Written by Deacon Jack Franchi, Anna Maria College’s Campus Deacon
We’ve heard these words almost all our lives from well-meaning friends to fine people and many think that it came from Biblical Scripture, but nowhere in Scripture are these exact words found. What we can find in searching Scripture are the many things God does tell us about suffering, pain and hard times. We are now facing dramatically, severely and historically tough times with this Coronavirus pandemic.
We and all of humanity are now facing this global catastrophe but there is always the good news that God never leaves us alone. He never leaves us in hard times to wallow in a sea of loneliness and despair. Robert H. Schuller, noted evangelist and motivational speaker said, “Tough times never last, tough people do”, and we are a “tough people” thanks to our faith. As Catholics and Christians we are instilled, by God, with that five letter word FAITH which gives us that four letter word HOPE. Our hope is in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and He will bring us through this timely horror. As Psalm 91 says so well, we have security under God’s protection.
In a recent interview Bishop Robert Barron, prelate of the Catholic Church serving as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of The Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, spoke in a recent YouTube interview about the pandemic. He said that God permits this for a greater good. It brings to my mind the phrase we sometimes hear, “out of adversity comes greatness”. Out of everything negative that happens to us, something positive comes out of it. Maybe not immediately, but in God’s good time. Bishop Barron uses the example of God’s permitting evil actions in order to bring about a greater good. For instance, without Adolf Hitler’s horrendous actions, we would not have had the courageous actions of Maximillian Kolby, a Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger at Auschwitz, or Edith Stein, a Jewish nursing assistant who worked in an infectious diseases hospital, converted to Catholicism and died in Auschwitz. This is by no means to downplay the pure evil that was the Holocaust, but rather to see examples of the reason God permitted the tremendous evil of the Holocaust and invite God to show us how to respond to the evil we see in front of us in our own lives.
Again, God works in unique ways. We as a nation have experienced many terrible moments like the Coronavirus, from the catastrophe of the Great Depression in the 1930s, Pearl Harbor in 1941, September 11, 2001, to countless hurricanes and fires. However, time and again we’ve seen how all these catastrophes have brought us closer together as a people, as a nation, and as a world.
We now have literally thousands of doctors, scientists, and researchers working on a vaccine cure for the Coronavirus. We trust in and praise God that they will find a cure. And we trust in and praise God that He will direct our paths to become great Saints in this time because we have the quintessential being who has a proven lifeline to attack any and all catastrophes. We as Christians have a prescription from God that works…. Prayer, Prayer, Prayer.
May God Bless us all, for this too shall pass.