Overcoming the viral pandemic surpasses all other causes in urgency and immediate priority. All other causes, values, purposes and moral principles flow into this one worldwide obligation: “defeat” the virus, treat the sick, save lives.
Those of us not “in the trenches” of the campaign also have responsibilities in this struggle. Self-isolation or quarantine does not cancel or even defer those responsibilities. We are responsible too. We can and must be agents for collective strength and positive outlook. Individual acts of kindness and chessed can help create a communal, if not also global life-sustaining weapon of inspiration against a common, international peril.
Earlier this week, Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka of Ottawa and Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast co-authored a National Prayer for Canada. A great many Canadians all around the country invoked the prayer at 3:00 pm on March 31 in the hope that common purpose heightens common resolve.
Common resolve, of course, heightens all possibilities for goodness and wide benefit.
The prayer is reproduced below.
Its words, its pleas and its aspirations can be invoked for the duration of this pandemic trial.
We gather together separated by life-saving distancing, but united more than ever in spirit;
We know we are in a war against COVID – 19 together, and the more together we are, the better and stronger we will emerge:
We know the challenges are enormous, yet so are the opportunities;
That whether we are in isolation with loved ones, or alone, we will have abundance of time;
We commit to using that time to the max, to help those in greater need in whatever way we can;
We know we all have the opportunity, and time, to be life-savers and life enhancers;
We give thanks for those who are on the front line taking care of those who are not well;
We give thanks for the researchers who are working at breakneck speed to find cure and vaccine;
We give thanks for our leaders, federal, provincial and local, for their dedication to all of us;
We give thanks for the providers of our daily needs who go to work in spite of the risk;
We give thanks for those who have ramped up their ability to produce life-saving supplies.
We pray for the well-being of all our life savers; For those who are not well, that they recover fully;
For those enduring difficulty, that they may overcome their challenges.
We pray that a cure and vaccine will soon be available,
And that we all – family, friends, all Canadians, the entire world may be healed in body and spirit.
We ask you, O God, to bless our leaders, our front line care-givers, our life savers and life enhancers.
We ask you, O God, to bless Canada, to bless the world, to bless everyone.
Stay safe. Be well. Stay well.