In the latest installment of his series “From the Chapel,” OSV publisher Scott Richert writes…
From the Chapel — March 24: ‘Be still and know that I am God’
“From the Chapel” is a series of short, daily reflections on life and faith in a time of uncertainty. As people across the world cope with the effects of the coronavirus — including the social isolation necessary to combat its spread — these reflections remind us of the hope that lies at the heart of the Gospel.
At midnight tonight, OSV headquarters will fall silent. In line with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order, we have everyone who can work remotely doing so, while the production and distribution staff will take a much-needed rest after weeks of producing as much as possible, in preparation for a shutdown.
For much of what we do at OSV, it’s business as usual — to the extent that anything is business as usual these days. Our Content Team is working harder than ever not only to provide you with all of the articles on this website, but to make sure that our periodicals — Our Sunday Visitor, The Priest, The Deacon and Take Out — will be there in your mailbox to give you something to read as you, too, shelter in place. And our Parish Services Team is helping parishes and dioceses adjust to the new reality of online giving and livestreamed Masses.
In the midst of it all, I paused to read the psalm for today’s Mass. Psalm 46 seems eerily relevant to what the world is going through today: “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.”
Even though we’re more busy than ever, each of us working from our own homes, there’s a stillness in the world that is, in its own way, comforting. For decades, people have complained about the pace of life — how we never have enough time to pray, to spend with our families, to read, to talk, to cook. And now we do.
This isn’t the way we wanted it to happen, of course, and we all long for the day when things return to “normal.” But one thing that I hope we realize in the midst of this global crisis is that much of what we are doing now is truly normal. We were never meant to move at the pace of modern life, because it so successfully distracts us from those moments when we might find ourselves alone with our thoughts — and alone with God.
In the Mass for today, the responsorial psalm stops before it gets to the final verses of Psalm 46. In the midst of our suddenly still world, we can draw strength from what they promise: “Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.”
Scott P. Richert is publisher for OSV.