I won’t soon forget the moment I found out. I was hustling my kids through the front door, a bag full of soccer balls in hand, just returning from a two-hour-long coach’s meeting. My husband met me at the door. “All Masses are cancelled,” he said. Exhausted and confused, I replied, “What?”

That’s was the moment my entire world turned upside down. Masses in the Archdiocese of Seattle, where my family and I live, were cancelled March 11.

Suddenly, I felt a tremendous sense of emptiness. Very little of our family life is not connected to a church.

It dawned on me the next day that going without Mass is a difficult sacrifice, and it will make my Lent incredibly stark. For the foreseeable future, I will be without communion. I will be distant from that intimacy with God.

We honor Lent in memory of the time that Jesus, without food or water, roamed the desert for 40 days. And that is where I and all Catholics around the world without Mass truly are - in the desert. But God has not left us.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. (Ps 23:4)”