Response of Faith to the Coronavirus Pandemic
How to make this crisis spiritually fruitful?
Dear Friends and Members of Opus Angelorum,
Peace in Christ! Right now large parts of the world are greatly affected by the Coronavirus disease which has far reaching consequences on almost all aspects of our lives, whether social, economic, political, and even religious. Besides all the natural hardships, the Catholic faithful have to endure a tremendous spiritual privation, that is being deprived of attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion.
We know that God allowed this to happen. The question many raise, is “why?”. We cannot answer this question with certainty, but one thing is sure, “We know that all things [even plagues] work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28). We must see this global crisis as God’s invitation to seriously examine and reform our lives. St. Bernardine of Siena said that God uses three scourges to chastise people and nations: war, plague and famine. These three scourges we find throughout Holy Scripture. What does a scourge of the present Coronvirus pandemic mean for us? Return with your whole heart to the LORD, put away your foreign gods,... and worship him alone (cf. 1 Sam 7:3). If we all strive to reform our lives, then this crisis will become a time of grace for which we will thank God one day.
First of all, the fact, that most bishops dispensed the faithful from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass, does not mean a dispense from observing Sunday as a day of prayer and worship. In this communication we wish to give our members and candidates some suggestions how to use this time of trial for our own spiritual benefit and the good of others.
1. Pray the Rosary, alone or with your family.
2. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours.
3. Follow the Mass Liturgy for Sundays and possibly weekdays. Take advantage of Live Masses via TV or internet.
4. Lectio Divina: Read and meditate on the scriptural readings of the Mass or other Scripture passages.
5. End your prayer and meditation by making a Spiritual Communion (see prayer below). St. Alphonsus Liguori quotes saints that maintain that a good Spiritual Communion can obtain as many graces as a Sacramental Communion.
6. Send your Guardian Angel to Mass! Most priests are celebrating daily Mass privately! Therefore, there are many Masses that your Guardian Angel can be present to and attend in your place. Live in conscious communion with your Guardian Angel, your best friend and life companion who has the mission to lead you to Jesus and Mary!
7. Make little sacrifices during day (in regards to food, social media, news; practice acts of charity etc.) out of love for Jesus and for those suffering or dying from the Coronavirus.
Fr. William Wagner has composed a letter for you that explains and significantly deepens these suggestions. Please download the letter here.
Through this trial God gives to each one of us a special opportunity to draw to His Divine Heart through the power and light of the Holy Cross and to experience His mercy in more profound way.
May the Lord, His Angels, and Mary, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Church, give you the graces that will help you to persevere and deepen your faith, hope, and charity in these trying time! We keep you all in our daily prayers.
Your Brothers and the Sisters of the Holy Cross in OA
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion according to St. Alphonsus de Liguori
My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to possess You within my soul. Since I am unable now to receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there, and unite myself wholly to You; never permit me to be separated from You.
Here some recommended online resources: