You’d think COVID-19 would only infiltrate the lungs. But obviously it’s spreading far beyond that vital organ! First, in the head: it makes us extremely fearful and afraid of death and suffering; then in the heart: it creates feelings of anxiety, phobia, loneliness, even panic in some people. A little cough and…” That’s it! That’s it! I probably caught the darn virus! I could die!” And finally, on the lips: people everywhere are talking about the darn virus that poisons our lives and is the cause of all our present misfortunes.
This microorganism, invisible to the naked eye and seemingly without intelligence or judgment, has been able to shake and terrify the strongest among us. I am speaking especially of those who are not afraid to deny the existence of God, precisely because he is invisible and seems to be absent from our world. The little invisible virus has done in a few weeks what no one could have achieved after years of effort. It has instantly changed the attitudes and behaviours of all human beings on the planet, transforming our rituals and comfortable routines in the space of a few days or weeks: our ways of opening a door, of physically distancing ourselves from our loved ones, of washing our hands 50 times a day, of avoiding gatherings, of disinfecting several times a day everything that others may have touched, and so forth. It even found a way to communicate to us the fear of seeing our parents and our elders so as not to contaminate them, the most vulnerable in our society, whom we can no longer visit in residences or hospitals until further notice.
But who created these little creatures 1,000 times more detestable than mosquitoes? God? The devil? Man? Well, certainly not God. The Book of Wisdom tells us: “God did not create death (…) But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world. “ (Wis 1:13; 2:24) Because the devil is incapable of creating something out of nothing, as only God can, he had to invent a way to harm men and divide them to take them away from the heart of God. Well, there it is! He has used and still uses Man to provoke him to do foolish things with his ego greater than the Eiffel Tower, or by his desire to eliminate other human beings to achieve his selfish or despotic ends. According to St. Paul, the whole creation suffers while waiting to see the revelation of the sons of God (Rom 8:19). Today, there is a growing awareness that our lack of respect or abuse of the Earth is causing alterations or changes that affect and transform the normal functioning of our planet. Climate change caused by pollution and other factors sometimes hidden from the eyes of the population are only examples of phenomena that subsequently alter the order of creation and thus cause new diseases or natural disasters. And what about the scientific experiments carried out by some unscrupulous or unethical researchers, which also alter creation, possibly leading to incidents with harmful consequences?
Christians know that the devil is an angel whose clever mind has been perverted because he refused to submit to God, and thus was cast down from heaven with his allied angels. His hatred of God led him to attack human creatures and to try to pervert them by engaging in sins that God hates
In fact, the devil looks a lot like the Corona virus! An invisible enemy that sneaks into the head of a man through his malicious inspirations that are contrary to the Spirit of God; then he infiltrates his heart to incline it more and more to desire evil rather than good, which then creates dependencies of all kinds that end up invading the whole being, like a generalized cancer that only a miracle or a shock therapy can eliminate.
And then, once you’re sick, what do you do? Instead of having positive or spiritual thoughts, instead of saying edifying or comforting words, we focus on what hurts or disturbs us from inside or outside: our illnesses, our pain, the inclement weather, other people’s faults, our fears and anxieties about illness or death become our regular topics of conversation. And now, the demon, like the virus, has managed to spread not only in our heads and hearts, but also on our lips.
To conclude this chronicle, I draw your attention to the One who is both far superior to all our enemies and above all creatures of which He alone is the Author. Isn’t this Almighty God capable of pulverizing COVID-19 or any disease or demon? Would His arm be too short to be able to defeat these visible or invisible enemies? This is why the true believer fears neither suffering nor death. He does not desire them, but he knows how to offer them with love for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of his brothers and sisters. Especially for those who are slaves of sin and the devil’s hold, for following the example of God, the believer rejoices for the conversion of one sinner. Moreover, he does not fear death unduly, for he trusts in the promise of eternal happiness that God has in store for those who love and serve Him faithfully on earth.
In this time of crisis, when all we talk about is the virus and its harmful consequences, let us dare to speak of God to those who are worried and troubled; let us witness to our faith with confidence and discernment. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who are affected by this disease and for those who face death without hope because of their lack of faith.
May I suggest that you offer the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day for those who will die soon. Sister Faustina was taken in a vision one day to the bedside of a dying man. Jesus asked her to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for this dying man so that the gates of heaven would open to him. We, too, have the possibility of accompanying these poor dying people from a distance by reciting this Chaplet for them and opening the gates of heaven to them. By faith, let us ask to be carried in spirit to their bedside, and let us rejoice to know that the Lord will grant them a special grace of conversion and reconciliation with Him before embarking on the great journey to the afterlife.
In this time of Eucharistic fasting required to slow down and eliminate the progress of COVID-19, let us ask for the grace to become authentic witnesses of the presence of Jesus, bread of God (Eucharist) that gives life to the world. (Jn 6:33) And like Him, let us become for our brothers and sisters living bread capable of nourishing the souls of those who seek, but have not yet recognized the Author of life.
May our Eucharistic hearts pacify those who worry, those who suffer and those who are about to die. And let us pray with faith that God will intervene with power to remove this invisible enemy that is infiltrating our heads, hearts, and lips.