Friday, March 27, 2020

What Are We Doing?

James Tissot, Jesus Tempted In the Wilderness
As we continue our national shutdown and become the country with the highest (recorded) number of cases, we become more reliant on social media to interact with each other. For some of us, this isn’t much of a change. For others, it’s a drastic disruption on how we live. But changed or not, life does go on.

Our life as Catholics goes on too. We may not have access to Mass or the Sacraments, but our call to live as faithful Christians continues. So we need to ask ourselves—what are we doing in this time of self-isolation? Are we using the time of isolation which we have to turn further to God and bear witness to Him? Or are we behaving in a way that hides from Him in our personal lives or defaces how He appears in the eyes of others?

Like it or not, many of us are having our Lenten time in the desert (cf. Matthew 4:1-11) in a more imposing sense than we would like, and we have to decide how to face it. Obviously the person who works in an essential job or a mother of young children will not have the same opportunities as a single person who works from home. So it would be foolish to write about one way of living the Catholic life as if it were something all should follow.

But all of us should be asking ourselves what we could be doing in this time in the desert that our abilities and capacity can handle. If we approach it that way, seeking God’s will and asking for His grace, we might find ourselves growing closer to God.

But if we just use this time to continue our vendettas and petty squabbles, we might be shocked to learn we have fallen away from Him and alienated ourselves from each other.


(†) To avoid any confusion here, I am not talking about when the Church binds us to do or avoid something. The Church can and does make legitimate universal requirements of us. I am talking about the “It’s so easy—all you have to do is…” attitude that is so easy for us to fall into in judging others.

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