May the Love of Christ Go Viral

Christ heals

By Charlie Johnston

“And so we go on, into the storm, through the storm”

-close of Winston Churchill’s radio address after the fall of Singapore

Some of my friends have taken me to task for not taking the Wuhan Virus more seriously. More have thanked me for not succumbing to the panic. I had a doctor friend tell me he is not terribly concerned about it, but he isn’t telling his patients that. I asked why and he replied that, if it does beat the odds and turns into a genuine pandemic and he had been dismissive of it, he will be regarded as callously indifferent. There is no upside in that. On the other hand, if it continues to be far less dangerous than an ordinary flu, he will merely be seen as prudently cautious – and there is no downside in that.

I know it is reported that it is a strain that humans have not previously encountered (though we routinely encounter coronaviruses). That sounds scary, until you find out that strains humans have never previously encountered pop up pretty regularly. The flu is a mutating virus, which is why we are never quite rid of it. I have seen no evidence, as yet. that the infection rate is substantially greater than the common cold. Even the most generous mortality rates say it is MUCH less dangerous than MERS, Ebola, or Sars. More sober reports have it in line with the mortality rates of a normal flu. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this one has been the cause of such raw panic. My best guess is that it actually was originally a Chinese-developed bioweapon that was (to them) disappointingly weak – and they simultaneously tried to cover it up and over-reacted when it got loose, causing the rest of the world to panic and the idiot media to see an opportunity to make this into “Trump’s Katrina.”

I certainly have had people whose judgment I value give me detailed reasons why they believe this to be particularly dangerous. On the other hand, after my panic over the Hong Kong flu when I was 13, I have been careful to read the literature, research and raw data on each potential pandemic (including the fears over Y2K two decades ago). The details I get from my trusted associates seem like variants on all the sincere details on why the previous pandemics were likely to be the big one. My guess on this one is that, in the end, it will turn out to be the weakest of all the potential pandemics touted in my lifetime.

While the physical consequences of the Wuhan Virus seem, so far, to be rather subdued, the economic consequences have been enormous. As I write this, the stock market is going through another huge tumble – after several weeks of the same. Many of our foreign supply chains are drying up, which means we will have to manufacture more here and find new foreign sources for our needs – and perhaps rethink the wisdom of being heavily dependent on any single foreign source for vital supplies. While that is creating a lot of short-term pain, I think the end result will be like pruning a fruit tree, paving the way for dramatic new and increased growth.

I have a dirty, little secret concerning the coronavirus. I am not vested at all in being proved right about it. The secret is that, at bottom, I really don’t care whether it turns into one of the very rare real pandemics or whether it passes on like so much smoke in a windstorm. I have been saying for some time that we have huge challenges ahead of us in the temporal realm – things that reflect the much larger disorders that have erupted in the spiritual realm. If it is to become a great pandemic, then it becomes an opening shot in the challenges I have been insisting all along we must face. If it passes away as just another iteration of the flu, we still have huge challenges ahead of us, many much bigger than what we are in a panic over right now. I just am not focused on what will be the catalyst for the larger crises; my focus is on how we must act when it inevitably comes.

Actually, I am kind of glad there has been such a panic. It is a gift from God, I think – allowing us a sort of dress rehearsal to develop a real assessment of how prepared we are to go forth and proclaim His Kingdom. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, some of our surviving ships made a series of naval sorties out to strategic islands in the western Pacific Ocean. All discovered that they were woefully ill-prepared for actual combat, even with the proper tools at hand. It was their minds and hearts that were not yet quite right. Thankfully, American hubris typically does not morph into impotent sulking after failure, but is transformed into American resolve to do whatever it takes to become competent. This little scare has revealed a lot of daylight between our profession of who we are as Christians and what we actually are. Time to do a little assessment.

I have never thought that the Storm that has been gathering around us could be avoided – and have never suggested that things written here would be helpful in stopping the Storm. Rather, I sought to encourage people in the habits of mind and action that would mitigate the worst effects of the crisis and help us all soldier through to a renewal of the values and virtues that sustain and nurture healthy families and societies. I have been gratified that many have girded their loins and resolved to confront whatever crosses might come their way in order to gain a bountiful harvest for the Lord. I am a little disappointed that in this dress rehearsal, so many committed Christians have panicked like Peter before the cock crowed, at the mere hint that there might actually be a real cross involved. Spoiler alert: before all is said and done, there will be. But Peter ultimately used his panicked failure as a launching pad for his later steely resolve and fidelity, even unto death. So, I have high hopes despite some disappointment.

