March 27, 2020

Editorial

Live more as a domestic Church in COVID-19 outbreak

“The family that prays together stays together.”

Those words spoken by the late Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, also known as “The Rosary Priest,” have never rung truer for our world than they do today.

And as we continue trying to adjust to the pervasive effects on our daily lives brought about by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, our faith must be the cornerstone of all we do.

In recent years, some in society have sought to shut down our faith in the public arena, but we cannot allow others to stifle our faith there or at home, which is where many of us could be for the next several weeks and beyond.

The “new normal,” as many are calling this unprecedented time because of the coronavirus pandemic, is anything but normal.

Schools are shut down, public Masses are suspended and churches are closed, and many—if not most of us—are now relegated to work from home because health care officials, among other things, say it is the safest place for us to be. We must heed their advice. Some of us may not return to work for weeks, or even months, and others sadly, have lost or will lose their jobs because of the numerous effects of this devastating illness.

This is something most of us are unfamiliar with, and it is a time where we must be humble enough to let our Creator know we need him to guide us on this ever-changing journey.

Families are encouraged to read Scripture or pray the rosary together. Archbishop Charles C. Thompson and other archdiocesan priests are celebrating daily and Sunday Masses online at www.archindy.org for all to view and pray with, and many other parishes throughout central and southern Indiana are using online resources not only for the celebration of the Eucharist but also for other faith-based activities. We encourage you to visit parish websites to see what resources are being offered.

Now is the time to put differences aside in our world and be there for our brothers and sisters in need. We must pray for all who have contracted this illness, not only here in the United States, but from China to Italy to Spain to every corner of the globe.

We must also pray that political and world leaders work tirelessly to address this pandemic and provide all the resources needed to get this situation under control. We realize for most of them, this is a challenge like no other.

Pope Francis said as much in a recent interview with La Stampa, an Italian newspaper. As more countries continue to lock down and isolate to stem the spread of the coronavirus, “we can only get out of this situation together as a whole humanity,” he said.

The Holy Father said that although Christians must live this moment in history with “penance, compassion and hope,” both believers and nonbelievers “are all in the same boat” and must confront the challenge together.

“What helps us is synergy, mutual collaboration, the sense of responsibility and the spirit of sacrifice that is generated in many places,” Pope Francis said. “We do not have to make a distinction between believers and nonbelievers; let’s go to the root: humanity. Before God, we are all his children.”

Reflecting on the Lenten season, the pope added that acts of prayer and fasting are an exercise that “trains us to look at the others with solidarity, especially those who suffer.”

As we continue our family’s prayers, we must also include medical professionals—doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, first responders and all practitioners—on the front lines who are working nonstop, many putting themselves at tremendous risk for the greater good.

Though much of the world is enveloped in darkness, we must offer our family’s prayers, God willing, as a beacon of light in this challenging time.

As Father Peyton reminds us, “A world at prayer is a world at peace.”

—Mike Krokos

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