07 April 2020, The Tablet

A leading Dominican on life in lockdown Britain

A leading Dominican on life in lockdown Britain

A Christian prays at the locked door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on Palm Sunday
Photo: CNS, Debbie Hill


A former head of the Dominican order suggests how we might we use these days of waiting and hoping to change the way we structure our lives. There is an opportunity to let go of the past with its burdens, be open to the future with its promises, and live each moment as it comes

At midday we sang “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13). Before Covid-19, when I sang those words I used to think of my brothers and sisters in Iraq: how long will their suffering go on, decade after decade? Now they are the words in all our mouths. How long, O Lord, will this pandemic continue?

NHS staff and GPs must wonder how long they will have go on working draining hours, risking their lives. How long must those working in supermarkets, in transport and the post, and other essential areas, have to be dangerously close to other people? How long can parents locked in with young children stay patient and loving? How long before grandparents can enjoy their grandchildren again? How long before I get the result of my test for the virus? How long shall I live?

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