We all know how much the pandemic has affected our lives, both individually, communally and globally.  In this article, Sr. Donna Burkhart, a Sister of Providence from Mother Joseph Province in Seattle, WA shares with us the lessons she has learned.  

“The pandemic has certainly disrupted all our lives.  Before the pandemic, we walked around with a sense of security and peace.  Then, when the virus began spreading around the world, we lost this sense of security and peace.  Even so, there are lessons that I learned from this pandemic.

Gratitude.  This past year will be remembered as a time that we were forced to slow down from the rapid pace of our daily lives and be more aware of all our blessings.  We had time to reflect on and show appreciation for all of God’s providential care.  God blesses each one of us every day.  Let us show appreciation for all.

Providence.  When COVID hit, many of us asked, why is this pandemic happening?  Doesn’t God know that we have many important things to do, jobs to go to, children to send to school, shopping that needs to be done, and friends to visit?  Recognizing that I can’t control what happens, I realize that I can only control how I respond.  I want to respond with trust in God.  O want to respond with optimism.

Global Community.  When the pandemic first hit, many people were only thinking about themselves.  We panicked and began stockpiling groceries and other essentials.  We had, and still have, empty shelves in our grocery stores and shopping centers.   

“What does God require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8) We have a collective responsibility to help each other.  We saw it with our dedicated front-line workers who were willing to sacrifice their lives.  [and are still doing so today].  

During this pandemic, I have been given the blessed time to reflect on my life.  I can say that I am more appreciative of each that God has given me, of the support of my Providence community, and even of the modern technology that gives me many opportunities to communicate with others.  And so, I say, “Providence of God, I thank you for all!”

As we celebrate the month of consecrated life in the church, we are always reminded of the many ways that women religious influence others by their words and actions.  Thanks, Sr. Donna, for sharing your learnings with us!

Barbara McMullen, CDP

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