The foundational rule by which we approach the world here is expressed simply in the maxim, Acknowledge God, Take the Next Right Step, and Be a Sign of Hope to Those Around You. Let us use this to assess how we have approached the Wujan Virus.

To Acknowledge God is to recognize that He is the Author of History and the Master of all storms. Our hope is in Him – and not ourselves. We know that when we truly serve Him and His people, all things that happen to us, whether they seem good or ill from a temporal perspective, He uses for our good. Thus, we can approach all trials with a serene confidence that God will draw great fruit from them, both for our good and for that of others, when we hold fast to our confidence in Him. This does not mean that we will not suffer and, perhaps, even physically die. Many of the early Apostles, including Sts. Peter and Paul, were killed for their faith. All men die. But HOW they live and die determine whether they are just meaningless fodder for the murderous appetites of barbaric hordes or whether they become (ahem) viral carriers of the hope that is in Christ. We do not know whether the centurion at the foot of the Cross knew anything about how Jesus lived. But he was witness to how the Master died – and that was sufficient for him to exclaim, in stunned wonder, that “surely this was the Son of God.” If your life were to be suddenly forfeit, would your behavior cause any of those who were witness to it confess that, “surely this was a friend of God!”? Does the way you live reveal to those around you the imprint of the living Christ in you and bear effective witness to Him? These are things that must concern us. God has a place in heaven prepared for you. Do not worry so much about those things that can only kill the body. Rather, zealously protect your place in heaven. You do that by living steadfast resolve in the service of God by living stalwartly in the service of His people. Your one goal is to bring Him a bountiful harvest. That is how we acknowledge God.

Recognizing that God does not interfere with our free will, we are called to be His hands and feet on earth. That leads us to endeavor to Take the Next Right Step. This is complicated because of our frailty. Our limited capacity to reason rightly causes us often, with the best intentions, to take the wrong step. Even so, we are called to take the initiative anyway, trusting to God to correct our many errors. Because of original sin, we are weak and will often stumble along our way. It has been well said that the most authentic mark of a Christian is not that he does not fall, but how relentless he is in getting up and starting anew. Thus, even knowing that we will often fail – both with good intentions and of our own fault, God demands that we press forward anyway, to use all our mind, heart and spirit to do the most right thing we can think of in each situation. I think the most important quality to develop is that of acknowledging it candidly and immediately when we see we have been wrong, abandoning the wrong step we took, and getting back on our path under God with humility. If we do that, always acknowledging Him, He will use those periods of error to give us deep guidance and draw great fruit even from those errors. Ah, but how we must prune ourselves! We love to justify our errors and tell ourselves it was no error at all. How many times have you called your own cowardice, prudence? And how many times have you called your malicious willfulness, courage? With each self-justification, we wound a piece of our soul, while the opportunistic demons egg and cheer us on – to our own destruction. Yet we must make each decision with confidence, abandon each error with humility, all while knowing we cannot quit the field, even when we are not certain what the most right thing actually is. No burying our talent in a field for us.

When I am not certain what the best and truest path is in a situation, I pray in this manner: “Lord, you know I love you. I am not certain what is the most right step here, but I am going to take this action, praying that if it is the wrong step, You will show me and help me to correct course to what is pleasing to You.” Then I act with confidence, knowing that even with uncertainty, no one answers the call of the uncertain trumpet. I leave it to God to correct me, and to my own reliance on Him to fully renounce error as soon as I understand it to be so. Surprisingly, perhaps, I credit the credibility so many attribute to me because I act boldly – and then renounce any error with equally bold candor. Most of my fellows know that I cannot be pressured into changing my course, but will change course quickly if one shows me truly that I have erred.

