Biological And Spiritual Warfare
“….illness and suffering seem contradictory to what is important for man and what man desires. And yet no illness, no weakness, no infirmity can deprive you of your dignity as children of God….At the very moment I fell in St. Peter’s Square I had a premonition that I would be saved. This certainly never left me even during the worst moments, after the first operation and during the virus infection.”(St. John Paul 11)
Many have said, recently, “…..the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is a fight against an invisible enemy.” How True! But this invisible enemy is a two-headed dragon. In fact, this war has both physical and spiritual, supernatural and preternatural components. Both lives and souls are at stake.
During this period we must be careful and prudent in our social interactions. We need to always minimize health risks and use all scientific and technological means to mitigate suffering. But we must also accept the fact that avoiding all risks is not possible. Suffering and death are part of life. Life is filled with countless risks. It is impossible to think that the chances of contracting the coronavirus or any other deadly microorganism will be brought to zero.
Much of the suffering, pain and wickedness of what we call the visible or “seen” world is influenced, fueled and turbo-charged by the dark forces of the invisible or “unseen” world.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness of the heavenly places.”(Ephesians 6:12)
It is not that every negative action in the world is caused by the devil. Illness, for example, may sometimes be caused by an evil spirit but not always. Satan is not God. He is not all powerful, all knowing, and all seeing. If you fall and break an arm or a leg it doesn’t mean you have a demon in your arm or leg that caused it. Satan is a real spiritual being and he is at war with God and man. But being exposed to a virus is not the same as being demon-possessed.
For the faithful, trusting in God’s care and what he has provided to both body and soul plays an essential part in overcoming our fear of suffering and death.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound truth but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own liking, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.”(2Timothy.4:1-5)
The main truth of this fallen world is that people will die. They will die of many things; COVID-19 possibly, but also from heart disease, cancer, stroke, war, accidents, storms or old age. Each of us will die one day (Memento Mori), without knowing the day nor the hour or the manner which will not be of our own choosing. While death is a reality, it is not something we should excessively fear. Christ has conquered death which, if we live by his word, becomes a stairway to our eternal, heavenly home.
As christians and Knights of Columbus, our emphasis on charity compels us to take this virus seriously. Our hearts go out to all those who have suffered and whose family members and friends who have died from this present scourge. Within the limits imposed by social distancing, we organized cook-outs, delivered food to the elderly confined to their homes, and ran errands for those who cannot travel. We have donated funds to the Church to help with the serious financial burdens the pandemic has caused. We pray that things return to normalcy and that those who are ill or taking care of those that are, receive the grace from God that will strengthen them in these troubling times.
“Dear Lord, may those who have died rest in peace. May those who are ill recover. May those who are unemployed due to the shutdown find work. May those deprived of the sacraments soon be restored to them. And may all those who suffer in many hidden ways find solace. Calm our fears Lord, and help us to remember that our life is in your hands.”Msgr. Charles Pope
SK Wendell Jeanpierre