How to pray in the midst of this plague
First, I need to address the elephant in the room: our sacramental life. The source and summit of our spiritual lives is the Eucharist, and the sacrament that helps us most worthily receive Holy Communion is Confession. Both of these now have severe restrictions. I do have good news: we should be able to arrange for private Confession by appointment. Notice the operative word above is “should.” The Diocese should be issuing guidelines and how to hear confessions outside in areas where disinfecting would be easy to accomplish. For example, I can imagine using the courtyard at Ss. Peter and Paul for just that purpose. Also, I am confident that someone will figure out how to likewise distribute Holy Communion in a worthy and safe manner. Moreover, the churches will now be open from noon to 3:00pm each day for people to pray. If you want to pick up a bulletin, and drop off an envelope, that would be wonderful. What will be paramount for the above is for us to practice the very best hygiene and social distancing. Spread out, wash your hands, and wear a mask and gloves if you have some.
As Catholics we have a rich treasury of devotions that we can do no matter where we are at. The rosary holds pride of place in my mind of Catholic devotions as it was used for centuries by Catholics to make their faith an integral part of their daily lives. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is also an excellent method prayer - and much shorter! The Stations of the Cross can also be prayer at home - soon we should have pictures of the St. Therese stations up on the website so that you have an image to pray with. Lastly, I should mention the Sorrows of Mary, who certainly knew what it was like to have her heart rent with sadness.
If you have never read the Bible, now is a great time to start. I always recommend that people start not at Genesis, but with a gospel. After one or all of the gospels, you ought to read St. Paul’s and St. John’s epistles. With that having been read, we turn to the Old Testament, in particular the Psalms, the Book of Wisdom, and Job. When all that is read, then you should try reading the Pentateuch - Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, and Leviticus. Be warned: things get really dry in those last three and many beginners struggle with them.
Lastly, there is a growing wealth of online resources. Some are listed below:
The last link is actually the YouTube channel that I started yesterday. I though that it would a useful way to communicate with everyone.
Lastly, here is the prayer to St. Rocco, which Fr. Eric Orzech told me about the other day.
O Great St. Rocco, deliver us, we beseech thee, from contagious diseases. Through thy intercession, preserve our bodies from illness, and our souls from the contagion of sin. Obtain for us salubrious air, but, above all, purity of heart. Assist us to make good use of health, to bear suffering with patience, and, after thy example, to live in the practice of penance and charity, that we may one day enjoy the happiness which thou has merited by thy virtues.
St. Rocco, pray for us – 3 times.