Take counsel. I have the good fortune to have more than a few people around me who both honor me AND are gutsy enough to correct me candidly when they think I have acted wrongly. I am fortunate, too, that both the Priests and the Bishops who have directed me have taken their task seriously. If I think they are wrong, I will argue with them – and have, at times, persuaded them to rethink a directive. In the end, though, I always obey the lawful authority that is set over me when it is lawfully exercised. My first spiritual director worried briefly that I was too quick to obey. I told him that I knew very well that, in Christianity, obedience is not a matter of the subjection of the lesser to the greater: if it were so, how would it have been possible for Jesus to have been obedient to His parents after the temple? Rather, in the faith, obedience is a means of opening channels of grace. The director has the responsibility to take his duty seriously and give carefully considered direction while the pilgrim under his direction is called to obey his lawful direction. If error on either side is made, nothing is lost in God’s economy. We can revisit the subject later, with even greater confidence and affection for each other because of our honest effort to live our respective duties well. Always, before visiting one in authority over me, I pray intensely that our visit be an encounter with the living Christ for both of us. Thankfully, that has almost always been the case. During a conversation once, one of my director Priests told me, with amusement, that he was never quite sure who was directing who when we met, but that ours were among the most fruitful visits he had with anyone. It was a great compliment to us both – and reflected the deep affection and regard we had come to hold each other in BECAUSE of our commitment to God, our duty to each other, and our open-heartedness. Take counsel and cherish it, praying that it become an encounter with the living Christ for all involved.

Many completely invert how we are called to relate to our fellows. We are called to be rigorous with ourselves and charitable to others, not vice versa. We are to act with prudence, charity and rigor, understanding at each moment that our judgment in all things save revealed truth may be erroneous – never changing course out of fear or anger, nor failing to change course out of pride when error is revealed.

We are called to act to build each other up, to comfort those who are fearful, to boldly proclaim the Kingdom with power, conviction and clarity that inspires those around us to new hope and new resolve. This is how we become a Sign of Hope to those around us. You cannot convince people that the Lord loves them with your face contorted in rage. You cannot convince people that the Lord is Master of the Storm while panicking, yourself, or tearfully cowering in fear. I speak not just of the extraordinary measures of going forth to strangers, but of the effect you have on your own circle of family and friends. Have you added to their panic or have you been a bridge over troubled waters for those around you, a safe haven for them?

To be either a doomsayer (“we’re all gonna die”) or a Pollyanna, ignoring prudent precaution, is to forfeit credibility and, thus, the ability to comfort those around you. Do you lash out in anger at what you consider the mistakes of others while neglecting your own duty before God? Do you recall others to their duty before God as you also live yours faithfully?

I have been disappointed to hear some outraged at reasonable precautions that some Bishops and Priests have temporarily adopted, such as restricting communion to the hand, allowing it only under the species of the bread, and removing holy water. I, personally, do not agree with these steps, but they are not unreasonable – and may even comfort the more timid among the flock. So long as they are temporary until the panic passes, I accept the decision of those charged with making such decisions as a disciplinary matter. I know that, until 1890, people only received Communion at all a handful of times a year. That was when the Decree Quaemadmodum was issued by the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars for all religious institutions. In 1905 Pope Pius X promulgated it for the laity with his decree, Sacra Tridentina. Before that, at most Masses, the laity participated in worship and spiritual desire, but not actually in reception of the Eucharist. While lay members of the early Church usually received as often as the Mass was said, by the middle of the first millennium, reception by any but the Priests was rare, so rare that the Fourth Lateran Council had to decree that the faithful receive at least once a year. So it remained until 1905. It sometimes amuses me that those who think all things traditional are superior never seem to clamor for the return of this restriction of Eucharistic communion. But most traditionalists are only hearkening back to what they remember from their own childhood or heard from their parents, without reference to or much knowledge of the actual 2,000-year history of the Church. Thanks be to God that, two years prior to his formal proclamation, Pope Pius X prayed publicly that frequent, even daily reception, would be encouraged by the clergy and adopted by the laity. He would be astonished, though, to know that some would object strenuously to minor restrictions during times of panic or emergency. On this matter, if you want to appeal to the tradition of the Church, at least a millennium and a half refute you.

