I believe I am not alone in saying that this time marked by COVID-19 has been challenging and, at times, even difficult. It seems little has not been affected by COVID, except things like how unexplainably fast time tends to go by, how wonderful it is to find rest and feel rested, or how good it is to love and be loved.
It is vital in times like these to be especially aware of our own personal relationships; and to intentionally invest in those the Lord has placed in our lives.
Might there be someone in your life you have not seen or connected with for some time? How about a sibling or family member, friend from college or even high school? Can you remember the last time you visited with your Godparent or Godchild, Confirmation sponsor or the one you sponsored? It may not have been too long or possibly it has been quite some time. Regardless, do not give in to shame or simply shrug it off.
Instead, I encourage you, prayerfully ponder the above questions for just a moment… Has the Lord placed someone on your heart? If so, try this simple 3-part method for connecting, cultivating relationship, and investing in others: pray, act, and be at peace. (Note: This method may be good for frequent use.)
- Acknowledge that the Lord, who stirs the hearts of each, has brought this person to your mind. In light of past experiences and memories, positive, negative and indifferent, thank the Lord for stirring your heart and inviting you to think of this person; it is because God wills it that this person even exists, and it is because of God’s loving goodness that this person is indeed made in His image and likeness.
- Pray for the other. It does not have to be extravagant; a simple prayer may even be best. Consider what God desires for this person and ask God for it on his/her behalf. You can include asking Mother Mary to wrap her mantle of graces around this person or that the Archangel Saint Michael protect this person in battle.
- Example prayer: “Lord, You have brought [name] into my thoughts. By Your grace, help me to consider [name]’s life, how You have created [name] in Your image and likeness and made them for holiness. You desire to draw [name] into everlasting communion with Yourself. I want this too; please bless [name] with the graces and virtues needed this day and always to enjoy eternal happiness with You.”
- Consider this: how might the Lord be inviting you to reach out to this person that He has placed on your heart? Remember, the answer to this question is always rooted in the motivation of love, in other words, the will of God in your connecting with another is never absent of your desiring what is good for the other (which is what it means to love the other).
- It can be deeply moving to hear that someone is thinking of and praying for you, others may appreciate a friendly conversation with someone who desires good things for them, yet others greatly benefit from a simple ‘have a blessed day!’ Trust that the Lord has placed this person on your heart and has something good, true, and beautiful for you to share with him/her.
- We have been blessed with many modes of communication: in-person conversation, phone call, text messaging, email, digital media, written letter to name a few. Pick one and connect as you feel called by the Lord.
Be at peace
- You have prayerfully acted; you have responded to the promptings of the Lord. This is no small thing! God Himself has stirred your heart, and, by His Spirit of love, He has guided you to respond with action. Make sure to thank Him for His presence, workings, and love.
- God uses every ounce of love for the good and, indeed, He works all things for good with those who love Him. Trust God and be at peace.