My Pandemic Psalm by Anne Rodenberg, OblSB

Oh God, you give me what I need when I need it.

Though I may wonder and get
confused and
Your good plan eventually reveals itself.

In these times, You give so many unexpected gifts.

New, renewed, and deepened friendships.

Financial security, at last.

Chickens to raise and love, bringing mindful meditation each time I feed them and clean the coop. Just watching them reminds me of the sacredness of all life and my deep maternal gifts of love and compassion.

Time and space to care for my aging Ginger, my sweet cat companion who, at age 19, is beginning to fail. Her decline and eventual loss is another lesson in patience and compassion from You. May she pass peacefully, quietly in her sleep and let me be a comfort to her all the days of her life.

And perhaps Your greatest gift, just what I needed, is the gift of loving home, finally feeling contentment in this internal dwelling, physical and invisible, that I call home.

At last, comfort in my own skin.

At last, pleasure in place.

Satisfaction and contentment,

borne from not running around.

This relief brings stability and hope in a home here on Earth but also an everlasting place with you.

These are my pandemic gifts, all from You, just what I needed. I await in joyful hope the surprises you bring next. I hope without expectation, no outcome in my heart other than to remain open to Your will. More will be revealed.

Anne Rodenberg with her cat, Ginger, in 2016.

About the author: Anne Rodenberg became an Oblate in 2016, following in the footsteps of her mom, Lorraine Picard, who was an Oblate at St. Benedict’s Monastery. Anne lives in Shoreview with her husband Jeff and their 14-year-old twins, Sara and Aaron. They have a flock of four backyard chickens and a new cat named Bean who joined the family after Ginger passed away in November 2020, a few months after Anne wrote this reflection. The family attends St. Odilia Catholic Church where Anne serves on the Pastoral Care Council, Musical Ministry and as a lector. Reach Anne at anne.rodenberg@comcast.net.