Mass is live streamed. CNS photo/Chaz Muth

Speaking Out: Valuable lessons found in isolation

By  Emma Dias, Youth Speak News
  • July 2, 2020

Daily life has been defined by change and adaptability since COVID-19 shut down life as we know it back in March. I used to be able to attend school at St. Joseph’s Morrow Park Secondary School in North York, go shopping, attend Mass and, most importantly, I could not only see, but could hug my friends and family.

I also miss receiving communion and attending the noon Mass Sundays at my parish, St. Timothy’s, though fortunately, like many, it has stepped up to stream celebrations.

I’m grateful, however, for continued religion classes through distance learning this past semester. Group discussions have allowed us to reflect upon and communicate about this uncertain time in all of our lives.

I’ve received plenty of life lessons during my three months in self-isolation. Besides learning more about the principles of my faith, this adversity has made me realize how lucky I am to be a follower of God.

Quarantining has made me appreciate that God is not only in one place. God is everywhere. He is in our homes, in our churches still, but most importantly, and more now than ever, He is within us.

I’ve also learned that more than anything we need hope. We need to believe our world will one day, hopefully soon, return to a healthy state that is safe for all of us. I have learned God will always be there for us whenever we need Him. I realized this when I was feeling down. I remembered I have many gifts to be thankful for and that God provides those blessings

I hope disciples have taken this time to reconnect with their faith because they need to look to a higher power. People need hope in something right now. We need connections, not just with co-workers, families and friends, but a spiritual connection with the Lord.

My relationship with God has evolved through this challenging time. I have been praying more often. Sometimes when my family goes on walks, we pray the rosary. Most days, my mom will remind me to trust God and that He has a plan for us.

Not only have I been praying more, but I also talk to God more. I remember to thank Him for everything I have and all the fantastic experiences I had before COVID-19. I also thank Him that me, my family and friends have remained healthy and safe.

I’m also blessed because St. Timothy’s has continued to hold virtual youth groups each Saturday for two hours, providing a forum to see my friends and gain strength and wisdom to be a witness for God.

I hope once this is all over I will keep a strong connection to my faith. I will continue to build my faith through prayer, Mass — either online or in person — and remembering to be grateful in time of trial.

(Dias, 15, is a Grade 10 student at St. Joseph’s Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.)

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