The following is a text message which I sent out to my own family today. It represents my thoughts on this present experience.
We all have to stick together through this event and period of time. Whatever the natural origins of this virus, I firmly believe it is not just another crisis or event. (God uses events that are natural in origin to humble and touch hearts. Romans 8: “For those who love God and who are called to His plan, all things work together for their good.”)
In this case, it is a time that has been prophesied by many holy people in recent years, generally called “the warning” and also “the illumination”: a time when God gets the attention of the whole world and helps individuals to see themselves as they stand before Him–thus the need for “social isolation,” i.e, a quiet time for humble and attentive prayer. It is meant to chastise, discipline, and purify, to sober and cleanse, to invite us to draw near to Him and to His Son, Jesus Christ. For us, as Catholics, it has a special meaning. God has decreed a Eucharistic fast, something unprecedented. Something very good will come for those who heed the invitation and accept this grace. But suffering is also necessary–“suffering is the language of love”–witness the Cross and Resurrection. (No accident this is happening in Lent and Easter.) Very important that those who know God be attentive and responsive to this invitation…for our own sake but also for the sake of others who have not yet received the gift of faith and who do not as yet understand or believe.
Fr. Miles Walsh, Pastor