In the past few weeks, the coronavirus disease has gone global affecting almost all countries, societies, and health systems. It is disrupting varying spheres of our social, political, or economical lives. It is also interfering into our spiritual life. Spirituality is the foundation of human existence and it is getting more attention in the wake of the pandemic.
In spite of the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, we are still offered an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual impact it has on us, our family, friends, neighbours and the whole world. The spiritual impact is clearly not positive, but we can still hope for a giant spiritual leap forward at the end of it all.
Diseases have often been linked with poor living conditions or certain geographical regions. COVID 19 has travelled the whole world and has become everyone’s problem. It does not leave anyone alone and there is no space for.
In its initial days, COVID-19 was associated with China, but in a short span, it has travelled the globe, crossing national boundaries without any visa needed. Irrespective of the pandemic stage, today it is everyone’s problem. It is not linked to any particular country or cultural group. We are all in this together.
Most often we tend to turn to prayer in times of crisis. Unfortunately, our churches are closed; our daily and weekend Eucharistic celebrations have been suspended. Many of us were/are on the verge of turning hopeless. But then there is something called spiritual innovation. We are doing everything possible to keep our spiritual life alive by doing things we never imagined we will do. People are asked to pray from home, attend online Masses and use the various prayer resources made available online and otherwise.
I remember when we were first told of the cancellations of Eucharistic celebrations, the various reactions of people. Some said, ‘I have never missed a Sunday Mass in my life,’ or ‘this is the first time in the last 80 years of my life that I have seen a church closed.’ In spite of all these, people accepted the great responsibility of praying from home with both hands. This pandemic also has made us realize that by praying from home we can all have access to the Father through Christ Jesus. We all have the responsibility of praying for others too. Although we have no access to our local church building, family members praying together is no less than a church as the Body of Christ. Praying from home assures us the presence of God in our midst. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Mt 18: 20).
To sum up, the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge that requires global cooperation and unity. Though the COVID-19 crisis has brought the world to a halt and has disastrous impact on our lives, I feel that from a spiritual angle it will make us a universal spiritual community and will reaffirm our faith in God more fully. It is a challenge and a battle, a battle that we will win.