Father Norman Carroll, Diocese of Wilmington vocations director, has encouraged our seminarians to be creative in this time of turmoil in the lives of so many. Onyedikachukwu John Enemuo writes below.
Just like a thief whom we never expect in our homes, the news of the coronavirus came to us as a shock to hear that it is raiding our country and is affecting every part of our lives, even that which is most dear to us, our faith.
The more I meditate on the present condition we see ourselves at this period of the coronavirus, the more I see reasons to be strong in my faith for God and for our world. Also, in this period of the coronavirus, I have come to see how connected we are as humans irrespective of who we are, where we are from, what we believe, and what we have. For instance, solidarity is becoming more visible and people are teaming together for the good of everyone.
Furthermore, within this one week, I have received messages and calls from many people on what I think of the idea of no Mass, and more still, no communion. I seemed to be numb to the question because as it’s new to them, it’s new to me as well. The more I think of the situation, it brings to mind a wisdom writeup I read in my college days by a philosopher, that “when we are faced with a challenge we do not know how to control, we challenge ourselves on how we respond to it.”
It is certainly not going to be an easy thing, but we would get through it together in keeping with our faith and Christian practices. It’s hard for me to accept that for days to come, I will not be sitting in the seminary chapel with my brother seminarians and the priest faculty, and on a Sunday with a lovely and wonderful faith-filled parish family that I always attend.
Let us think for a moment on the things that unite humanity rather than the things that divide us as humans. I think it’s something to meditate on, that a virus that started in China reached the entire world and is now a thing for the whole world to worry about.
Furthermore, it is affecting every aspect of our lives. As Christians we ought to pray in season and out of season, in good times and in bad times. I think now is the time to challenge ourselves in our practice of being the salt of the earth, the strength to the weak, and the eyes to the blind in the society. We are to reach out in any way we can, through prayers, calls and words of encouragement to those around us and those who do not have anybody to pray for them, or reach out to them.
Our life now as people of God is a test of our faith and the journey of our life as faithful people in the risen Christ. We are not alone; we are with God whom we can run to at any situation and not be kicked out. Therefore, let us all turn to God in this situation to give us solutions because even though it is our first experience, with God we would find the solution we need.
Onyedikachukwu John Enemuo