I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit tired of hearing the word “coronavirus.” It seems to be all anyone is talking about right now. I do not say this to diminish the problem and I acknowledge that we do need to be concerned. It is unlike anything our world has seen for a long time. And we each have our own ways of dealing with it. Yet what I’ve noticed is that many of us are acting out of fear and responding in panic.
A few days ago, I was on the phone with a close family member. We were talking about what’s happening in our world right now and she said something so profound: “If we all were as concerned about our souls as this virus our world would be transformed.” Stop and let that sink in. If we all were as concerned about our souls as this virus our world would be transformed.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, these are some of the things that have happened:
- Stores have sold out of toilet paper, Clorox wipes, soap, and hand sanitizer.
- In addition to the above items being out of stock, people bought out grocery stores of eggs, canned goods, frozen vegetables and so much more.
- Thermometers, facemasks and other medical supplies and medicines are sold out.
- Public events everywhere are being cancelled or postponed, schools are closing, even churches are cancelling masses.
- People are angry, scared, confused and panicking.
- Social distancing, washing hands and using hand sanitizer every chance we get has become the norm.
- People are blaming the President and other figures in authority for each new issue that arises.
I digress. You get the picture.
We certainly must be careful not to put anyone at risk of getting sick. But look at what our world has done in response to a virus that most of us will not catch or die from. We are focusing on the wrong pandemic!
“If we all were as concerned about our souls as this virus our world would be transformed.”
My friends, there is a pandemic of suffering souls, and yet, many of us are not concerned. We are rushing to grocery stores, pharmacies and the Internet stocking up on things we will only need for a short time, yet churches and Bibles are collecting dust. The pastor at the church I attend said to the congregation on Sunday, “What’s worse than death is not having a relationship with Jesus.” Do we believe that? We are all so afraid of this illness, of death, of not having enough things in our homes to make it through what will be a temporary situation. But are we afraid of dying without ever having known God, our Creator?
Perhaps if we realized our souls are more in danger than our bodies, this is what the world would look like…
- We’d give our souls a “cleaning” by going to Confession and asking for forgiveness from our sins regularly.
- We wouldn’t miss mass on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation or opportunities to worship and be spiritually fed.
- We’d fall to our knees in prayer every day to be closer to God and further from evil.
- We’d say “yes” to invitations to do good, instead of spending time in sinful amusements, bad company or inappropriate entertainment.
- We would instinctively turn to hope, not fear.
- Speaking of God and being uncomfortable for the sake of the Gospel would be the norm.
- We would not blame others for our misfortunes and would ask for strength from God to persevere.
Brothers and sisters, let us live our lives taking great care of our souls. I pray that you will let this be your anthem.
As we strive to take care of the health of ourselves and the community, let us not forget to take care of our souls, to be lights in the darkness, to encourage one another.
The coronavirus will not last forever. Our souls will. What are you going to do about it?