On the other hand, I am absolutely horrified that the Italian Bishops Conference (NOT the Vatican) has eliminated all Masses and public religious observances until after the panic (or crisis) is past – and this during Lent, no less, when our resolve and trust should be increased. Times of crisis are when the Church must act most boldly to minister to the flock entrusted to her by Christ – and whether it is a mere panic or a real emergency, either constitutes a crisis in confidence. That is when the Church must step into the breach. My stars, I tremble at the very thought of standing before Christ as a cleric and telling Him that when danger reared its ugly head I protected my sinecure and my own hide. How can you imagine Him saying anything other than, “Depart from Me – I never knew you.” To suspend the Mass altogether is a betrayal of Christ and an abandonment of His people. May God have mercy on the souls of those poor simpering cowards who betray their sacred vow to Him.

Early last week, I was chatting with a Priest in some authority. Though he is heartened by how many conversions he is personally seeing, he is disheartened by the indifference and cowardice of so many in the clergy. He observed that, during the plague years of the middle ages, it was largely the Catholic clergy and religious who ministered to and cared for the sick and dying as public officials were paralyzed by panic and fear. “I don’t think that is going to be the case this time unless a lot of my brother Priests turn back to God,” he added.

After His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was disappointed to find the Apostles fast asleep. “Could you not watch one hour with me?” He asked them. Yet His initial irritation seemed to turn to affectionate confidence that, when their time came, the disciples would rise to the occasion. I do not think we Christians have responded well as servants of Our Lord as this potential pandemic has unfolded. But if we adopt an examination of conscience based on the dictum to acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope, I am confident that we, too, will rise to the occasion as the storm around us rises to greater fury. Christ is the light of the world – and He has entrusted that light to those of us who will deny ourselves and bring it to a battered, bleeding world on His behalf.

When you are tempted to fear, to panic, to unwonted anger remember that Jesus is there beside you, asking placidly, “Do you love me more than these?” The answer you give by your actions determines whether you are fit for the Master’s service.

Contrary to modern popular imagination, serious Christianity is NOT for wimps.

 

 

 

 

 

201 thoughts on “May the Love of Christ Go Viral

  1. Perhaps in these times, it would be helpful to return to and on the Revelations 12 imagery and hope for it’s fulfilment & conclusion. In the past Revelations 12 had different meaning to Christianity as we progressed throughout the ages (the beginning of Christianity, the various Marian apparitions like Fatima & Guadalupe, and current times). Images of The Church or Mary against the a foe (China in our times) and the Devil. Our current times is about overcoming communism, socialism, liberalism, etc… and returning to God, the birth pangs & struggles against the dragon are necessary, before we reach the destination of peace. Hope & trust in God’s revealed plan of Revelations 12. The only way out of these evil times is through the suffering…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Beckie, Your remarks about a return to frequent CONFESSION and Communion is particularly timely. Why? Because for many centuries the “I’m not worthy to receive often” mentality had plagued the Church.

      It took Pope St. Piux X’s 1906 granting of a Plenary Indulgence for Catholics in the habit of receiving Communion 5 times a week — to begin to break loose from those “I’m not worthy to receive often” thoughts/beliefs. But positive response was grindingly slow and gradual. As you and I both experienced, up until fifty years ago – there was no general response to Piux X’s admonitions on the frequent reception of the Eucharist.

      The rigorist counter practice had been common in the Middle Ages, began to lose ground during the Renaissance. But it got a new lease on life with the rise of the Jansenist Heresy in the 17th century. Again, it wasn’t till the Pontificate of Piux X, between 1905 and 1907, when he issued decree after decree encouraging ‘daily communion’, and issued a plenary indulgence for those who received 5 times a week or more that any serious positive movement occurred in this regard.

      Now what is needed is for the faithful to once again return to frequent CONFESSION AND COMMUNION.

      All my love in Christ

      Desmond

      Liked by 5 people

  2. “Now what is needed is for the faithful to once again return to frequent CONFESSION AND COMMUNION.”

    May I add ” AND PLENARY INDULGENCE”?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The CDC is the place to go to get the most accurate report on the spread of Covid 19.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

    The map is quite impressive. Of the 50 States only Maine, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Idaho, Minnesota, Colorado and Alaska have not reported at least one case.

    On March 11, I posted that the total number of CONFIRMED cases was 950. On March 12 that jumped to 1,215. That’s in the ballpark of exponential liftoff.

