Is Devil Using New Virus To Cause Us To Doubt?
Earl Smiles, Klerksdorp – At a Lenten lecture in the cathedral in Klerksdorp, Fr Don Bohé OMI repeated a much-loved phrase of his: “Mass is non-negotiable.” Because Jesus is present at the Mass.
It is at the Mass that we literally receive Christ through the Bread (Body) and Wine (Blood).
Shortly after this, at Mass in the cathedral the celebrant mentioned that as a precaution against the Covid-19 virus, a decision had been taken that no holy water would be distributed in the fonts at the Church’s entrance. Sanitary hand-cleaner had been placed on the altar to ensure celebrants of Holy Communion sanitise their hands before distributing hosts.
It got me thinking about Fr Bohé’s teaching a few days earlier when he referred to the three temptations of Satan towards Jesus in the desert. Reflecting on Luke 4:1-13, I wonder whether the devil is not using this Lenten period to tempt us as well.
Is the devil using this virus to make us doubt our special relationship, as a Church, with the Trinity?
Holy Water has been sanctified by a priest or persons of religious authority. So if I can ask a priest to bless my car or home with holy water, why is that water not deemed good enough to guard us against this coronavirus?
If we, as Catholics, believe in the miracle of transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, why then do we need sanitisers to cleanse our hands before it is being distributed?
In my view, touching Jesus in the host that is the Body and Blood is cleansing in itself. God doesn’t need help to heal and cleanse; he needs faith and repentance of sins.
Am I weak, or maybe even selfish, to not see why certain steps have been taken? Or have we been played by Satan, causing us to doubt the miraculous saving and healing powers of the Holy Trinity?
It is these very thoughts that took me back to Fr Bohé’s Lenten lecture. Maybe these very questions I have are a sign that I need to repent. Maybe it’s a sign that I indeed lack wisdom and that I need to acquire the gift of discernment.
Satan will use every situation to place doubt and fear in us. He is patiently waiting to prey on our weakness, and uses examples that sound and seem quite legitimate.
If I had the gifts of wisdom, insight and discernment, my reaction might have been totally different.
Fr Bohé would say that when you face your moments of darkness and you feel challenged, ask not, “Why am I going through this Lord?”, but rather discern, what is God’s message in this for me?
Maybe this is an opportune time to truly reflect on the blessing of the sacraments we have in our Church, and not take them for granted.
How many Catholics are being deprived from celebrating their faith without fear because of the coronavirus? Lent, after all, is a time for praying, fasting and charity.
Does this virus not present us with the perfect opportunity to strengthen our faith out of love for Christ, others and ourselves?