We here in British Columbia have just heard that our “lock down” has been extended to February 5th. This is a cause of everything from discouragement to despondency, perhaps even depression and anger for some … perhaps many. Others could be dealing with this fairly well.

            This post will try to lay out some key and I hope simple ideas to help and assist you in getting through this and coming out the other end of the Pandemic and lockdowns with a positive outlook.

            For that matter – what I am going to write here is something I hope will help you no matter what circumstance you find yourself in. My approach or plan applies to pre-COVID-19, in-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 times. Here I go:

The overall key is that we human beings need routine. What is important is that it is not mindless routine. In other words we think about it and review it from time to time. 

Within our routine we need structure and discipline. I specify this because our routine can be messy and very unproductive. Our bad routine could very well be 3 or 4 hours in front of the TV or computer screen.  

I will be general at first and then perhaps with the next blog or blogs get more specific. We need what I would call a “Plan of Life” or “Regiment” or “My Plan for the Day.” Call it what you will but I hope you get my point.  

The plan of life should give us a framework from the time we get up till the time we go to bed. It is not meant to “box us in” or confine us. These points that make up our plan and can help us through all times. 

I will lay out here some points. You may not agree with all of them; you may not want to do all of them. No problem. My only suggestion is that you make your own Plan and strive to follow it — diligently, faithfully. 

Find a regular time to go to bed and then to get up. The average person needs 6 to 8 hours of sleep. If you cheat on this, you are going to pay for it and others around you will pay (negatively) as well. Don’t mess with your body and soul in this way. 

When you get up make a morning offering. I will devote more to these points in later blogs but essentially it is a prayer to begin the day with God. Thank him for the fact that you are alive and ask him to help you offer your entire day to his honor and glory.

Other points sprinkled throughout the day include prayer (meditation) for 15 minutes. Yes, you can do it. 

Read the New Testament 3 minutes a day. Start at Matthew and just continue. That is 18.5 hours a year. 

Pray the Angelus at Noon. 

Think of Jesus in the Tabernacle at 3pm: Jesus, thank you for being there. I love you!

Try – if you can – to pray the Rosary (even one decade to get the devotion started). 

Begin a plan of spiritual reading. This has made saints so why not you! 10 minutes a day. This will feed your mind, nourish your soul inflame your heart. I can recommend books to people. 

Try to spend time with family or even zoom with friends (Google Meets) rather than watching too much TV or the computer. 

Bedtime – really strive to be regular! Before getting into the bed try these three simple things: 

a) blessing yourself with holy water; 

b) 3 Hail Mary’s for holy purity; 

c) brief examination of conscience. I will expand on this later but essentially it revolves around these question: i) what did I do wrong; ii) what did I do write; iii) what specific thing – 1 thing – can I do to improve tomorrow.

I hope that this is not overwhelming. You don’t have to do all of it but to focus on the overall idea: you and I need a healthy routine that is structured. 

Remember – God loves you! 

Fr Hamilton 

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