    Not to be too panicky about it but this is what an exponential liftoff might look like if you want to visualize where we are with Covid 19

    Now think about this: From 0 mph to 2,195 ft per second. In 1min 44 seconds. That’s exponential velocity. I don’t think we are moving quite that fast with Covid 19 but I hope you get the point about exponential growth. It happens fast. Real fast. No time to react. You are just going for the ride.

    John Glenn the astronaut once observed about being strapped on top of the rocket before liftoff: “If somebody tells you they are not afraid they don’t understand the problem.”

    On a more personal level I am concerned about what the impact on MOI and the family could possibly be. In that respect I want to know what the mortality rate by age group looks like. It seems to look like this according to the Chinese experience which is a pretty good sample size at this point:

    https://www.popsci.com/story/health/covid-19-coronavirus-death-rate-by-age/

    I fall squarely in the 70-79 block with some pre-existing conditions. I don’t like the mortality odds. Not only does buying the farm concern me but the symptoms of struggling with the disease sound ghastly to me. I am a lousy patient. Just ask my wife. I don’t do sick well at all.

    So we are taking all the precautions now today. We are washing hands the proper way. We are staying out of crowds. Wouldn’t dream of getting on an airplane or a cruise ship or even the subway at this point. Social distancing is becoming our approach. To that end we cancelled out on our Granddaughter’s school play tomorrow night.

    We like to say its time to choose around here. Time to choose how you are going to handle this virus for yourself. For real.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Charlie Johnston, I just love you. Your words may prick my conscience at times, but they also always provide a great deal of comfort. I always leave this site not only looking inward, but also edified and enlightened…what a gift. Thank you!

    Liked by 6 people

  5. As my 401k is quickly turning into a 301k I fall back on Charlie’s line from the Birmingham video. Paraphrasing: Everything that gives you security will be taken from you.

    If I was 30 years old I wouldn’t be as concerned but just 2 or 3 years from retirement I’ll have to trust in God’s providence. When the *stuff* gets real that can be harder than it sounds, can’t it? Anybody else having a little trouble with perfect trust?

    Somebody please pray for me.
    I love you all.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. O yes, I am there with you. I am retired, living on my IRA. In the first 2 weeks I lost 5%, I am afraid to look (but will eventually) to look at what happened this week. I am very much struggling with perfect trust. I fear I am too much attached to the things of the world and not enough to our Lord, even though He is what I want to be attached to. I will pray for you, please pray for me also.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Christopher and Barb, I hear you! My husband and I have a lot our life savings in the market. I always have wanted to just pass on something to our kids; never to live luxuriously. We drive an old car 🙂 For over 30 years I have read all the prophecies, messages, and warnings and knew something big was coming. Only my faith helps me to be fairly calm. This may just be a warning as Spritidaily said today, “A Shot Across the Bow”, but it looks unpleasant to say the least.

        The consensus of all I’ve read, especially today, is that the crisis is not the health crisis, but the panic caused by the media and the Deep Health State! Now we know the Deep State is in that part of government also. Just compare numbers of dead in our country to the Flu when Obama was president. He waited months to take action and that one was more serious/widespread in our country. We didn’t have the country shut down that time and we survived! Rush had good comments on this today, God bless and heal him.

        One last thought, just read Mark Mallett’s latest, The Point of No Return, and it is excellent!!!
        God bless you all!!!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Praying for you, Christopher… a PMT while sending you St. Faustina. Most likely, a lot of people will have a lot they lose. Lyrics from The Canticle of the Turning come to mind. Too, I recall how often Charlie counseled us to read Job… how did things end for him at the end of the story? We love you, Christopher!

      Canticle of the Turning
      My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the
      God of my heart is great, And my spirit sings of the
      Wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait. You
      Fixed your sight on your servant’s plight, and my
      Weakness you did not spurn, So from east to west shall my
      Name be blest. Could the world be about to turn?
      My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the
      Fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the
      Dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!

      Though I am small, my God, my all, you
      Work great things in me, And your mercy will last from the
      Depths of the past to the end of the age to be. Your
      Very name puts the proud to shame, and to
      Those who would for you yearn, You will show your might, put the
      Strong to flight, for the world is about to turn.
      My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the
      Fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the
      Dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!

