God and the Context of Our Lives
By Amanda Hudson
Now that most parishes are gradually opening up Mass to varying numbers of parishioners while practicing social distancing and other safety measures, we may find ourselves attending with mixed feelings.
I’ve notice some people who have ignored one or more of the safety requirements/practices/requests, whatever you call them.
I saw one who sat too close to another person, when sitting one row up would have provided safe distancing.
Some have worn masks below their noses, and a couple left them off altogether after Communion. Some have expected to receive Communion on the tongue. The problem is that our moist breath is what can cause the virus to spread.
Yes, I have been paying too much attention to others at Mass. My plan is to sit up front from now on and try extra hard to focus just on the tabernacle and the awesome presence of Jesus. And stay far away from people in general. But their actions make me sad.
It really is for love of others that we maintain vigilance as things open up in our state and Church. Sure, one point of masks and distancing and such is to protect us, the wearers. 
But the second point of it all is even more important. Some research has concluded that one-third of people who get the coronavirus have no symptoms — but can spread it to others anyway. We comply with our Church’s directions in order to protect other people. Just in case.
We might not be worried about getting the virus because we feel healthy and are younger. But I’m reasonably sure that we’d feel bad if we passed it on to someone else who got sick, and would feel even worse if they died — especially if we shared the virus because of our own, deliberate carelessness.
But our willing carefulness shows our love of our neighbor.
Deliberately catering to our own comfort (and yes, masks are uncomfortable for everyone, not just you) disregards others’ wellbeing at Mass and elsewhere. 
It is also a spiritual thing. If we are not obedient to such simple rules and cautions, we can’t expect to be good at obedience when God Himself gives us important directions.
So this is my plea: obey the rules and do all that you can for love of your fellow Catholics at Mass, and for all your many neighbors in stores, restaurants and other places as they open.
God works through the events of our lives, and our fears and insecurities, past and present, are not an obstacle to Him.
Carmelite Father Marc Foley has a new book out called “The Context of Holiness,” where he shares examples of how God works throughout the circumstances of life. St. Therese is his subject. He considers the profound effects — for example, of her mother’s death when she was only 4 years old — of the disruptions and losses in her life, and shows how she grew in faithfulness through the pain that came her way.
It is a great mystery that all of life is included in God’s work to reach out to each one of us and bring us closer to Him. The large scale of this pandemic has changed countless lives, and yet God still can operate within those changes for one person at a time. We each are affected in different ways. And the other dramas of life have not been put on hold; they continue to have an impact on individuals, families, and communities.
It is no small thing to trust God, to accept confusion and sorrows, and to keep practicing our faith the best we can.
The saints across the ages did not have smooth and gentle paths to follow as they persevered in their journeys. Therese, Father Marc says, came “to understand that our childhood wounds are not obstacles to our spiritual growth but are in some mysterious manner the path on which we find our way back to God.” She did not apologize for her fears, he says, “rather her fears and insecurities are the context within which she places her trust in God.”
May we follow her example and give our struggles to Him.