A Prayerful Reflection on the Pandemic
By guest blogger: J. M. Pridotkas
“This our exile…”
I learned the beautiful prayer “Hail, Holy Queen” as an adult, by hearing it prayed by others in prayer groups and on EWTN’s broadcast of the Rosary. I’ve always thought of it as referring to the state of our life here on earth before we see Jesus in heaven (“…show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus…”). I see it in another light now because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The experience of having my daily and weekly routines completely disrupted for the unforeseeable future is a modern form of exile that I never imagined would occur.
The fact that this “exile” is occurring during Lent adds a spiritual aspect that might not have been as evident during other times of the Church calendar or the year.
I recently participated in a Bible study of the prophets of the Old Testament, who lived before and during the time of the Israelites’ 70-year exile in Babylon. Today, we worry that today’s “exile” could last four or more months, even with all of our modern-day technologies and conveniences!
Perhaps those four months are the least we need to get back on track with God. The Israelites’ were without the Temple and the “Holy of Holies” during their exile. Maybe, for us, this time away from Mass and the Eucharist will deepen our longing for that “blessed fruit”, Jesus, and that we “may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
© J. M. Pridotkas