We have to face the facts; because of a different kind of virus, we are not able to live our faith the way that most of us would like, at least temporarily. That means some are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to living their faith. They, of course, want to go to Mass, but they are not able to because of the restrictions given to us. There are others who are doing OK, but there is still a void in their life because they do not feel that they are doing what needs to be done. We can talk till we are blue in the face about restrictions and rules but we do need to face head-on what is happening in our lives. That is when we invite God to help us to live our faith so others can be strengthened. For most of us, the celebration of the Mass is the main liturgy that we know; and it is the summit and plenitude of our faith. So if we are going to help others we can show them that our faith has other ways of reaching out to God, such as our prayer in the home, or even the simple prayer before meals.
This is not to downplay the central importance of the Mass/Divine Liturgy in the liturgical life of the Church. It is central, and even when public masses have been suspended, it remains central. Every priest is still bound to celebrate Mass. The Mass is still the highest prayer the Church offers. Under normal circumstances, we faithful would assist at these Masses, and take part in the church’s liturgical life in a very special way. For the foreseeable future, that will be denied to us. It falls to us to recover the little ways we can preserve the liturgical life, and unite these with the Masses/liturgies that are offered privately/without a congregation.
The easiest way to do this is to follow the liturgical calendar of the Church. The liturgical calendar is broken down into different seasons. Right now, we are in the season of Easter. Soon, we will be in the season of Pentecost. These seasons are meant to have different sentiments and virtues magnified and practiced with fervor. As Lent is a time of penance, Easter is a time of celebration.
One should also think of little things they can do during these celebratory times to mark special occasions. Give your kids ice cream. Get them takeout for dinner, or make special dinners. When they ask why, tell them it is a time of great celebration. You can also do this for the various feast days of the saints. Some saints have small celebrations, others have larger ones, with feasts surrounding the Apostles and, most importantly, Our Lady taking the highest prominence.
With the coronavirus pandemic, we Christians face a crisis that has only been felt a few times throughout our history. Many of the ordinary means of sanctification and participation in the life of the Church are denied to us. It is a cross we must bear. Yet in bearing that cross, the Church has offered us tools to bear it profitably. We will worship in public masses again. These are tools we can use to prepare us for that moment, and once they resume, to live them out more fruitfully