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By Elizabeth Anderson, Crisis Magazine, May 6, 2020
Elizabeth Anderson is a stay at home mother and independent writer. A graduate of Christendom College, she also worked for several years at Population Research Institute. She resides in Michigan with her husband, Matthew, and their five children.
When Lent began, I had an inkling of what it would look like—the typical penances, spiritual reading, and whatnot to prepare for Passiontide and Easter. After all, it is a time to enter the desert with Jesus. This year, however, the desert around me transformed itself into something entirely unfamiliar. On St. Patrick’s Day, my home diocese of Lansing, MI, announced that all public Masses would be suspended until April 8. The suspension has since been extended all the way through April 30. The first reading at Mass on that first sorrowful day when it was announced was from the Book of Daniel and included this passage, in the words of Azariah:
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received.
No sacrifice, oblation, or incense—chilling, really. This is a cross I would never have chosen. Indeed, I have rarely felt so gutted as I did then, knowing that for the rest of Lent, for the Triduum, for Easter Sunday itself, and beyond there would be no public worship, and no reception of Holy Communion. ….
Read more here: crisismagazine.com/2020/a-different-kind-of-desert