COVID-19, “Murder Hornets”, Economic Turmoil, Canceled Events and More. 2020 will definitely be a year we all remember. With all this negativity, it can become easy to be overwhelmed with fear. Life has changed significantly for every American, and as the country begins reopening little by little, fear and uncertainty regarding our new reality is ever-present.
As Catholic Christians we are graced with the knowledge that all suffering we endure on Earth is redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. This does not mean that pain and worry completely go away, but they become bearable when given a purpose. How can we remind ourselves of this purpose going forward? How can we navigate and process all the anxiety that has been brought about by the events of this unprecedented year?
Step 1: Remember What Is In Your Control
While we ultimately have very little control over the state of the world, we do have control over how we respond to what we are confronted with. External circumstances do not need to dictate how we respond internally to pressures, stressors and uncertainty. There are aspects of our external environment that we can control, however. Look to trusted sources such as the CDC and whitehouse.gov/openingamerica to plan your social interactions and cleaning procedures. Turn to the Church for spiritual support in this trying time. Do what is in your power to care for your spirit, mind, and body!
Step 2: Ground Yourself In Prayer
For many it is still impossible to gather in physical community on a large scale, however our individual prayer lives are not restricted. Use this time to live more fully as the domestic Church!
- Create a daily prayer schedule in your home!
- Gather in the same location for prayer every day to set the tone.
- Find new ways to pray!
- Through art
- Through music
Anything can be turned into a prayer! The more we pray, the greater union we have with God and thus more grace to combat the sufferings of this world.
Step 3: Ground Yourself In Community
- Virtual Mass – While many areas of the country are still unable to gather in physical community for Mass, most dioceses and many parishes have been live streaming Mass! Find a Mass online to watch on Sunday and pray in union with the Church!
- Virtual Bible Study – While CMF CURO members are gathering in community to study Divine Mercy throughout the month of May, not all are able to attend. If you are unable to make our study, you can get a group of friends together and do a video chat bible study. Not only will it help you maintain intimate connection with your friends and loved ones, but the Word will supply you with the energy you need to persevere!
- Virtual Parties – Video chat with friends, or participate in a parade to celebrate the birthdays and anniversaries that are happening amidst quarantine. Don’t let social distancing be a barrier from recognizing the many things to celebrate amidst COVID-19.
Step 4: Stress-Relieving Activities
- FORMED – Every CMF CURO member has a subscription to FORMED as a part of their membership! FORMED is a collection of faith-based movies and video series designed to help you grow in faith and enjoy clean entertainment. Have a movie night with your family utilizing this amazing platform!
- MyCatholicDoctor – While isolation is known to have detrimental effects on mental health, MyCatholicDoctor offers virtual counseling for those in need. If you are struggling don’t be afraid to reach out and seek the help you need—there is no shame in that!
- Hobbies – Schedule in time just for recreation! Whether it be playing a musical instrument or cracking open a board game, give your mind time to simply have fun!
Mariah Buzza is an employee of the Christ Medicus Foundation and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018 with a Bachelor of Art degree in Political Science. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Divine Mercy University and resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her family. Mariah Buzza has been a victim of the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church and uses her story to help others find healing through the teachings of the Church.