do we really want to go back to “normal”?

again, life is changing. after 15 months or so, my family gathered for the first time last sunday to celebrate my mother’s 98th birthday. we were able to be closer than six feet since all of us had received the covid vaccine. i cannot express how happy this gathering made me..

this is a good change from the isolation that covid had thrust upon us. being physically apart from one another for so long has changed us all and we want to go back to “normal.” but what about those aspects of normal that were not so great? do we really want to go back to those aspects of life?

certainly there have been discoveries that have been positive. i imagine that there will be many people who now would prefer to work from home and companies who are open to continue to allow it. their work life will not go back to what it was before covid.

could the Spirit be moving us to do other things– especially the negative — very differently?

perhaps there are some people in the position to make total life changes toward something new. perhaps the changes we will choose for ourselves will be subtle; may some will be necessarily extreme.

here is a philip larkin poem about a man who walked away from a life he disliked:

Sometimes you hear, fifth-hand,
As epitaph:
He chucked up everything
And just cleared off,
And always the voice will sound
Certain you approve
This audacious, purifying,
Elemental move.

“purifying changes”– i like that.

what in my life needs to be purified? in previous posts, i have used the image of being here in the house as being a type of prison; the few hours a week when my nieces can stay with my mother as an escape. i need a new image to describe being a home body caring for my mother– i’ll have to let that idea marinade a bit more in my mind. in my better moments, i realize that my mother will not always be here; this is all borrowed time that i need to cherish. right now, this is my ministry.

as the feast of pentecost approaches, we all need the Spirit to blow new life into our drooping spirits. i do not want to backwards in life. perhaps the covid lockdowns could lead to ways of living. is not that the main message and power of jesus’ resurrection? suffering and death do not have the last word– hope, life, peace and joy prevail through the Spirit.


Spirit of wisdom and understanding, enlighten our minds to perceive the mysteries of the universe in relation to eternity. Spirit of right judgment and courage, guide us and make us firm in our baptismal decision to follow Jesus’ way of love. Spirit of knowledge and reverence, help us to see the lasting value of justice and mercy in our everyday dealings with one another. May we respect life as we work to solve problems of family and nation, economy and ecology. Spirit of God, spark our faith, hope and love into new action each day. Fill our lives with wonder and awe in your presence which penetrates all creation. Amen.

(from )


  1. I only get to visit Normal…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks for the reply. who really knows what “normal” is anyway. if we think we know it, then we probably all just get a glimpse of it

      Liked by 1 person

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