Coronavirus (Covid-19): Carmelite Spiritual Support

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

 

The Carmelite Prior Provincial in Britain, Fr. Kevin Alban, O.Carm., wrote on 18th March 2020 ...

 

Carmelites in Britain have been following the guidelines and advice from the government, the NHS, and from the Catholic Bishops' Conferences regarding public services.

On 18th March the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales announced that we have now reached the point where all public celebrations of religious services have been suspended, as from the evening of Friday 20th March. It is expected that similar restrictions will be announced in Scotland.

A very strong part of Catholic identity is communal worship at Sunday Mass, and many people will find the lack of this very difficult.

The Carmelite Family of friars, sisters, and lay people is continuing to pray for all the people who come to our churches, as well as for the country at large, and all those affected by the pandemic.

There will be further announcements about ways in which we will try to be of service in these difficult times. In the meantime, we are all encouraged to pray.

One of the key elements in Christian spirituality is that there is a relationship, in each one of us, between our very self and God. While the external, communal dimension of faith is important and necessary, nonetheless, each one of us as an individual is called to live a personal relationship with God through prayer. The Carmelite St. Teresa of Avila expresses this most beautifully: “The soul of each one is nothing else but a paradise where the Lord says He finds His delight.”

The situation we now find ourselves in is without precedent in recent history – even during the Second World War there was Mass! However, our Carmelite tradition offers us support and ways of coping. Here is an occasion to deepen our individual relationship with the Lord.

You may find the following resources helpful in the coming weeks:

  • The prayerful reading of Scripture known as Lectio Divina brings us into contact with the living Word of God.
  • Our Carmelite social media pages will keep you up to date, especially about any live-streams from our churches and shrines.
  • Other online faith resources are listed by The Tablet.

 

Let’s pray for one another at this time.

 

Text: Fr. Kevin Alban, O.Carm.; Dr. Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.

Image: Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference