by Fr Richard Heilman | March 13, 2020 5:31 PM
President Trump began his inspiring speech today with,
“We are taking decisive steps to combat and, ultimately, to defeat the coronavirus … through a very collective action, shared sacrifice and national determination, we will overcome the threat of the virus.”
These are words not unlike those we would hear as the nation enters into a world war. As we have seen, throughout history, those were times when such things as “shared sacrifice” and “national determination” were unleashed in the hearts of all Americans.
This is the spirit in which I find myself, and many others, embracing in this challenging time. This is a spirit that finds us, dutifully, joining together to “combat and defeat” this deadly virus. We are getting into the proverbial “recruiting station lines,” and enlisting in this war. This means our next stop is “boot camp.” Among the many things learned in this basic training will be to root out any selfishness and disobedience, so we can move at the bark of our commanding officer. If we are to be successful on the battlefield, we must move fearlessly “as one,” rather than wasting time and energy “herding chickens” who are choosing to go their own way.
More than anything else, we must have the deep confidence that God is with us. In 1965, Billy Graham wrote:
“Historians will probably call our era ‘the age of anxiety.’ Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us.”
As we all know, many have disconnected from God, and many of those, sadly, are people close to us. So, we are witnessing the anxiety and panic and the buying of toilet paper in bulk.
This is an amazing opportunity for us, who have remained close to God, to witness to them our peace and our calm and our resolve to join together, as Americans, behind our commanding officers (President Trump, Bishops, Medical Experts) and combat and defeat the Coronavirus.
So far, the “ask” is not that extreme: “Social Distancing” that will save the lives of countless elderly and others with compromised immune systems. As we obey our commanding officers in this “social distancing,” see it as an opportunity to slow down and enjoy some spiritual reading, some deeper prayer and the company of your loved ones. In the meantime, let’s be on high alert for any needs that may arise, especially those needs of the elderly and the lonely. We’ll get through this, and we will be stronger for having gone through it.
Quoniam Deus, familial at patria! For God, family and country!
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