      From the halls of power to the fortress tower, not a
      Stone will be left on stone. Let the king beware for your
      Justice tears ev’ry tyrant from his throne. The
      Hungry poor shall weep no more, for the
      Food they can never earn; There are tables spread, ev’ry
      Mouth be fed, for the world is about to turn.
      My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the
      Fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the
      Dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!

      Though the nations rage from age to age, we remember
      Who holds us fast: God’s mercy must deliver
      Us from the conqueror’s crushing grasp. This
      Saving word that out forebears heard is the
      Promise which holds us bound, ‘Til the spear and rod can be
      Crushed by God, who is turning the world around.
      My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the
      Fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the
      Dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!

      My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the
      Fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
      And the world is about to turn!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you for posting this favorite song, Beckita. I just sang my way through to the end of it. I certainly concur with the ideas here and pray for everyone who is worrying and going through these difficult times. May the good Lord have mercy on us all as we struggle through this.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Continuing to pray that a vaccine and an antidote are soon available… at a reasonable price without major side effects.

      Lord, may Your Love win, through, with and in Your people… on this front and on every challenge yet to be faced.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trying not to be a worrywart, but with the news of Brazilian President tested + for the virus and was in recent physical contact with Trump/Pence. Prayers for their health and not to become temp. incapacitated b/c that would mean …yep, you know who is 3rd in the succession line.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, Maggie. I’ve been and will continue to pray for protection and healing – if need be – for our President and VP… and for the calming of people in this country. I am convinced that whatever happens as God allows or wills, His Plan to save souls and guide us back to Him is unfolding in His perfect ways. All will be well in Him.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. JESUS =GOOD NEWS 😉

    Possibe Good-News here?:
    https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinal-pell-ruling-deferred-possible-decision-next-week

    I’m betting that there is much that we don’t know about China Virus and what we don’t know is/can ……………. ;-( Play it Smart & Keep Your Powder Dry!:
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/the-romans-have-taken-the-lord-again

    “Good Catholic” SanFran Granny doing The Usual ;-(. Where is the SF Bishop?… Eh!??
    https://www.theblaze.com/news/report-pelosi-attempted-to-sneak-taxpayer-funded-abortions-into-the-coronavirus-relief-bill

    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/america-the-northern-kingdom

    https://stream.org/the-world-lies-a-lesson-in-and-warning-about-public-relations/

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/03/12/prescient-trump-3/

    I wonder …..? I’m guessing that 2020 Politics, Unhinged Lefty TDS & PC No-Go Zones will ensure that we will never know the China Plague Mystery
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/no_author/italy-is-second-country-with-coronavirus-outbreak-preceded-by-a-tuberculosis-epidemic/

    I hope it is the end of the NWO! …… & dependance on China for USA Critical “Stuff”!
    https://townhall.com/columnists/patbuchanan/2020/03/13/will-the-coronavirus-kill-the-new-world-order-n2564863

    https://www.newsmax.com/reagan/msnbc-covid-costco-china/2020/03/13/id/958170/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, and done so in response to the wisdom of Pope Francis as reported in the headlines by Rome Reports and Zenith: JUST IN: After Pope Warns Against ‘Drastic Measures,’ Diocese of Rome Reverses Decree to Close Churches

      Liked by 5 people

  7. So it begins. A FB post from a friend complaining that his son’s school has been closed. Calling it madness. After one day. Cabin fever. Growing frustration. The kid isn’t sick. None of the kids are sick. We are going crazy.

    Can you see where this is going? Generational conflict. This is going to have interesting ramifications.

    Looking at the Chinese data regarding the age distribution of Covid 19 gives us a glimpse of what surely lies ahead for the U.S. This is data on 72,000 cases. Not a small sample size.

    https://www.popsci.com/story/health/covid-19-coronavirus-death-rate-by-age/

    “China’s Center for Disease Control (CCDC) published an analysis of the 72,314 cases they’d seen as of February 11, including 44,672 confirmed cases. It’s the most up-to-date, thorough information we have at this point, so it’s worth looking at how these COVID-19 cases have broken down.

    It’s definitely not a disease of the young.

    Only about 10 percent of cases are in people under 30, and just two percent are under 20. Meanwhile, adults 30 to 69 make up three-quarters of the cases. Part of this could be China’s demographics—nearly 60 percent of the country is between 25 and 64—but officials have been noting that adults and older folks seem far more susceptible than children.

