As lockdown begins to ease, I feel myself beginning to let out a sigh of relief. Yet, at the same time, I feel a small sense of loss. While lockdown brought feelings of restriction, I have to say also that it brought a great sense of freedom.
That freedom was experienced most explicitly during time spent among nature. As I mentioned in one of my recent letters, getting out for a daily walk has proved to be so beneficial. Actually stopping to appreciate the birds, their colours and sounds, is something that I usually would not bother doing at all (mostly because I had ‘something better’ to do). Seeing the spring sweep in with all of its hope-filled colour was a great experience. I would usually miss all of these wonderful things from the natural world, but lockdown highlighted them all for me.
Many other people have expressed similar sentiments; they have found consolation in nature during these past few months. It is official Church teaching that we can come to know God through His creation so I would be quite confident in saying that I have come to know Him a little bit better during this time. God does not reveal Himself in the ways we expect, but rather in ways we do not expect (a child born in a stable, bread and wine). Now, as I look towards our ‘new normal’, I wonder whether I’ll be able to hold on to this newfound appreciation. I certainly hope I can, and I pray that you can hold on to something similar too.
Finally, a world of congratulations to Father Peter Murphy, our newest priest. Fr Peter will be joining the team at the Metropolitan Cathedral in September, and please spare a prayer for him if you can as he begins his priestly ministry during this time of uncertainty. As for our formation at Oscott, the academic year has now come to an end. The hope now is that we will return to Oscott for the last week of August. This will allow us a chance to unpack these past few months and spend time with friends before the new students arrive. Then, fingers crossed, the year will go from there!