Letters

Battling Sin, Sickness

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Each day we battle the human sickness of sin and to protect ourselves from this deadly affliction, we cover our mouths in masks of prayer and we wash our hands of imperfection by confessing our sins. No one is immune, just as the science behind antibodies to COVID-19 remains unclear, but by following God-given guidelines, we can hope to be recipients of Christ’s mercy. By sheltering-in-place and social-distancing, as recommended by health and government officials, we can hope to protect ourselves and each other from the virus and #flattenthecurve.

Be sure, those who flock to the beaches in Florida or who attend large gatherings are putting themselves at greater risk of contracting the virus. In the same way, those who find themselves in situations of great temptation, or who allow the material goods of this world to take precedence before God in their lives, are certainly putting themselves at great spiritual risk.

But, who really knows? A person going to a crowded beach may be completely healthy of the virus while a woman who has taken all necessary precautions may become ill.

What we do know is that we can fight these afflictions. Jesus came down from heaven and died on the cross so that we may be able to conquer death and damnation. Because of this selfless act, we are all equipped to fight sin and it is only up to us to actually fight. We can all take precautions to protect ourselves by adhering to the rules set forth by the Church.

To fight COVID-19 involves following recommended guidelines: thou shall wash thy hands and thou shall disinfect surfaces, surely. But also, thou shalt love thy neighbor by reaching out and lending signs of support to those who must expose themselves to continue working.

Still, not everyone is as protected as the other. Those who cannot afford new masks, those with compromised immune systems, and those who are sheltering in poor living conditions may be more susceptible to contracting the virus if exposed. It is up to people and organizations with resources to do the just thing and ensure that these groups can protect themselves against COVID-19.

Not everyone has the blessing of having been introduced to Christ and His Church. It is up to us to evangelize and catechize those around us: our family, our friends and our neighbors who may have fallen away from the Church. It is up to us to convey the message that just as we look out for each other during this pandemic, God reaches out for each of us, waiting to give us gifts of grace and mercy, if only we look toward Him.

Margo Schmiederer
Bronx

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