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Christ Crucified on the Sacred Heart – Artist Unknown
Hello and peace be with you!
I hope that all of you and your families are healthy and well in body, mind and spirit during these strange times of physical distancing, self-isolation and quarantine.
I found it remarkably interesting that the word ‘quarantine’ comes from the Italian word (quarantinas) which means, ‘40 days’. From what I’ve read, this term originated around the 14th century when ships were kept in ports for an isolation period of forty days to ensure that any potential disease on the ship would run its course and help stop the contagion from spreading.
There’s a lot of biblical meaning behind this pattern of 40 days as well – Moses’ time on Mount Sinai, Jesus’s fast in the desert – and I suspect that for us, it was no small coincidence that most of the world went into this time of quarantine near the beginning of the 40 days of Lent! I believe that God is giving us this time as a unique opportunity to journey into the “personal deserts” of our homes and even into the deeper “interior deserts” of our hearts.
The Holy Spirit is giving us this time for ‘special ops’ training if you will – to help keenly attune the ears of our hearts to be more attentive to his promptings. God wants us to choose to quiet ourselves and draw away from the noise and distraction of our myriad devices – our smartphones, laptops, iPads /iPods…whatever tempts us to get pulled into a vortex of negativity, cynicism and fear that can become all-consuming, if we’re not careful.
It is so vital then, that we learn to lean into the Heart of Christ in such a time as this!! He desires to give us a disposition of gratitude and surrender for all that He is doing in our hearts — right now — to purify and refine our souls in this special time of grace and mercy! He simply asks for our willingness and consent and with Mother Mary’s help, He tills the soil of our hearts to receive all the seeds of grace that He desires to plant, so that we may reap the unshakeable peace — the pax christi – that only HE can give.
By Melanie Digiantommaso