“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
After having focused the last few weeks on teaching about the Creed, I want to take a break from that and do something a little more pastoral.
I struck me recently how easy it is for any of us to start feeling “down” during the current pandemic. We have no idea how long this will last or when we will get “back to normal” (whatever that means!) or how close we are to any of this. With so many different opinions out there on social media and various news sources, it is hard for many of us to even know what is going on. In the midst of all of this, it can be very easy to lose hope. I believe that it is very important that we help each other to grow not only in hope, but faith and love as well.
The three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love are key for us to make it through this pandemic. It would be very difficult to make it through without being able to use those virtues.
Remember, the theological virtues are given to us by God. The Catechism explains that “They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as His children and of meriting eternal life” (1813). So God has given us some wonderful gifts. Now what do we do with them? And how do they help us in this pandemic?
The virtue of faith, in short, allows us to believe in God. We know that He exists and we know that He is all powerful. With faith we know that, even though many bad and terrible things have happened, God continues to be in control. It might not always feel like it, but God does have a plan. Faith will help us understand it and to be a part of it.
Hope looks to the future. I used to think that when we say, “I hope so” it was the equivalent to saying, “Good luck with that”. But hope has nothing to do with luck. It is about trusting in God’s word that He wants us to find everlasting joy in eternal life. That means that no matter what happens with all this craziness, God still wants what is best for us and is giving us the grace to get to heaven.
Love or charity is all about how God loves us and wants us to love as He loves. With so much fear, hate and violence going on in the world, we need this regular reminder that there still is love in the world. Let us look to show God’s love by showing love to others.
So do not lose faith, hope, and love, my brothers and sisters, but let us ask God to make them grow in our hearts.