Ps 24:15-16
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will free my feet from the snare. Look toward me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.

Ps 24:1-2
To You I lift up my soul, O Lord. In You, O my God, I trust; let me not be put to shame.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will free my feet from the snare. Look toward me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.

This introit from today’s Holy Mass speaks to how many of us feel. At the same time, it provides a solution.

“Look towards me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted,” could be found on the lips of so many today. For so many, these are days of isolation. Whether the isolation of the Wuhan Devil, or the isolation of the elderly in locked down nursing homes, or the emotional isolation that comes from a seeming army of sources, so many of us know isolation and the very real affliction it brings. For myself there comes the isolation brought by my disease, which limits my speech, my movement, and my ability to go where and do what I want. I often feel like St. Peter, whom the Lord told, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” This is, for all with a disease like mine, a reason to identify with St. Peter.

So, my spiritual children, what is the solution to this isolation that brings with it distress? The same introit provides the answer when the Psalmist says, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will free my feet from the snare.” First, we see the virtue of hope at work in believing that the Lord will free us from the snare that holds us bound. This freedom may come in this life, but it will SURELY come in heaven. In heaven all that binds us will be loosed, all that afflicts us will be healed! No longer will there be lockdowns, unless we end in hell, where the lockdown will never end, and the isolation lasts forever.

So, that is what we hope awaits us, although we do not see it yet. Now, dear children, we turn not to what we hope for, but what can be in the here and now. “My eyes are ever toward the Lord…” This is a beautiful way of referring to prayer, where our eyes are fixed intently on the Lord. This is the solution to our isolation! When we pray we come to know that we are never alone. Jesus, with his comfort is always inviting us to lay our head upon his breast as did St. John the Beloved. We too, in prayer can hear the heartbeat of Jesus, as it beats for love of us. There, from the wounded side of Jesus we can draw strength to continue on in our affliction. Without a deep prayer life we will never survive great affliction, at least not with our faith intact. For without a deep prayer life, we will become bitter, angry, fearful, and eventually our faith will grow cold and die. What a sorry state of affairs that would be; to lose one’s soul because we did not pray.

People often ask me how it is that I am joyful and smiling during this time of affliction. The answer is simple. I pray. I spend time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament every day. Even when things are bad on a particular day, and I don’t get to the chapel, I draw near to Jesus who lives in my soul. No matter where we are, no matter what our affliction, we can lay our head upon the breast of the Lord and there draw deeply from the source of life and holiness, his Most Sacred Heart.

So, dear children, always pray. No matter what comes, pray. Whether disease, isolation, famine or war, pray. Whether there are troubles in the church, and divine chastisement comes upon us, even if antichrist himself appears, fix your eyes on Jesus, and pray.