Saint Augustine, COVID-19 and hard times

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Geralyn Nathe-Evens is a columnist for Catholic United Financial
Believe In Love

Blog by Geralyn Nathe-Evens

Catholic United Financial member Geralyn Nathe-Evans is a licensed nurse with a master’s degree in pastoral ministry. Through her education, career practice and suffering the death of her own husband in 2014, Nathe-Evans is a compassionate, optimistic voice finding the glory and comfort of God in our most trying moments. She can be contacted at believenlove@yahoo.com.

Bad times, hard times-this is what people keep saying. But let us live well and times shall be good. Such as we are, such are the times.
— Saint Augustine

These present days can be a bit frightening, and so very fragile. As Saint Augustine wrote, “Bad times, hard times — this is what people keep saying.”

I am finding these days to include hard times: fear, unknown, distancing from those we love. I am missing the people, the gatherings, the Masses and all the experiences of community that I treasure. I miss going to work, my co-workers, the teamwork. I miss my family. I miss the loving touch of one another. I miss my church.

Saint Augustine continues in his writing to instruct us, “But let us live well and times shall be good.”

I then move my thoughts to all that is good. I have a daily practice of writing in my blessings journal. Each day, I write down three blessings that I recognize that day. I began this discipline as part of my prayer life. At a time when my life was very dark, I desperately sought a manner to help me to identify the light of Christ and to recognize love and hope in the midst of great pain.

As I have been writing my blessings each of these past days, I am amazed. They have been relatively easy to name! The blessings of the past week have been evident in the values that I seek in my life each day. I have experienced blessings in phone calls, emails, and text messages of care. People checking in and reaching out.

Our family, scattered across the country, has become connected by video chat. We have made time in our lives to connect despite our inability to physically gather. Our family has had intentional conversations of what we may need materially, emotionally and spiritually. 

In these recent days, our family has recognized what little we really need. We have come to gather virtually. Our calendars are filled with cancellations, we have been released from the grip of distractions. I believe we have found what perhaps Saint Augustine meant, “…let us live well and times shall be good” for in terms of finding togetherness amid social distancing, there are some really good times to be had right now.

Read more of Geralyn’s posts and about her background on Believe In Love blog.