From the Rector
Coping with Coronavirus brings out interesting aspects in people. There are stories of behaviour that are slightly dystopian, and there is much that is almost utopian. Last week I shared a reflection by Laura Kelly Fanucci about “When this is over …”
In a similar vein, Catherine O'Meara, a retired Wisconsin teacher, wrote in mid-March: “And the people stayed home … And they read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still … And they listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently … And the people healed … And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal … And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”
HERE is another story narrating the possibilities that can come from these times.
Their reflections invite us to consider about how we have improved as a result of this pandemic. In the Senior School liturgy this week, Kostka Captain, Liam Cates, shared some thoughts about the light at the end of the tunnel and how he has grown in character, resilience, and faith. In the home groups watching, students reflected together on what has been positive about living in isolation. Many spoke movingly about their experiences at home with family. Click HERE to view the Kostka House liturgy.
In a crisis, there are people who run towards danger and are peaceful, purposeful, practical, proactive, and propitious. They help lead us through tough times. There are also those who encounter stress in other ways. The limbic system processes reactions to events. Psychologists sometimes summarise these responses as flight, fight, freeze, fawn, fatigue. Some will run away in fear and withdraw, some become irritable and aggressive, some are so overcome that they are unable to move, some simply submit in passive dependency, and some lose energy and become exhausted for little reason. These responses can trigger anxiety, depression, and maladaptive relating styles or coping mechanisms. As the crisis dissipates, so too does the pressure on the limbic system, and emotions can be better integrated.
My mother died of cancer some years ago. She was just 60 years old and relatively young to die. Even as she faced the diminishment that cancer gradually brought, she would speak of coping with cancer rather than dying of cancer. Each step brought new struggles, but she faced them bravely and generously. My father wrapped up his business to care for mum in her final year, and they shared how the last year together was the dearest one in their 38-year friendship. We have many experiences in life and not all are freely chosen. But we do have some control about how we embrace the challenge and what we do with it.
I mention mum because Sunday is Mother’s Day. Her witness to kindness and sacrifice helped develop my capacity to care for others. Our relationship with our mother is so important, and it is good to take the time to thank our mothers for all that has been and all that is to come. We remember those mothers who are not well and those who care for them, especially in these restricted times of contact. And we recall those who have died and now watch over us from Heaven. On Mother’s Day, we pray that women throughout the world may be honoured and respected, and that their essential contribution be recognised and affirmed.
Fr Peter Hosking SJ
OREMUS (Let us pray)
We remember all in our College community. May our prayers comfort those suffering at this time. May God’s blessing be a source of support in their sorrow and loss, and bring courage, patience, and hope.
For those who have died:
- Anne Leydon, grandmother to Beth (10.4) and mother of Joanne (OI 1987)
“Ask and you shall receive … knock and the door will be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7)
If you would like someone to be remembered by the College community in prayer (even anonymously), please provide details to the Rector, class or Home Group Teacher, or Year Coordinator.