Surce: dpk.wi.gov

 Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.

To Love.
So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,


Brother Richard Hendricks is a priest-friar of the Irish branch of the Capuchin Franciscan Order. For over twenty years he has worked to bring the insights of the Christian contemplative tradition to greater public awareness, particularly with reference to modern mindfulness theory. He served as director of youth ministry for the Irish Capuchins for over ten years and has worked extensively at both secondary and third level as a retreat-giver and chaplain. He is one of the core developers of the Shekinah Youth Retreat Ministry Training Programme. He has also worked in hospital and prison relief chaplaincy roles and in parish work and was head of chaplaincy in UCC for three years. He is currently guardian of the Ards Friary and Retreat Centre in Donegal

  • Vicky Chen
    Posted at 03:40h, 28 March Reply

    What a great poem!
    It leads me to see beyond.
    I know that God’s way is far above ours.
    Now I am filled with hope –
    for the healing of humanity and nature.

  • Karen Arthurs
    Posted at 07:32h, 28 March Reply

    Thank you. Beautiful….

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 08:19h, 28 March Reply

    Thank you Richard!

  • Wendy McCreath
    Posted at 09:43h, 28 March Reply

    How profound and inspiring. Thank you so much for this reflection, Brother Richard.

  • Larry & Barbara Gaultier
    Posted at 15:46h, 28 March Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful inspiration! Beautifully written! Reminds us to appreciate the simplest things in life with love!

  • Marie Stevens
    Posted at 16:35h, 28 March Reply

    Causes one to reflect on our world.

  • Nancy McEachnie
    Posted at 16:39h, 28 March Reply

    Beautiful sentiments

  • Sylvia Coughlin
    Posted at 21:40h, 28 March Reply

    Everyone should read this. So beautifully put! Thank you for sharing this

  • Maria Skarzynski
    Posted at 23:04h, 28 March Reply

    Yes ! so beautiful – it speaks right to the heart ! Thank you so much.

  • Norbert Piche
    Posted at 12:01h, 30 March Reply

    Wow !

  • Leonore Johnston
    Posted at 18:29h, 31 March Reply

    This poem is so comforting at this time! Thank you so much for writing it!

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