St Francis of Assisi Parish
Mar 292020

Kirsten Challies, Pastoral Worker – St Francis of Assisi, Parish

We have been living in an age of ever-increasing advancements and even those of us who have sought to have our dependency on God, have not been tested in ways we are today. So in this time of world crisis, this is where ‘the rubber hits the road’ in terms of our faith. This is where our faith makes a difference. Only God can still the storm going on within and bring us strength, courage and calm amidst it.
Fear levels are high in NZ even though we are blessed here to be later hit by COVID-19 than other countries and therefore able to respond differently. However, the anticipation of something coming can raise as much fear as the eventuality of that itself.  Just like in a movie, the suspense creates as much internal response as the actual anticipated action.

Last week I visited one of our Catholic patients in hospital who, due to her difficult health circumstances (unrelated to COVID-19), knew that she might be facing death soon. It was a privilege to sit with her as she spoke of how peaceful she was about that and how ready she was to go home and be with God. There was no fear in her; no doubt of where she was going.  She loved the Lord and had walked closely with Him during her days. It was inspiring to be with a woman of such faith.
That kind of faith casts out all fear. And that is the kind of faith God is calling us ALL to.  Most of us may not contract or die of this COVID19 virus but some may still have fears.  When we draw near to God, walking daily with Him, sharing all our inner thoughts and feelings with Him, that intimacy has the power to take the sting out of an uncertain future.

While the world is uniting to lockdown like never before, we will become freer from the busy-ness, the distractions, the calls on our attention that can keep us from drawing near to God. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) This is a time like we may never have again, to experience God in a new way, to deepen our relationship with Him and to know an intimacy that casts out all fear. Begin this new way of living with God at the forefront – simply spend time with Him.
 29/03/2020  Categories: Editorial Tagged with: ,