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Father Muench Says...

Seeing the positives in the pandemic

May 13, 2020

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I thought that it would be a good time to write something positive. I want you to know that I do listen to the news, but it can be rather negative as we go through these days of the pandemic. Where to start? I mentioned last week Pope Francis’ daily Mass. Often, I take the time to join in that Mass and pray together with the Holy Father. I find that being a part in his Mass, I find a strong peace and an inspiration to put life into my own life. His homilies are great.

Just the other day, I was roaming through those videos on YouTube. I guess the Holy Father must have been on my mind. Anyway, I ran into a video of the evening on which Pope Francis was elected. I have watched it several times. It was truly an important day for me. The first thing I noticed was the confusion of the commentators on television when the cardinal in charge announced to the world the name of the newly elected pope. The commentators were obviously surprised that Cardinal Bergoglio was elected Pope. You could hear them shuffling papers, trying to find some information on this Argentinian cardinal who was now the new pope. Then the new pope came out on the balcony and his first words were, “Buona sera” – “Good Evening.” Such a gentle and comfortable beginning to a new papacy. The new pope then asked people there at St. Peter’s and everywhere in the world to pray in silence for him as he begins his new time a pope. The best way to begin something new is always a time of silent prayer, just as Pope Francis decided to begin.

On YouTube I have found all sorts of music. Music has been an important part of my stay-at-home quiet time. I find it interesting when these bands and music groups join together on zoom and perform together. It proves to be rather special. Our family has used a few of these Zoom sessions as opportunities to remember what each of us looks like. It has also been a bit of a concert for my great niece, Anna, a music student at Berklee in Boston. She plays the double bass, and I must say she is truly great. It is a great opportunity for getting the family together.

In addition, I have had lots of time – plenty of time – to get over to church, praying in gratitude to this God who has protected me. I have had the time to remember so many who were important to me, so many who are now with the Lord. This stay at home time has allowed me to remember in prayer and gratitude so many who have cared and helped me in so many wonderful ways. As I pray, I realize those wonderful people who have filled my life with their gifts. For them all, I am so intensely grateful. So, thank you, God, for filling my life with so many. They were leaders for me, they were guides, they were friends. I have time to remember them all and pray for them all.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that despite the rather happy and enjoyable moments I have had time for during this stay at home time, I know that too many have been suffering during this time. This COVID-19 is not a pleasant sickness. I know that too many wonderful people have died. I want to pay honor and offer my prayers for those who have given time and sacrifice in their effort to care for those who are sick. I thank God for their talents and love, for their healing touch. They have been truly miracle workers.

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