God Hasn’t Left Us Alone in the Messiness
By Amanda Hudson
Between the pandemic, the west coast fires, the south and east coasts’ hurricanes and the deliberate destruction by people who have taken advantage of what could be peaceful protests, we are surrounded by disasters. Some of those have hit home for us and others have affected our families and friends.
Also depressing, the election is showing us how people’s approaches to, and views of, life and our country are not at all alike. Values that were basically Christian and mostly shared throughout the country are apparently not held in common anymore.
But Christ is still here with us all. Although so many people do not listen to God, He has not completely “left us in (our) stubbornness of heart to follow (our) own designs,” to slightly paraphrase Psalm 81:13. As awful as these disasters are, God can and is using them to help the people of our country move closer to being on a better track.
If we think back to pre-COVID times, we recall being distracted by entertainments of many kinds. People were said to be afraid of silence. 
With so much of those entertaining events and options upended, a lot of us have had to get used to quiet days and evenings. That can be a blessing if we use it well — especially if we come closer to God through good, spiritual reading, EWTN offerings or other Catholic Christian speakers on YouTube or other resources. There are a lot of good options if we do a bit of looking.
A few weeks ago I could almost hear my always-helpful friend from Marmion Abbey chuckle when he responded to my email asking how he and the other guys were doing. “The monks have this shelter in place thing down,” he said. “It’s what we’re supposed to be doing all the time.”
It might help us to remember that it is not abnormal to be alone or mostly so. People throughout the ages have embraced a certain amount of isolated living. Some of that was for a chosen career such as homesteading or exploring. People in all ages have found themselves away from the busyness of society for short or long periods because of illness or age.
Still others have chosen over the centuries to step out of the hubbub in order to focus on their relationship with God, often within a small community of like-minded believers.
Those of us who are struggling with a lack of social interaction, with loneliness and feelings of isolation might gain some strength from reading the lives and writings of the saints. There is this wonderful teaching of our Church about the “communion of saints.” When we can’t see our friends and families like we would wish, still we are not alone. Between the saints and our guardian angels and God Himself, always we can connect with many who love us. Having a nice chat with an angel or saint about our difficulties and concerns and pondering their suggestions on how we can become closer to God is a good option for an otherwise-lonely afternoon.
Another pre-COVID problelm for many of us was to give too much importance to material goods. Needless to say, embracing shopping as a hobby, being obsessed with the latest fashions, and buying things we don’t need have been impacted by the virus. The vandalism, fires and floods as well as the pandemic have shaken up our pre-coronavirus view of things, including the fragility of dream homes and cars. 
We will only gain if we turn to God more and more instead of rejoicing in our possessions. We can keep reminding ourselves that He is and will be with us through all of our losses. 
God also is working through all the generous and kind people who have come forth to assist those who are hurting. They are being gifted with a certain process of growth in holiness, and hopefully they all will experience God’s presence more and more in their lives.
So, let us find our hope in God. He continues to be interested in us. Let us pray that He will remain with us and guide our country through all that comes along.