Replacing the coronavirus fear with hope

Source: SSPX Ireland

The blessing of the sick in Lourdes

Many churches across Ireland have closed their doors in response to fears stemming from the coronavirus. Is this the correct response?

Dependence is at the very core of human existence. A child’s life begins in a state of complete dependence and he only properly develops in a state of dependence upon others i.e. in society. But the origin of man points to his ultimate dependence - he was freely created by another and owes everything to this creator, including his very life. If he acknowledges this reality, he can discover one of the great Christian truths: the more he respects this dependence and surrenders himself to God, the more will he discover true peace and share in the Life God offers him. 

But man today rejects God and consequently his state of dependence. Attempting to free himself from the order created by God, man has become his own god and creates his own rules. He is a slave to his own passions and, rather than discovering the peace and fulfilment he desires, he finds himself in a cold and heartless society where every man acts only for himself. There is no morality except the morality of pragmatism - even when faced with the most sacred of human realities. The morality of pragmatism is the morality of the culture of death in which souls live in fear of their neighbour.

The culture of death is also a culture full of naïve delusion about its own superiority – casting the accusation of naivety upon those who look to a transcendent God.

Catholic society, far from being naïve, understands the world in a way that the worldlings never can. It sees the universe in the light of first principles and gives to each creature its proper value. For a human being, created in the image and likeness of God, and redeemed by his Creator who joined him in His creation, his eternal life is more precious than his earthly life - remaining in a state of grace is more important than protecting physical health.

The world’s concern is purportedly the physical health of the population even though it seeks to kill the most vulnerable through its culture of death; the Catholic Church’s concern is primarily the spiritual health of souls and consequently (and secondarily) the physical health of souls. The world wishes to isolate man from His Creator and now, in the present health scare, it wishes to isolate men from each other. Assuming that the threat is real, the isolation of man from man is a prudent temporary measure, but not if it puts the supernatural life of a soul in danger. 

The Church, on the other hand, wishes to join man to his Creator and, while it sees that limiting contact to avoid infection is prudent, this can never be at the expense of that union of man with God which is procured and nourished by the sacraments, the use of sacramentals and the sacred liturgy.

It would then be against the very mission of the Church if She were to close the doors of Her churches as a ‘cautionary measure’ and deprive the faithful of the sacraments at a time when they are needed most. Let us go with confidence to the altar, the throne of grace during this time of fear and re-focus on our only true hope: the cross.