by Sr Joan Jurski, OSF
We sail into November, another month on the calendar that seems just like the last. It has been quite a year since last April. What do we look forward to in November? It is a month that offers feasts and celebrations. November 1 welcomes All Saints, November 2, All Souls, November 11, Veterans Day and of course November 3, Election Day, and November 26, Thanksgiving Day. Underlining all these days of course is the pandemic, COVID 19. What do I personally look forward to in November? How will I approach the month and all that it brings, what attitude will I embrace?
I, we can approach the month with distress, fear and anxiety, or gratitude and praise.
I know what causes me anxiety, the continuing pandemic. ls there a vaccine coming soon? Who will get it? How do I keep myself healthy? What’s happening to all the children and teachers and parents during this time? Added to these concerns I think of all the global issues of poverty and war and street violence.
Thinking of all this can make me depressed. However, as a person of faith, I realize there is more to consider. I looked around and see that there are so many things that I can be thankful for, things that bring me joy and gratitude as well as humor. We do need to laugh and sing. I see the beauty of color dressing all the trees. I am grateful for the friends who care for me, the beauty of seeing my grandniece, Penelope with her chubby cheeks and giggles, the good feel of clean sheets on a newly made bed, a recipe that turns out well, not getting a traffic ticket, but just a warning. Then there is always the joy of being able to conquer computer technology when it breaks down.
It is a joy to wake up each morning and know that a faithful God still loves me. God looks down on me each day. I need to look up at God and connect. One way of doing this is to pray the psalms. For me the Book of Psalms articulates many of life’s experiences, both good and bad. Some of the following psalms may bring comfort when we need God’s help and others give voice to those who are thankful for God’s aid. I offer the following:
Gratitude and Praise
Psalm 96 :1-2
Psalm 25: 16-17
Fear and Anxiety