Right now there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety which can really test and put a strain on our faith. Being from a Catholic family that is separated not only by isolation but also by being in different countries, we have found ways to remain connected and practice our faith given the circumstances. Zoom, FaceTime, and WhatsApp Video Call have been amazing tools to help us keep in touch and pray as a family. On many instances, as instructed by Pope Francis, I have prayed the rosary with my extended family. These video calls can range from an informal FaceTime between my grandmother and me as we try to remember the luminous mysteries in order to a formal organized Zoom call with second cousins as different people lead each section and provide a prayerful meditation. Praying the rosary is such a powerful experience because it is made up of simple prayers that everyone who is raised Catholic knows before the first communion, and it is meant to be prayed with others.
This epidemic also interrupted Holy Week and Easter, the most important day of the Church calendar. As a family we decided to do a homemade Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. My brothers and I worked together on a crafts project of decorating wooden crosses for each of the stations. When we finished, we did a Group FaceTime to go through the stations of the cross and sing our favorite Good Friday hymn, “Were you There.” It was difficult this year to truly live out our faith during Holy Week and especially Good Friday, but doing the stations of the cross from home really helped remind us that we, like Jesus, have crosses to carry and sacrifices to make that will be worth it in the end. This time of isolation is a sacrifice that we are making to protect ourselves and others from this virus and flatten the curve.
Lastly, we are trying to incorporate prayer more into our daily lives. My two younger brothers have been leading a nightly prayer for my immediate family. On top of that we are trying to practice gratitude and remember all the things we do have during these difficult times.