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A growing sadness and frustration

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A growing sadness and frustration

“We must not let hope abandon us, because God, with his love,
walks with us. “I hope, because God is beside me”: we can all say this. Each one of us can say: “I hope,
I have hope, because God walks with me.” He walks and he holds my hand. God does not leave us to ourselves.
The Lord Jesus has conquered evil and has opened the path of life for us.”—Pope Francis

I am starting to feel some sadness, as well as frustration over the present crisis.  I am sure that I am not alone in this.  It is very strange having the church totally empty of our friends, as well as retreatants, and just day guest.  To experience the area, our grounds, and the church, as well as the lack of hearing cars on the highway, is both beautiful, as well as sad.

This Sunday, as we were having Lauds (it starts at 6:50 on Sundays, followed by Mass at 7:30), we heard a loud pounding on the front door of the church.  It was a loud ‘knock’ and sounded angry, at least in my mind.  Then about five minutes later it happened again.  So I went to the back to see what was going on, and find out who was pounding on our door.  Two other monks came with me.  Two of us went out the side door to check, one monk stayed by the door just in case it needed to be closed fast. 

So as we walked around to the front, we saw a person who is known to the Monastery.  The type of person who loves God, but seems to have his feet in both the everyday world of the majority, and then one foot over the line that leads to bizarre behavior.  This Individual wanted badly to enter our church, and we had to say that it was impossible at this time, for we are in lock down.  It came to the point that we had to threaten to call the police, which made me sad, very sad.  So this ‘friend’ of the Monastery left.

We came back in, and as we finished Lauds, my feeling of sadness for the plight of this beloved human being became stronger, and stronger.   We had to do what we had to do in order to protect the community.  We are an older community, I being the median age of 71.  So it was one of those human situations which is impossible to unravel.  Still seeing this person walking away, by himself, will haunt me for a long time.

I am going to call if I can find the cell phone number.  Not sure what I can say, it is just so sad.  I do not feel guilt, there was nothing else to do, but the limitations of what can be done in so many painful situations can be very troublesome for me. 

The abbot keeps reminding us not to become complacent, but we have to continue to try to keep each other safe, and do the best can for others. 

I have the greatest admiration for those who continue to work in the front lines.  First responders, doctors, nurses, C N A’s, those who work in our grocery stores, and so many others. 

I do not live in fear, nor does the community, as I am sure this is true for many.  Yet we have to be realistic, we could still get sick, and yes, die.

Hope is central to my life, as well as my faith in God, we will get through this with God’s grace and help, all of us. 

So let us continue not to forget others in this time of crises, and understand that there are some situations that we can’t unknot, but have to endure.—Br.MD


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Markdohle, I also have a great admiration for those who work on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.

It can be hard when you want to help someone but you can't always do so.  However, I am glad that you and the others at the church didn't have to actually call the cops.

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