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This pandemic has highlighted the importance of certain characteristic Christian practices. Pope Francis has exemplified the pastoral leadership we need as he invites us to a kind of "solidarity in place," encouraging us to check in on friends and family by phone or internet, or to deliver groceries to those in need. His lovely Urbi et Orbi blessing March 27 offered the consolation and encouragement we need from our spiritual leaders. And, although a few clerics have succumbed to a troubling sacramental romanticism, most of our pastoral leaders have wisely embraced draconian restrictions on public worship, integrating a Catholic sacramental consciousness with an equally Catholic commitment to the common good. These crises unite us as we get a glimpse of some of the challenges and uncertainties millions of people face every day. We are called to act in solidarity. The common good requires us to constrain our desires and our freedoms when they poignantly and directly hurt others. The blessing of COVID-19 may be that it allows us to see beyond our own wants and needs to those of others less fortunate. It may allow us to foster a "one health" approach and heal our Mother Earth, and it may allow us to look at our sisters and brothers from other countries and cultures as a source of inspiration and leadership. It is time we open ourselves to a world beyond our own shores and egos. Liturgy Brisbane (excerpts of articles from NCR)


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