Here is the full version of the piece Fr Raglan writes in the newsletter of the 5th Sunday in lent:
“In the Silence of our own Desert”
These are unusual times, and one sign of it is the quietness of roads without so much traffic and pavements with hardly anyone on them. It is as if the Lord has placed us all in a kind of desert for Lent. Laurentia Johns, a Benedictine nun from Stanbrook Abbey, began a weekly reflection for the Catholic weekly magazine The Tablet on the 29th February, the first Sunday of Lent, with thoughts that have turned out to be startlingly prophetic. We can rejoice at the sudden peace, and equally suddenly find that it reveals disturbing feelings inside ourselves. Coronavirus has indeed, as she puts it, “thrust…solitude and silence…upon us”. She encourages us to stick with it and pray for the grace of acceptance. She quotes the German pastor who was executed for his resistance to Adolf Hitler, writing to his family from prison in what turned out to be his last Christmas: “Our homes will be very quiet at this time. But I have often found that the quieter my surroundings, the more vividly I sense my connection with you all. It is as though in solitude the soul develops senses which we hardly know in everyday life.
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