Choosing Our Approach to Today
By Amanda Hudson
The coronavirus is disruptive for several reasons. It has kicked some numbers of people hard physically. Most all of us have great sympathy for those who died, lost loved ones, or who have a long and miserable recovery to make.
The rest of us in this country and much of the world are being impacted by the restrictions made to try to beat the virus back. The positive effects of those restrictions are not especially clear yet, and we are not sure which ones are truly necessary. Probably the same restrictions have been very helpful in some locations and less needed in others. But we can’t know for sure. 
The costs of all that uncertainty include our state-of-mind regarding our faith. We have some control in this area, and we all have important choices to make.
We can choose to indulge our negative and critical feelings, giving in to such thoughts as “Well, when we are in crisis, our Church responds by locking its doors and abandoning us.” Or perhaps we might expericnce pessimistic thoughts and wonder if our sometimes-Herculean efforts to get to Mass daily or weekly were worthwhile since Masses can be so quickly and completely cancelled during the holiest seasons of the year.
Feelings are feelings and should be acknowledged, whether they are those of abandonment and anger, or of peace and gratitude. Feelings happen. Fickle as they are, they do matter in large part because Satan and his minions are quick to pounce on our frustration, anguish and downheartedness. If we allow it, they will maximize the bad impact of our negative feelings. 
We have to resist the devils as they push our angry, inner ‘buttons.’ We have to join the saints of all ages and wrestle with ourselves when we find we are going down such a path. Depending on our upbringing and life experiences, it can be a heck of a battle. And right now we don’t have the help of receiving our Lord in physical form.
For a long time, I have suspected that the Eucharist has been keeping me alive in mysterious and undocumentable ways, but not because of what I felt. I’ve heard of others who experience lovely things when receiving communion, but that has not been my experience.
It’s all okay because our Carmelite (and other) saints teach us not to depend on such happy consolations. There’s a time for them, and God alone knows when that time is for each individual. His goal is to grow our faith or sometimes to test our faith when practicing it is not fun or fulfilling or even attractive.
The power of what we know is the Source and Summit of our faith is active when we can see and touch and consume the Eucharist and when He is behind locked tabernacles and doors. 
Although spiritual communion is not the same as the reception of communion, it too has the power of God behind it. In our current situation, the Eucharist still can strengthen us from a distance, frustrating as it is for us to feel that separation. We see in the Bible that after Jesus rose from the dead, locked doors did not keep Him from His disciples. Distance and doors certainly don’t hamper His movements now.
So let us take heart and accept our Lord however He comes to us. Perhaps our years of regular reception of the Eucharist have brought our faith to the point where God wants us to go forward without consolations or assurances. Just with faith — with belief in Him whom we cannot touch.
One last thought. Our priests are required to celebrate Mass without us. As difficult as our wrestling matches with evil are, our priests receive the worst of Satan’s attacks. 
We might surmise that in their sufferings that come from feeling the loss of direct contact with their flock, they are buffering us from worse temptations – and perhaps that sense of protection can help us do our part to fight the negativity in ourselves and others.
We will have the opportunity to choose our Church, our faith, our belief in the Eucharist all over again in the coming weeks. 
Hopefully we will do so with even more conviction!