Shoppers enter a grocery store with a reminder to keep their distance. CNS photo/David Ryder, Reuters

Speaking Out: Doing the right thing for God and country

By  Kathleena Henricus, Youth Speak News
  • April 8, 2020

Our lives have changed drastically in the past month. In late February, we received ashes to mark the beginning of another Lenten season; now, we are deprived of visiting Church for Holy Week.

The rapid rise of the novel coronavirus has left us all reeling in the wake of government-mandated self-isolation, business closures and the suspension of school and “normal” life as a whole. In unprecedented times such as these, it can be hard to focus on work or school, let alone acknowledge and progress forward in the spiritual renewal of this season.

It is at this time we need Christ and the joy of the Easter season more than ever. The Easter season boasts triumphant jubilations and encourages optimism — something we desperately need.

COVID-19 has rocked society to its core, but, as Catholics, it is also a call. We’re all taught that in dire situations, we do what is right, even if we’re the only ones doing it. At this time, our call is to stay together by being apart.

As people blessed to live in Canada, this pandemic is uncharted territory. While our first instinct may be to feel sorry for ourselves, we must also be Christ-like and think of others. Here are three ways you can keep your faith journey going strong and help those who need it most.

1. Connect with people regularly. Being mindful of mental health is of the utmost importance and many might be understandably struggling with depression. A friendly phone call, a grocery haul or a kind, socially-distanced smile is God’s work. Let yourself be Christ’s light during a time of great darkness.

2. Pray. Despite the quarantine, prayer can remain a constant and one that you can use to help others. Though churches are closed, parishes across the country have adapted by praying chaplets via Instagram Live and streaming Masses on YouTube. Prayer is a powerful tool and one that can give us a sense of calm and control. Praying for a family member, a neighbour or the state of world affairs is a simple way to embrace God when we need Him most.

3. Social distance, self-isolate and wash your hands. Faith also calls upon us to trust the gifts God gives to others. He blesses us with incredible medical professionals, researchers and first responders who put their health on the line to help us curb this rampant virus. They are doing God’s work in a time of unprecedented fear. It’s our job to do His work, too, and that means protecting them by staying inside. It’s a simple thing, perhaps, but it is our faith in action, doing something we hope will help and trusting in the Lord.

This past month has been hard on everyone. COVID-19 is nothing like anything we’ve ever had to face, and that can be scary. It can be hard to stay hopeful, but hope is what Easter brings; hope for the new day.

We will get through this epidemic, by the grace of God and those dedicating themselves to the fight against novel coronavirus, and our faith will be stronger than ever.

(Henricus, 16, is a Grade 11 student at Cawthra Park Secondary in Mississauga, Ont.)

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