If it is human nature to want what we cannot have, I may qualify as superhuman during the coronavirus shutdown. When the possibility of attending Mass was absent, although for justifiable reason, I wanted it back.

If I could not make sense of current events, I needed to accept them enough to explain them to a teenager at home who does not have the mental or emotional skills to unravel the confusion on his own. It was a time when I wanted to conveniently rely on a priest’s homily at a human-to-human Mass, like Cliff Notes to books on life I will never have enough time to read and digest.

Pre-pandemic, I also underestimated the value of video and the internet. If video and the internet were absent, I would be ruminating on my foolish rejection of them.

I wish I’d had more time to watch livestreamed Masses. However, even while shut in, I have only time for two livestream Mass channels — those of the Archdiocese of Portland and the Vatican.

Whether they are the harps of heaven strumming from the lungs of Archbishop Alexander Sample at the beginning of his livestreamed Masses when he pronounces, “Let us pray,” or Pope Francis suggesting quietly, “Preghiamo” at the opening of the Casa Santa Marta Masses, the harmony of these Holy Fathers’ invitations to pray through video is as calming, to me, as the breeze of a decorative cloth given a shake above a table before it lands squarely to set a place for all of us to pray together, even virtually.

Let us pray, please, for forgiveness of ingratitude, clarity in confusion, and appreciation for what is here now before we lose it.

Cathleen Badger

Milwaukie