Back to Normal

An Appeal to Pastors

I hear it in my conversations and
in webinars and on the web: “How long
before we’re back to normal? We can’t stand
much more of this. It seems so very wrong,
not being able to assemble or
to worship freely. How much longer till
we get back to the way things were before?”
As if “before” were squarely in God’s will.

We’re learning nothing. That we have the best
intentions I’ve no doubt. And that we care,
and want to be good shepherds, I am sure
as well. But “normal’s” what we need a cure
for! Normal isn’t what we need, but prayer
and re-assessment, lest we fail this test.



T.M. and Susie Moore make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. He is Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, and the author of 8 books of poetry. He and Susie have collaborated on more than 30 books, which may be found, together with their many other writings and resources, including the daily teaching letter Scriptorium, at




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8 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    I’ve read your poem several times and am really missing the point.
    Are you saying that freedom of religion needs to be re-assessed?

    • T.M.

      No, Joe. I am saying that what pastors and churches think of as “normal” needs reassessing, because it’s clear that what we were doing as churches before the quarantine – and indeed, for the past two generations – has not been effective in making the kind of impact for Christ and His Kingdom that Scripture teaches us to see and expect. We have been, as Lewis put it, too easily satisfied. This quarantine gives us the opportunity to evaluate everything we’ve been doing; but I don’t see that happening.

      • Terri

        I truly believe that God is shaking the long dead branches off the tree of His Church. That vibrant, new growth from His True Worshipers will emerge, in the form of house churches, hungry, faith filled believers. As was in the early days of Christianity in the book of Acts. Thank you for publishing this poem, God’s eyes are searching to and fro to see if there are anyone faithfully seeking Him. Here I am Lord.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    We can still worship and assemble freely, but just don’t let the “authorities” know about it. If rioters are allowed to riot, and looters allowed to loot, then it’s not a far cry for those who want to worship to worship — together, if they so wish!

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Rioters, looters, and Antifa thugs are a precious aristocracy with special privileges, while anyone wanting to go to church for services is an obvious antisocial criminal. Just ask Andrew Cuomo, the mayor of Seattle, the governor of Wisconsin, and the scum who run Minneapolis.

      Gutless and soft-hearted ministers, please don’t bother to reply.

  3. Joe Tessitore

    That sounds like something we can never really know, the impact we’re having for Jesus.

  4. Margaret Coats

    Thanks, Mr. Moore for making this message public. I happy to say that my pastors, from the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, have been very strong on the epidemic as a purification sent by God, both by livestreaming during the lockdown, and now that more gathering for Mass is taking place. Keep up the good work for Our Lord.

  5. Anna J. Arredondo

    “As if ‘before’ were squarely in God’s will…”
    “But “normal’s” what we need a cure
    for! Normal isn’t what we need, but prayer
    and re-assessment, lest we fail this test.”

    I recently had a conversation along these lines with my husband. A hearty “Amen!” to your poem!


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