What Covid-19 did for me – confessions of a priest. 

Today has been the fourth day of my quarantine though technically it’s the sixth and while I continue to be well, I am painfully aware of how this pandemic has played out in the lives of so many people. The loss of loved ones to this disease is fresh in so many minds and fear continues to rule our hearts. The Lord says to us “be not afraid.”

I have displayed little or no symptoms. I did the test on a hunch as my hosts at whose wedding I solemnized informed me that several guests had been tested positive. I felt the right thing to do, considering the congregation I interact with, was to get myself tested. There was no fear when I got the results, just a quiet determination to get well and get back to work as soon as I can.

Covid 19 has thus been for me a time of forced rest; a rest from work and rest with God. Organized as I am, I drew up a daily plan (which ironically also included some work). However, I decided to dedicate a large chunk of my morning to scripture study and to writing; the evening was to be a time of prayer. Covid was telling me something; that It should matter to me that I am available to God than accessible to people every time.

Being the person I am, I have this constant compulsion to answer every text, read ever mail, check every message and be on top of every situation as if my decision would avert a nuclear war. Part of this compulsion and anxiety is also triggered of by the digital age that seems to suggest that every deadline was yesterday; this affects us all.

Recently when I received a second text from an online parishioner for not responding to the question he raised about the three wise men (not that it was important for salvation) I politely informed him that I feel a bit over whelmed with the number of messages I get and it’s not humanly possible to answer all. To this he wrote back telling me that he receives hundreds of messages which ‘he’ dutifully answers. In short, he subtly wanted me to know how incompetent he thought I was and how efficient he was. I refused to turn that one into a pissing contest. I let him have his trophy!

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