Lock-down Season Faith Reflection Series 5: Faith without Fear – by Monica Ukachukwu

In this grievous time of despair and isolation I am glad to have found both company and comfort in God’s presence. Undoubtedly, these past few weeks have been difficult. To suddenly find yourself estranged from your friends and loved ones with only the slightest inclination to when you may possibly reconnect. However, over the time I came to realize the importance of using this gifted time to strengthen my connection with my faith. As a result of the pandemic, one of the biggest detriments to how I celebrated my faith was the dismissal of public Masses. Unable to receive the Holy Eucharist and spend time with God in His home, I feared my connection with God would falter. However, through the accessibility and availability of online LIVE masses I have found that I have been attending Masses more frequently than ever before! There are many online Masses provided by our own Dublin diocese alone which I am very grateful for. Although I am still unable to receive the Holy Eucharist physically, through the “Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer” I can receive its many blessings spiritually. As the pandemic progressed it also became increasingly difficult to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.  This was a big source concern for me as I had always felt that the physical presence of a priest was necessary in order properly attain the sacraments. However, to my relief Pope Francis delivered a message during one of his holy masses, where he instructed and assured all followers of Christ, that as long as they make a direct act of contrition to God and promise him that they will go to confession when the opportunity arises and beg him to forgive them, then immediately they will return to a state of grace. With all that being said, I can’t wait to celebrate mass together with my family and friends in the house of God again!