We can discuss endlessly the causes of the COVID-19 virus and the consequences of the response to the pandemic on peoples’ physical, economic and psychological lives. The media ceaselessly speculates on these aspects, creating, among other things, a climate of fear and demoralization.
One aspect which has been somewhat overlooked, and which is the source of much hope, is the spiritual point of view, that is, what meaning can we ascribe to this pandemic? Has God sent us a message? If so, what is it? Should we view this experience as a punishment from God, or rather, a warning?
It is said that God speaks to us through events. With an event such as the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of the world’s population has been confined at home and virtually all public Masses around the world have been shut down. Both events are unprecedented.
God shouts out to us in this way not for the pleasure of punishing us or making us suffer, but as an electric shock, delivering a powerful warning and wake-up call to shake us from indifference and have us leave the path that leads to the abyss. God is good and does not want the death of the sinner; He wants him to repent and live. He loves us endlessly and does not want any of His children to become lost and go to hell. So while respecting our freedom, God must sometimes, as a last resort, use extraordinary events to awaken us.
Father Cantalamessa quoted St. Augustine in his homily on Good Friday, 2020:
“Being supremely good, God would not allow any evil in his works, unless in his omnipotence and goodness, he is able to bring forth good out of evil”.
God did not create the virus, but if he allows this virus to exist, it is so that ultimately a greater good will result: conversion and the salvation of souls which, otherwise, would not have taken place.
The following three texts expound further on this point. Most Rev. Michel Aupetit, Archbishop of Paris, during his homily on March 22, 2020, the fourth Sunday of Lent, commented on the gospel in which the man blind from birth was healed (John 9, 1-41).
“Master, who sinned: him or his parents, so that he was blind?”
This is the eternal question of who is guilty, whom can we call responsible. So who is guilty? We can see that the plagues that affect populations are most of the time the consequences of men’s actions. This is obvious in the wars in which we kill each other... Likewise, this coronavirus, which appeared in China in a wet market... shows the carelessness of men and the responsibility, in parentheses, of a regime which has made lying a fashion and which delayed an effective response from the public health system. In short, there is no need to look very far to find a culprit for all these follies.
But that is not the question; it is not the question that the Apostles asked in the gospel of the day. The question that the disciples asked Jesus was whether or not the man born blind had received a divine punishment. Was the blind man the one who sinned and therefore was born without sight? Because after all, this man had done nothing to be born blind; he didn’t sin in his mother’s womb! So, was it his parents who had committed sin and so God punished him?
Jesus’ answer is clear, and it is relevant today: “Neither he nor his parents.” This means that what happens to us is not a divine punishment. Let us listen to what Jesus says:
“It is so that the works of God may be manifested in him”.
There you go. God did not create evil, God does not want evil. But God can use evil to bring out a greater good. This is what we celebrate during the Paschal Triduum. We see that, of course, the absolute evil was the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Innocent that was put on a cross. From this abomination, God brought forth resurrection and eternal salvation for all men. This is what is important to understand.
In an article from lifesitenews.com. John Horvat wrote:
Most people have the wrong idea of God’s chastisements. They see them almost as arbitrary acts. They do not see them as a means to put things back in order. Our Lady of Fatima spoke of chastisements in this manner.
When society as a whole becomes iniquitous and unrepentant, the only way to return to order is through great tribulation for all. Saint Alphonsus clarifies the matter by saying,
“God, being infinite goodness, desires only our good and to communicate to us his own happiness. When he chastises us, it is because we have obliged Him to do so by our sins.”
Indeed, God desires our amendment more than we do. He chastises “not because He desires to punish us, but because He wishes to deliver us from punishment”. He has compassion for us by showing Himself “angry toward us, in order that we may amend our lives, and that thus He may be able to pardon and save us”.
Finally, in an article entitled, Is the coronavirus a punishment from God?, posted on March 29, 2020 on the blog, Commentary on Catholic Issues, Father Regis Scanlon O.F.M.Cap., wrote:
Did God send the coronavirus to punish the people of the world and particularly the people in the U.S.A.? I do not believe that God “sent” the coronavirus to anyone. Apparently, it originated in China and there is speculation that it was a result of the carelessness of scientists working in laboratories with this virus, or because the population consumed harmful foods and animals, like bats.
It should be obvious to all that God does not have to send viruses in order to punish people in the United States or any other place in the world. People, including the Church and civil governments, are quite capable of messing things up on their own. Where God’s punishment does come in is in the fact that God permitted this virus to happen (He could have prevented it) and now He is not stopping it.
Why would God permit the virus in the first place? If we believe in the prophecies of Our Lady, He permitted the virus so that people would repent of their sins and change their evil ways. He permitted this virus to paralyze every country in the world so that people would wake up, quit committing sins of impurity and stop killing their children through abortion.
But there is more. God cannot and will not stop this virus unless He sees that the individual person or nation intends to stop sinning — particularly by acts of impurity and abortion. This is because God cannot cooperate in evil. This is because He is a good God and can never be involved in helping evil. To help evil to flourish is the work of Satan and his minions.
Everyone wonders how long we will be trapped by this virus. One answer, among many, is that on a global level, scientists will find an effective vaccine so that the coronavirus is contained. But we should not be fooled into complacency. God is still involved and sent us a warning through His Mother; He is waiting for a response from us. Throughout history He has used catastrophes like wars and natural disasters to call people to repentance. It is not enough that we only pray for relief from this worldwide disease, we must also do something, and that is resolve not to sin anymore. As St. James said
“faith without works is as dead as a body without breath” (James 2:26).
(End of Fr. Scanlon’s article.)
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During this pandemic, there has been a good deal of discussion regarding what is an ‘essential service’. For a Christian, our main concern is heaven. Whether rich or poor, we pass temporarily through life on earth while our souls are eternal. Eternity will either be spent in the bliss of heaven with God, his angels and saints or we will suffer an eternity of misfortune in hell with satan and the fallen angels. It depends on our choices; our actions on earth. These weeks of confinement offer opportunities to reflect more on both the meaning of this life and on the afterlife.
It was the wickedness of men who created the virus and caused the upheaval of society. God is not responsible. Even if the international financiers wish to capitalize on the virus and move rapidly toward their plan of a one-world government, God, in His divine providence, also has a plan. He can use the virus for conversion.
Later in this issue, we will discuss that the pandemic has the capacity to make us understand the problems of the current financial system and its rulers who create money in the form of debt for global domination. We hear that the world will ‘never be the same again’. That can be true. We can present the solution to a society and economy based on love and service through Economic Democracy, also known as Social Credit (but not the social credit system of Communist China (see page 45).
It is up to us to seize this opportunity to make a blessing, not a punishment, of the pandemic. Let the financiers believe the pandemic will enable global totalitarianism while we cooperate with God’s grace to bring good out of evil and establish a Social Credit economy. Indeed, the world would never be the same again!