    And when it comes to fatalities, the elderly are suffering the most.

    Though people aged 70 and over make up just 12 percent of the cases, they account for 50 percent of the deaths. Another 30 percent of fatalities are in the next lowest age group, 60-69.

    The fatality rates follow a pretty clear trend: The highest is people aged 80 and up, of which 14.8 percent die from COVID-19. Eight percent of those 70-79 succumb to it, 3.5 percent of 60-69 year olds, and 1.3 percent of those 50-59. Below 50 and the fatality rate is below one percent. There were just 8 deaths total in people under 30, despite more than 4500 cases.

    COVID-19 also doesn’t seem to impact men and women exactly the same. Roughly equal numbers of them get sick in the first place, but almost two-thirds of deaths have been among men.”

    2/3 of fatalities are men??? Because more men than women smoke ???

    Now folks can rightly point out that China is not America. True. Not as developed a health care system. Environmental neglect. Smog. Garbage and sewage and filthy conditions. Yup to all that. But, to dismiss these distributions of infections and mortality by age is whistling past the graveyard.

    So why can we see a generational battle coming in the U.S. starting right now along with the ramp up of the disease itself? Simple:

    1) IT’S DEFINITELY NOT A DISEASE OF THE YOUNG.

    2) AND WHEN IT COMES TO FATALITIES, THE ELDERLY ARE SUFFERING THE MOST.

    These are the two bottom line facts about this disease that is going to set the young against the old.

    The young can’t see it. The young generation will not tolerate being quarantined or locked down or shut out of school, transportation, travel, sports or entertainment and especially WORK for very long. Why, because although the contract the disease they are feeling only mild effects. So what’s the problem?

    The elderly are bearing the physical brunt of the disease although the elderly account for a minority of the infections.

    Prediction: This is going to be a Life issue. Politically speaking.

    So, who is Pro Life?

    The old snuffing out the lives of the most vulnerable citizens in the womb because they have no voice and they are definitely in the minority. And they interfere with So those babies concerns come last. So they are sacrificed to perpetuating and maintaining a lifestyle and they die.

    The young and restless are going to turn the table on the old. Why? See reasons 1 and 2 above. The elderly, the non-producers, who are tolerated because they are affordable, are going to be increasingly seen as terribly inconvenient and amazingly expensive nuisance. Already hearing the grumblings: why don’t we just quarantine the elderly and let the rest of us go about our business? If we get sick we spend a few days with a box of kleenex.

    They closed my son’s school — madness! On day one. It’s only going to get worse. Until it blows up into full scale generational warfare and animous.

    The Life issue is about to be switched on its head. Thing is …. us elderly are not so weak and vulnerable …. and we vote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. STEd, what I have heard is that the disparity between men and women probably comes because I read somewhere that men have more ACE2 targets in their lungs than do women. As much as 2 times as many? I’m not sure.

      Covid-19 gets into the body and heads for these receptors. The more receptors you have, the more likely you will get a serious case and therefore the more likely you will die. I’ve read that Asian-DNA people have 5 times as many ACE2 receptors as non-Asian DNA people, which might explain why the situation in Wuhan appears to be so much worse than here in the USA.

      I’m not a doctor – this is just what I’ve read.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Panic is starting to build up here in Canada, people are starting to realize the problem isn’t going away, and when they do they panic.

    Oh well, with all this time freed up, people need to start prioritizing reading the Bible and prayers especially the Rosary in this season of Lent.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What a Divinely Inspired Title: “May the Love of Christ Go Viral”.
      We could add this prayer to the morning offering, the rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet,
      our before and after meal prayers, after reading the daily scriptures, at mass.
      Just looking at the picture and reading it brings a smile and melts my heart.
      God bless you Charlie.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Sister Lucia didn’t die until 2005 – at the age of 98. But I think you meant that Jacinta and Francesco died of Spanish flu. Indisputable with Francesco, but Jacinta died of pleurisy a year after she had and recovered from Spanish flu. A reasonable case could be made that her heart and lungs had been so weakened by Spanish flu that it was the root of her death. Certainly, she was never completely well again after having contracted Spanish flu.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. (edit: Hey Dear Linda, since the Monsignor’s letter is lengthy and readily available at this link, I think it’s better to give just the link than to publish the letter in its entirety. We’ve been encouraging people to do this with articles as well, that is, write a few lines to make whatever points one wishes to stress and then include a link so people can access the article. ~BH)

