Distancing, yes. Indifference, no

OPUS DEI

BECAUSE of our abnormal times, we are asked to submit ourselves to certain protocols that we usually do not have during normal times. Right now, we are asked, and we should obey, those strict indications about social or physical distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands, etc.

In fact, as much as possible, we should just stay at home, avoiding having to go out unless truly necessary, if only to steer clear of the possibility of infecting or being infected by others. Truth is we would not know what would hit us if we go out. Our common enemy is invisible. The person beside us could be the Trojan horse, the traitor. We can easily be a victim of a friendly fire, so to speak.

But this does not mean that while we follow these protocols as strictly as possible, we have to be indifferent to others, or worse, to regard them as an enemy, considering them as suspects and all of this leading us to a terrible state of paranoia. If anything at all, our relation with others should become more intimate, more caring and compassionate. This ideal can always be pursued together with due prudence.

This can always be done if we first of all exercise our faith, hope and charity, which are foremost an operation of the heart and mind where no viruses can enter, unless we let them. We just have to see to it that the state of our mind and heart is healthy, that is, deeply rooted on our trust in God’s loving, wise and merciful providence.

With that condition in place, we would know what to do even if we are forced to some lockdowns in our respective homes and communities. The mind and heart are always creative and inventive. They have resources to resist inactivity and negativity. They will always find things to do instead of just rotting away in idleness which is a very dangerous situation to be in.

And that’s because our mind and heart have the capacity to bring us to God who takes care of everything. Even in our worst scenario, when things can be unsolvable already, we know what to do to derive what is good for us.

So, we can say that the condition we are having right now is a good opportunity to develop and strengthen our spiritual and supernatural life through the proper exercise in our mind and heart of he divine gifts of faith, hope and charity.

Let us seize this moment to attend to this basic need of ours that we actually have been ignoring for quite some time now. If there is one thing very good and worthwhile that we can derive from this crisis we are having today, it could be this one.

We should realize that we have a golden opportunity to make ourselves stronger in that aspect of our life which is the most important since that is what brings us to our eternal and definitive life. We have a golden opportunity to know the true value of our earthly things and conditions—that they only have a relative value.

What is of absolute value is our eternal life that can be reached through faith, hope and charity.

So, what we seem to lose because of our social or physical distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and the other protocols, we can more than make up with our prayers and sacrifices through the exercise of our faith, hope and charity.

With the spiritual and supernatural exercises, we can gain greater intimacy with the others, more effective compassion with them, the kind that is not afraid to get dirty with the others as long as the truly essential is not compromised.

This is where we can validate what St. Paul said, that when we are truly with God, everything will work out for the good.(cfr. Rom 8,28) With God, we can derive good from evil!