Spiritual Triage for Trying Times: Finding Nourishment for the Soul2020-04-01T12:52:22-07:00

Spiritual Triage for Trying Times: Finding Nourishment for the Soul

Holding the world

The world is experiencing a set of trials and tribulations that are unprecedented in nature and scope for many humans on the planet. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that life is precious and fragile. Because this is a global crisis, we are reminded of how inextricably connected we are to each other, even though we live in a moment of history marked by so much polarization and demonization of the other.

As governments and organizations begin to institute protective measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is valuable to reflect on the impact of previous pandemics on the human family. The so-called Hong Kong Flu in 1968 claimed more than one million lives; the flu pandemic of 1918, sometimes called the Spanish flu, killed an estimated 20-50 million, and flu bug called the Russian flu in 1889-1890, had a death toll of one million. COVID-19 is not considered anywhere near as serious as these flus, but the potential loss of life associated with flu pandemics is one of the reasons the world is increasingly taking this situation so seriously. For those of us who remember our history, the staggering numbers are somewhat relative. The Bubonic Plague of 1346-1353, for instance, killed an estimated 75-200 million throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.

These are the times that try our souls.
(Paraphrased from Thomas Paine’s, The Crisis)

One thing that we should keep in mind as we walk through this global health challenge is that there are millions of first responders, health care workers, educators and chaplains and ministers who are on the front line of this illness. They put themselves in harm’s way every day, just as compassionate and other-centered women and men did so in all of the previous pandemics. In fact, during the 14th century Plague, most of the best religious leadership died in the health care crisis because they were tending to the sick and dying. This led to a serious religious leadership problem throughout the world.

Religious faith and spirituality have always played an indispensable role in helping humans rise above the chaos and disorder, fear and uncertainty that marks every era of human history, and especially when little understood illnesses threaten our health, and perhaps even our lives. The gaze of faith allows us to look beyond and above our current challenges, and to love and care, even when doing so can put us in harm’s way. Our spiritual health is often our strongest resource in approaching all the uncertainties around us.

This page is dedicated to providing prayer and reflective material from many religious traditions, in the hopes that it will nourish and strengthen you to respond with love, peace, and calm in these trying times. New material will be added on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and possibly more often.

Mark S. Markuly, Ph.D.
Dean

Religious faith and spirituality have always played an indispensable role in helping humans rise above the chaos and disorder, fear and uncertainty that marks every era of human history, and especially when little understood illnesses threaten our health, and perhaps even our lives. The gaze of faith allows us to look beyond and above our current challenges, and to love and care, even when doing so can put us in harm’s way. Our spiritual health is often our strongest resource in approaching all the uncertainties around us.

Read the Prayer Blog >>

The world is experiencing a set of trials and tribulations that are unprecedented in nature and scope for many humans on the planet. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that life is precious and fragile. Because this is a global crisis, we are reminded of how inextricably connected we are to each other, even though we live in a moment of history marked by so much polarization and demonization of the other.

Read the Spiritual Triage Blog >>

The Indomitable Human Spirit

  • A SONG FOR THE WORLD || ‘IMAGINE’ EMPTY METRO STATION PIANO PERFORMANCE LONDON (Coronavirus)
  • The Couch Choir harnessed 1,000 voices from 18 countries in two days, all singing Burt Bacharach’s song, “Close to You (They Long to Be) and posted it to the web on Sunday, March 22. It has since caught the attention of over a million viewers worldwide.
  • People Quarantined in Italy Join Together In Song From Balconies During Coronavirus Lockdown
    It seems the ongoing coronavirus lockdown was not going to stop the music in Italy. As people hunker down, a new video shows that the country’s spirits are still strong. In a video shared by Twitter user @valemercurii, the streets of Siena are filled with song as people sing from their balconies.
  • NYT Opinion: Pandemics Kill Compassion Too
    Situations like CORVID-19 bring out the best and worst in human behavior. In recent years, New York Times columnist David Brooks has emphasized the importance of re-building the moral character of Americans, especially our ability to choose to do the right things under the most difficult circumstances. In his article, “Pandemics Kill Compassion, Too,” he looks at humanity’s ability to care for one another in the midst of fears about disease and health and finds we have not always lived up to the best in our nature. May CORVID-19 bring out our higher angels, even as fear and self-protection entices us to live out of our lower angels.
  • I’m a nun and I’ve been social distancing for 29 years. Here are tips for staying home amid coronavirus fears. By Sister Mary Catharine Perry, as told to Cassidy Grom.
  • Italy explodes in song as the entire country lives under coronavius quarantine
    As an example of the indomitable human experience, Italians are increasingly exploding into song as a sign of their own solidarity with each other.

Dr. Tara Brach is a psychologist and Buddhist teacher who lives in the D.C. area. Her work as an ‘engaged Buddhist’ focuses on the practical application of Buddhist teachings to everyday life.

A Listening Care Package for Uncertain Times. A collection of podcasts and poetry for however you’re processing or experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greater Good’s Guide to Well-Being During Coronavirus. Practices, resources, and articles for individuals, parents, and educators facing COVID-19. At Greater Good, our mission is to share scientific research that can help promote a happier, more compassionate society.

In Times of Crisis, Draw Upon the Strength of Peace. We need the eye of wisdom in our palms. If we see deeply into a given situation, then our action will be appropriate action. But if we are caught up in our own story, not seeing the situation in its depth, in its complexity, then our action may actually cause more harm than good. We need to act, but it is also vital that we see clearly.

Practicing Equanimity in a State of Emergency. In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Gary Gach shares how we can soothe our feelings of denial, anger, and fear with a helpful dose of equanimity.

To not abandon ourselves. “Most of us are on our way to some form of greater isolation or self-quarantine. We may have to abandon our habitual ways of going to work and our usual rituals of gathering in restaurants, going together to concerts, or sporting events. Yet, we have to be careful not to abandon ourselves as we temporarily release aspects of our social identity.”

AJCUXavier University Jesuit Resource Site

Ignatian Solidarity NetworkExamen for Life During COVID-19

Krista Tippett, who has positioned spirituality and faith into a new way in American society, has launched a new web presence that address COVID-19 issues: A Listening Care Package for Uncertain Times: A collection of podcasts and poetry for however you’re processing or experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please join Dr. Edward Donalson, Interim Director of Doctor of Ministry, Willie Heard, Liturgy and Worship Student Worker and Carolyn Dougherty, Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Services as we gather for a Virtual Prayer Pop-Up, Wednesday March 18 from 12:00-12:15pm.

Click on this link to participate via zoom as we gather together to support one another and prayerfully navigate these turbulent and changing times.