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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

A PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19
(Part 5)

SATAN’S STRATEGY

March 18, 2020

Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ to you all, my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord.

I can imagine a scene in Hell. Satan is strategizing with his senior demons. “How can we bring down the Church of Jesus Christ?” “How can we get the Catholic Church to close its churches, keep Catholics from receiving Communion, and even keep them from places of healing such as Lourdes?” Out of that came a brilliant (or rather, diabolical and dark) suggestion. “Let us bring about a pandemic. All it takes is one small invisible virus.” And the rest is history. Behold: COVID-19.

But why does God allow it? Is God not all-powerful and able to prevent such assaults on His people? Yes. But God also allows His people to be put to the test.[1] And God uses chastisements to bring His people to repentance. And God desires to strengthen the faith of His people through discipline and the cross.

God has not failed us. But we may have failed God. We have closed our churches when God’s tormented people need to find solace and hope in His presence in His house.[2] We are cut off from the Eucharist and Holy Communion when we desperately need the grace and strength that comes from it. We are prevented from going to places of miraculous healing, even as the world anxiously searches for a cure.

And we will continue to fail God.

  • If we are not brought to sincerely repent for our sins and resolve to grow in holiness.
  • If our leaders fail to preach the gospel of salvation in Jesus.
  • If our leaders stand quietly by the side as the culture of death rampages throughout the world, devastating marriage and family life, undermining authentic faith, promoting sexual immorality and diabolical isms such as transgenderism.
  • If our parishes remain on maintenance mode[3] rather than going aggressively on mission,[4] reaching the grassroots at the peripheries.
  • If our Catholic Church continues to sink into modernism, threatening age-old teachings and the ancient faith.

Are we not the people of God? Are we just to go along with the ways of thinking in the secular world?[5] Do we not have supernatural faith? How must we view COVID-19 with spiritual eyes?

  • This is not just a medical or biological problem, but is chastisement from God.
  • So the solution is not just social distancing and a vaccine, but repentance and a return to God.
  • Lockdowns are not just a necessary inconvenience, but an opportunity to spend more quality time in prayer, mortification, as well as family.
  • We realize we are not in control, and this should humble us. Since only God is in control, then we should go to Him.
    God is sending the whole world a message. And a warning. So we pray that conversion and renewal will come upon the world.[6]

The evil one will always try to assault God’s people and degrade the faith. That is a given and is expected. For a people of faith, it is not something to be afraid of. What we need to be careful about is our response. This will determine whether the enemy succeeds or not. What should our proper response be, in particular with regard to COVID-19?

  • Be not afraid. Everything is under God’s control. Everything will work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.[7
  • Intensify prayer and reading the Bible. Lockdowns provide an opportunity.
  • Search our hearts and see how we have been failing God, and repent of such.
  • Take every opportunity to proclaim Christ. Understand and be able to speak about the spiritual dimensions of this pandemic.
  • Trust in God. Jesus’ love and mercy are always with us. The power and strength of the Holy Spirit are available to us. We lack for no good thing.

Satan thinks he is winning, but whether he is or not will depend on what we do. Let us give him an unpleasant surprise. Let us come out of this pandemic more morally upright, stronger in our faith, more spiritually mature, much more advanced on the path of holiness, and exceedingly eager to proclaim Christ to the world.

And when this pandemic is over, let us appreciate what we take for granted but see that we can easily lose­our Eucharistic celebrations, our community gatherings, our opportunities for mission. Then let us be more thankful for and committed to what God has given us.

God bless and protect you all.

* * *


[1] Consider the case of Job.
[2] How dismaying that Church officials see churches and the sacraments as no different from how secular officials see social gatherings, sports events and mass assemblies, that is, as just sources of contagion.
[3] The irony is that parishes are unable to maintain Catholics but are losing them every day to the world, to sects and to cults.
[4] Our Church is a missionary Church, and she can only be strong and vibrant if she does the work God intends her to do.
[5] We do not belittle the ways by which the secular world is trying to combat COVID-19. But beyond practicalities, we have faith.
[6] It normally happens, as in 9/11, that people are moved to acts of faith in times of severe calamity.
[7] The great fear in society can be attributed to the fact that people have turned their backs on God and no longer really know Him. If they did, they would not be so afraid.

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