or even going out to the store or restaurants were no longer viable options especially early on in the midst of lockdowns. Day after day for a large portion of the population became pretty much the same.
And yet, this sense of sameness brought within it tremendous change. Even when we now consider the year long experience of the pandemic and all that has occurred, while it may have felt like the passing of time was more or less non-linear, at times slow as molasses and at other times as fast as the speed of light, if we take stock of our personal lives, we can see just how much not only have circumstances around us have changed, but we ourselves changing as well.
Even in the parish, which I’m so grateful for it being a source of stability in such uncertain times has undergone remarkable changes. Who’d have thought we would be livestreaming Mass so much and so effectively? Who could have imagined that we would not hold the Carnival prior to the pandemic’s arrival? Changes, some simple, some rather radical, abound in the parish setting.
As we continue to move forward and we seek a return to normalcy in parish life and in daily living, more changes are bound to arise. But just as we’ve managed to embrace some of them and endure others, so will we continue to do in the near future. As our faith remains our bedrock, a source of sameness and familiarity in these uncharted times, I’m positive that whatever changes may come, we’ll meet them as best we can in the days ahead.
Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan