By Fr. Edward Gibney, Associate Chaplain, Saskatchewan Knights of Columbus
(This message was originally published in an online newsletter from the Saskatchewan State Council of the Knights of Columbus, May 8: website)
As we continue addressing the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation that has, for almost two months, become part of our lives, it is very important to keep in mind our need to constantly build up our spiritual resistance to things like laziness, frustration, irritability and even depression. These are just some of the ways that the devil will be using, during these difficult times, to weaken our faith, damage our families, and cause us to do things that may endanger us and others through the spread of this virus.
Our lives have been turned upside down. Through this past, long winter we have all fostered plans; things that we were going to do once the snow was gone. Business people have projects to finish. Graduating students have new beginnings in their lives. The farmers wish to be in the fields. Others have holidays arranged. But our current situation is restricting those activities or making us cancel them altogether. These moments of frustration and discouragement can make us worry and become anxious, and that is why, at this time, we need to nurture our faith and grow ever closer to God through Scripture.
I offer the guidance of Matthew 5, verse 16. In these difficult times, all Catholics, but particularly we as Knights can find ‘purpose’ in our lives in these words of Jesus, said in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Jesus was telling his disciples, and us, that, in times of darkness, how we live our lives must be a beacon, a good example to others, to give glory, not to ourselves, but God.
In our isolation, we are not seen as doing ‘good works,’ as much as we used to, but that does not stop us from being positive examples to others in how we deal with these difficulties. Keeping our distance from others does not prohibit greeting people we pass in the street or waving to our neighbours. If we can do it safely, we can help our seniors and the needy with grocery shopping and the like. And with the opening up of some restrictions, here in Saskatchewan, being a beacon to others can be accomplished by continuing to respect those distancing rules and encouraging others to do the same. The opening of our Churches for Masses is not going to happen until this virus is truly controlled, and the more we limit the virus’ spread today, the sooner that may be.