I wasn’t planning to post today. Those who follow my blog know that I normally post on Thursday.
I planned to be in another country this week attending a special retreat.
I was preparing for the trip for weeks but was forced to cancel last minute because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This experience and the current global situation prompted me to write this post.
I’m not writing about the coronavirus directly. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing and talking about that topic.
“Hear me and understand well, my little son, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.” ~ Our Lady of Guadalupe
This post is about something I’ve been reflecting on: spiritual preparedness.
From the coronavirus situation, we see how quickly the state of the world can change.
One day things operated as usual, and the next they were dramatically different.
Governments are confused and unsure how to respond. People are panicking and wiping out stores. Schools are closed indefinitely. Sporting events are cancelled. Travel is halted.
In my opinion, the most serious and disappointing result is the suspension of Mass in many diocese.
It seems this event has affected the entire world in some way.
We know that life can change at any moment and we never know what may happen.
But when something actually does occur, what state do we find ourselves in?
Do we feel afraid by what happens around or to us? Or do we feel prepared to deal with it?
When a “crisis” or event like this takes place, many people focus on temporal preparation. For example, stocking up on food and gathering emergency supplies.
Preparing physically is a good, practical and smart thing to do. If we have the means and ability to do so, we should prepare for a potential disaster.
However, preparing spiritually is even more important.
A person who is materially poor and takes care of their soul is in an infinitely better situation than someone who is materially rich and doesn’t do anything for their soul.
I’m most concerned about people who don’t know God and who openly reject Him, especially in situations like this.
Since many people won’t be going to work, school or other events as usual, it seems like a perfect time to focus on one’s spiritual life.
And since we’re in the season of Lent, it’s the most fitting time to do so.
Please know that I’m not advising against physical preparedness; I would actually recommend it.
I recommend it not because this is the end of the world.
It’s a good idea simply because we never know what could happen, and we don’t want to be stuck in a difficult situation.
However, if you can only choose between physical or spiritual preparedness, then I advise the latter.
Each person is responsible for their own soul and has free will.
God doesn’t force us, but He does want us, to be close to Him.
He also wants us to be at peace and not to fear when we experience challenges or crises.
The only way that happens is if we have a relationship with the Lord and rely on His grace.
“RE: the COVID-19 pandemic. First and foremost, let us be at peace with God through Mary’s Most Pure and Immaculate Heart. If we are in a state of grace, of friendship with God, then there is nothing to fear, not even death.” ~ Fr. Maximilian Mary of Jesus Crucified
5 Ways to Spiritually Prepare
Go to Mass
- If Mass has been suspended in your diocese, read or listen to the Scripture readings daily and/or on Sunday. To listen, click here. To read, click here.
- After the readings, make a spiritual communion. For more on spiritual communion, click here.
- If Mass still takes place in your diocese, and you’re in good health, please go. You can refrain from touching others. You can also go to the priest or deacon to receive Holy Communion, rather than a Eucharistic Minister. Please don’t let fear keep you from receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Go to Confession
- If the usual confession times aren’t available, make an appointment with a priest. For more on confession, click here.
Pray the Rosary
- For more on the Rosary, click here.
Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- For more on Divine Mercy, click here.
Pray to Your Guardian Angel
- Pray to your guardian angel daily and frequently. For a formal prayer, click here.
I hope you’ll consider my advice and follow these actions, if you don’t do so already.
We cannot expect to endure any of life’s trials without relying on God’s grace, especially through the sacraments.
Always remember that no matter what happens, God will take care of us. He won’t abandon His children, especially when they need Him most.
Let us not be consumed by fear. Let us be fully confident in the Lord’s power, love and mercy.
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 23).