When I moved to New York, Sundays became my favorite day of the week. If I close my eyes and listen to the birds outside my window, I can place myself on the perfect Sunday. It’s May, as it is now, except I’m in Union Square. I peruse stands of used books and people-watch with my friends before we head a few blocks over for Mass. We’re enveloped by tourists and residents alike who exclaim loudly to friends, family, lovers, strangers, everything, nothing. I’m beaming. The sun and the people of New York, even in the heaps of garbage and concrete, create a euphoric sense of wholeness and possibility.
I open my eyes, and I’m sitting cross-legged in my bed. My laptop is propped open on my laundry basket, ready for a livestreamed Mass. My door is closed. I see no one. Now that it’s after Easter, it’s exponentially more difficult for me to partake. On this Sunday, I close my laptop before the service begins. I feel too tired, too weary. Am I really that reliant on the physical space to practice spirituality? I suppose the answer has revealed itself to be yes.
When we can’t be physically near each other—physically in the space of a church or a chapel for mass—I urge you as a means of urging myself to not grow so weary that we reach despair. In the Gospel this week, Jesus tells us: “But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” When we are physically isolated, we are not left behind. In the confines of the same space, we find God in new ways as he actively seeks us, too. He remains with us, always, even when we feel most alone. The perfect Sunday has not been taken from me. It is changed, undoubtedly, but because he remains, so does wholeness and possibility.
Caitlin Wright considers herself an aficionado for all things Jesuit. After graduating from Creighton University (Go Jays!) in 2017 with a degree in English, Spanish, and Legal Studies, Caitlin completed a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Brooklyn, NY. She continues to reside in Brooklyn and works as an immigration counselor at Catholic Migration Services, a not-for-profit organization that provides legal aid to migrants in Brooklyn and Queens. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys going to Broadway shows, singing with the schola at the Church of St. Francis Xavier, and finding the best bagels New York has to offer.