    Like

    1. I do appreciate the way the Monsignor reveals his heart in his intent: “I think the proper perspective is provided by Jesus’s command to love as he loved, enough to lay down his own life for us. I look at the current efforts that have been announced to limit the spread of the virus as efforts to help keep other people safe. The focus is not so much on ourselves as on what we can do for others.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. He is a Saint in my eyes …seasoned and in 70s…he was really sick awhile back and we were worried but he overcame it with antibiotics thanks be to God..,Monsignor is a true Shepherd and we still have perpetual adoration chapel open . I feel so blessed to be in this little community

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Oil of good samaritan is good to help avoid contagion, but does not heal. Above all, faith in our God who richly provides and takes care of us is the best remedy.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Our Bishop in Providence dispensed with the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. He urged anyone who was sick, or thought they could be contagious, to remain home. He did not order all Masses to be cancelled this weekend but left it up to individual pastors to decide what they needed to do for their people. At my parish our pastor has cancelled nearly activity except for the scheduled Masses and funerals. I attended the 8:00 am Mass this morning. On the way into church I crossed paths with the pastor and thanked him not cancelling. He smiled and said. “People need to pray. I can’t hide myself away.” About thirty-five people showed up for a Mass usually attended by about seventy-five. Except for those who came together, everyone sat some distance from each other. No one was coughing or sneezing, so those who are sick must have taken the Bishop’s request seriously and remained at home.

    The pastor’s homily was about our situation. In referencing the number of parishes that were closed this weekend he said a number of his fellow priests were in quarantine having already encountered people who were suspected of having the virus. He stated that we must follow the rules set down by civil authorities as we enter a situation that most of us have never encountered before.
    He spoke about the fear and confusion that will infect many along with the virus. Quoting the saints, he said our role is to “Pray like everything depends on God and work like everything depends on us.” He then exhorted us present to do whatever we can to aid and assist those around us. Share our resources with others. Make grocery drops on door steps and porches. Call anyone who might be alone to encourage them, to just listen to them. Be calm with family as tensions ebb and flow in the possible long days of quarantine. Do not be afraid.

    My friends, you were on my mind and heart all through the Mass. In my thoughts, those of you who could not attend Mass today were connected to me in Spirit. I felt as if I were an unworthy ambassador, attending for all those who today had no place to gather to worship. I prayed for all of us at “A Sign of Hope” and for all around the world whose lives are impacted by the present events. I thanked God for the privilege of being able to attend and receive the Eucharist. In sixty some years I do not believe I have even had such a sense of what an honor God has given to us to be able to participate in the death and resurrection of His son and to receive Him, Flesh and Blood, Soul and Divinity.

    My thoughts and prayers remain with you all. Thank you for the witness and support you have all been to me.

    May God be with us through this trial. May Jesus’ willing suffering show us the way. May the Spirit give us courage and fortitude for all that is to come.

    JT

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Beautiful, JT. Your sweet and strong-in-faith words bring to mind the research that shows how people who have been part of a choir and then bond through music reveal, through scientific instrumentation, that the hearts of those singing beat in unison. I believe – if we had the eyes to see and hear mystically – the hearts of this community, we who span the world in each locale, beat as ONE in HIM as we go about making the music which says by our words and deeds that Jesus is alive… that He is calling each one, each and every one of “us” and “them” back to Him. For those who have been walking with Him, we’re called to greater depths, breadth and heights of joy in service as we live His Way, Truth and Life and reach out to the broken, hurting and lost ones, brushing aside the dust and reaching for the gold within every person with whom we cross paths. Blessed be God in each of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello Brothers & Sisters in Christ! Tonight I’ll be hosting a rosary online and I’ll be offering the rosary up in reparation for the sins of our nation. All prayer warriors are welcome to join. The more the merrier, so feel free to share! You can find more information via the link below. You can also contact me directly at ciappettaf@gmail.com.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IPzFoebfFu0mJaW_5zu0VPkCs1Iz5i-v566GowpRl78/edit?usp=sharing

    Liked by 3 people

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