Lockdown Season Faith Reflections: Faith without Fear Series 9 by Fionnuala Prunty

Contemplative prayer has always been my preference, and even more so now since having to embrace this enforced hermits life. My sunroom has become my ‘domus ecclesia’, home church. The cabinet which holds my TV has become my altar, with a crucifix, a statute of Our Blessed Mother, the Holy Bible a candle and the Holy Eucharist streamed via the parish webcam to my TV. The readings of the Acts of the Apostles at Mass are very apt for these times, as the first Christians only had home  churches, they avoiding the Jewish authorities and us a virus. I have renewed my love for the Acts and also the letters of St Paul. I have an almost heightened attentiveness during Holy Mass and savour every word like I had never heard it before. It is true, we really don’t know how precious something is until it is taken from us.

I must confess that a jealousy of sorts has raised its ugly head as I see, via webcam, essential people at Mass receiving my Jesus in Holy Communion and I can’t. I send my Guardian Angel to prostrate himself in my place and bring my Jesus back to me.

I love the structure and comfort of the morning prayer followed by Holy Mass, where I hand over my day to the Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother. Also the Holy Rosary and evening prayer to end my day and bring me a peaceful rest. I will miss that when the lockdown is over.

I have been very heartened and encouraged by how creative and innovative our priests and Church leaders have been, all over Ireland in bringing us such meaningful and prayerful liturgies. However there is no substitute for the Real Presence of Jesus, so the highlight of my day is the hour or so I spend in the church in front of the Blessed Sacrament and I am so grateful that now I can also receive Him on Sunday in the Holy Eucharist.