"We will come out of the Lenten quarantine
to sing at the top of our voices on Easter Day"

"This time of pandemic, which we all hope will soon be over, has at least the merit of familiarising us with terms that are specific to Lent. For example, quarantine means a period of 40 days (for COVID it is 14). In any case: isolation and confinement to disinfect and purify the body. In other words, Lent: to purify our lives... from the virus of sin.

Then there is isolation or confinement. Which translated into the language of faith is called living in the desert. I can assure you, because I have experienced it, that it is a time of great solitude and silence.
Now there is talk of three vaccines against the CoronaVirus: Pfizer, AstaZeneca and Moderna. The vaccines for Lent are called: Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting.
And then there are the barrier gestures: mask, distancing and sanitising hands/places. Also for Lent there are some barrier gestures against the virus of bad-mouthing everything (mask), or the virus of selfishness (putting distance between us and others) and the virus of indifference (washing hands like Pilate).

Some people suggest wearing two masks, to protect themselves better. Let me also make a proposal...
To fast from useless and sharp words, those that hurt. Wash out your listening ears and be a little more silent before God. As today's gospel, Ash Wednesday, reminds us, enter into the secret. The Father sees into the secret of our hearts. Silence is the space for prayer of the heart
Fasting from polluting words and Silence to listen.
We have all gone a little deaf. We don't know how to dialogue, because we don't know how to listen to each other. And in order to really listen, the first thing to do is to keep quiet/shut up, i.e. mask!
And perhaps we will also hear in the distance the cry of the poor, the voiceless, and creation, which is filled with not only verbal rubbish.
We will come out of the quarantine of Lent to sing at the top of our voices on Easter Day. Alleluia.
Happy Lent ... with a mask".

Father Maccalli back in Italy, with his family.