he great plague in the middle
ages killed a third of the population of Europe. The corona virus (COVID-19) is not
at all similar. Compared to the overall number of cases today, only a small number of
individuals have died, and they tend to be persons who were already medically
vulnerable in some way—and persons medically vulnerable should be prepared to die
at any moment anyway. Similarly, all serious Catholics should be prepared to die at
any moment for any reason. Thus the threat of death from the corona virus does not
change the matter of the reality of death; it just shatters our atheistic
illusions of invulnerability.
So remember: the risk of death from the corona virus is small; most infected
persons recover from the infection.
Consequently, the social panic that
has resulted from the corona virus really is unfounded and derives either from
atheists or from Christians who lack trust in God.
Given the timing of the spread of the
disease, we might do well to think of it as a Lenten chastisement. Consider that the
first death in the US from corona virus occurred on February 28th—just after Ash
A psychologically and spiritually
healthy response to the corona virus should be repentance, not panic. This is a
perfect time to look closely at our lives and repent
our sins, especially the great sins today of irreverence and a lack of trust in
The rest of the human
race, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their
hands, to give up the worship of demons and idols made from gold, silver, bronze,
stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their
murders, their magic potions, their unchastity, or their robberies (Revelation
Bishops and priests who cancel Masses
in the midst of social panic will have to answer to God. I’m not saying that they
are wrong or right, because only God can see into their hearts. But panic only misses
the point of a holy life, and it leads us nowhere but into
despair—and right into the hands of the devil.
But if you can accept the cancellations
gracefully—that is, prayerfully, as an act of penance,
without anger or grumbling—trust that you will still receive all the graces that you
would have received had you been allowed to attend Mass.
A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information
gathered from my websites is now available at your fingertips
in book form.
Disasters and Trauma by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. explains how an
event is traumatic because it disrupts your previously secure sense of self.
Wild animals live with a constant, sharp awareness of perpetual
danger, yet most people live with a naive—and deceptive—sense of safety and
security to the point of denying their basic vulnerability and fragmented sense
of self. So when something disastrous happens, the psychological damage from the
shattering of your illusions about life and identity may be more problematic than
any physical damage.