Hey, Everyone! Just a quick shout out and THANK YOU for those of you who were able to join me this morning for my Facebook Live session, “Pursuing Holiness During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond.”
(If you are a FB user, you can watch the FB Live video here)
We had a great session, but for those who couldn’t join us, wanted to share the highlights with you:
First, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is absolutely VITAL that we make a mindset shift. We need to stop focusing upon the negatives–all the don’ts and can’ts and begin to look for opportunities. In a nutshell, we need to begin making lemonade from the Coronavirus “lemons.”
To help us with our mindset shift, we looked to the advice from Blessed Chiara Corbella Petrillo who said, “If God takes something away, it’s only because he wishes to give you something more.”
Blessed Chiara and her husband, Enrico, also give us the persepctive we need to move ahead with the advice that we sned to “Live in the Present or Go Crazy.” I shared the reality that God is in the present, and that any thoughts that we have concerning the future are less than the future that will actually be because God is not there–yet. But God WILL be present in the future when it becomes the present, so we need to live in the present, and trust that God has got the future.
And that mindset and attitude is exactly what the saints have done throughout the ages. They lived in the present and trusted that God would care for them, and this is what we need to do, too. We need to develop the same seven characteristics in our life that were common to all the Saints—daily prayer and meditation, living a life of grace, making a Daily Resolution to Grow in Virtue, Daily Examen, Devotion to the Blessed Mother Mary, living out a Plan of Life, and pursuing authentic Friendships.
It is this model of the saints and how they lived their lives that gives us our own plan for how to approach our path ahead in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and beyond —“to pray, trust, take the next step.”
As we take that next step, we need to be attentive to HOLISTIC Formation to ensure the well-being of everyone by being attentive to each of the four parts—Human, Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral–as we develop an integrated Plan of Life.
Any Plan of Life needs to account for the following: 1) Prayer—with SILENCE and QUIET time; 2) Work/School responsibilities; 3) Rest—this includes sleep AND due to the “shelter in place” and “self-isolation” practices associated with the Cornovirus pandemic, that needs to also include giving yourself SPACE away from others for a period of time each day; 4) Exercise—ensuring to only do moderate workouts so as to not tax our immune systems and do it outside if at all possible as studies have shown that a 3o min walk every day has the emotional and mental health equivalent of a $30K bonus!; 5) Meals—design menus, favorite meals, enlist EVERYONE in meal prep AND eat together; 6) Chores (especially House Cleaning since everyone is making a mess, and not just mom or dad!); 7) Social—Real, Extended Conversations—getting to actually KNOW one another in our families and pursuing authentic friendships via phone and Zoom and Skype by willing the good of the other, designating family time; and finally, 8) Hobbies—creative & mind engaging things that tap into what is good, true and beautiful.
If we allow for the above things to become part of our plan of life (routine), then we are tending holistically to our fromation–our Human needs (rest, exercise, meals), our Spiritual Needs (prayer, friendships), our Intellectual needs (Work/school, Hobbies), and our Pastoral Needs (Social through conversations, Chores).
So once we have established a new routine in the midst of the life adjustments necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, we need to prepare for pursuing holiness beyond this time by beginning to implement and practice the 4 Steps to Holiness—Daily prayer & Meditation; living the life of grace; growing daily in virtue; and abandoning oneself in trust to God’s will.
And the best way to abandon ourselves to God’s will? Through detachment, obedience and trust. Detachment and obedience come most immediately by our freely offering up anything that we do not like, did not choose, cannot change, and do not understand, and trust comes from our remembering that God always works to the good of those who love Him.
Finally, we need to remember that this is a time for us to pray, play and have conversations with our families as we prepare for the AMAZING party this is going to happen after this strange and challenging time. But we need to make the best use of this time that we can by emerging from this time as better people who are embracing more fully the life God created them for—lives of purpose, peace and abundance.
So what’s the next step?
1) Make use the Spiritual Wellness Assessment that can be found at the following link:
2) Create a Plan of Life (a new routine) using the information I already shared here.
3) Use the FREE mini-course, 3 Keys to Developing a Deeper Relationship with God
4) Sign up for Christina’s weekly Say Yes to Holiness Newsletter to be notified of upcoming events like these in the future
And as a final way for me to offer help to anyone who might need it during this challenging time, please sign up for a FREE 15 minute conversation with me during which you can with talk about the next best step or anything else that might be holding you back from pursuing holiness.
Know of my continued prayers for you and your families that you may remain safe and healthy in the weeks and months ahead, but especially that you are able to continue to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to pursue holiness during hte coronavirus pandemic and beyond, so that we can tell the Master of Death, NOT TODAY!
Christina Semmens is a Roman Catholic author, blogger, speaker and mentor. She currently lives in Fort Payne, Alabama where she strives to live out a life of authentic discipleship in the pursuit of holiness while empowering, teaching and accompanying others in striving to do the same.
PS—If you are enjoying these posts, make sure to sign up for my email list here. Or you can listen to the Say Yes to Holiness podcast, find me on Facebook @sayyestoholiness, or can learn more about my ministry efforts at: www.sayyestoholiness.com.