|(Image courtesy: Jean Marc Arkelian)|
What Christian Scriptures want to say to us is that God is present everywhere and powerfully present in the working of this immense universe. I suppose we are conditioned by God's omnipresence and omnipotence in the affairs of this world. When this Corona is threatening us at our door steps, we are made aware that all our learnings and scientific discoveries in the medical field are so small, so little and so tiny. It's like a drop in the ocean. That means in order to draw strength, we should begin to think about the immensity and knowledge that is in God and kneel down and just begin to contemplate this unutterable mystery that we call God. All our discoveries and inventions have no effect or meaning at all at the face of our littleness and shallowness. The more we know our fragility, smallness, emptiness, vagueness, in fact about our life itself, we see the immensity, greatness and vastness of God. In other words, we are putting constraints around ourselves in knowing our God.
Too many questions go unanswered
Probably, many of the theists (who believe in God) must have asked where is our God during this unexpected pandemic times. If God is good and powerful, then He should save us. He must save us from this vulnerability of getting infected to the Corona virus. There are already enough and more illnesses and diseases around the world. Why is this another pandemic? Probably we will have to ask ourselves why our scientists are slow in getting vaccine for Covid-19? Is our knowledge bank is so small and susceptible? Why are we so small in front of this global menace? With our latest technology and state of the art laboratories and so called progress and civilization no agency in the world including United Nations Health Agency is able to say how this Covid 19 spreads or how it originated? The sheer magnitude of this illness of Covid makes me ask a further question, will the virologists of this world really be able to find a vaccine at all? I have serious doubts because if you are not able to say the exact nature of symptoms of the Corona virus and its spread how will you be able to fix it? How will you give a solution if you don’t know the problem? Let me leave this task to scientists who are spending days and nights in their laboratories and other places to find a right solutions and suitable medicine for us. May they succeed early.
Creator is greater than what we think of
One thing is becoming very clear to us that the one who is behind our creation and existence in this world is mightier than we can think of. Our reality of nakedness of being little exposes enormous spectrum of questions. Most probably, in the olden days when pandemics hit the universe they knew better than us how best to contain them without much governments interventions and asking people what to do with them. Every person must have learnt to deal with it with the memory of the past experiences. Today with all our communication infrastructures we have not been able to advice people well in advance about the risks involved if we don't take care of ourselves from this infectious disease. That is the tragedy of today! Either we have become uneducated or arrogance has taken primacy in our dealings. And we are all OK with it. This puts me to imagine and enter deeper into the mystery of God Himself. Who that God is then? How that God moves this entire universe in such a perfect balance?
God knows to deal with its creatures
I believe that to understand better the implications of the question that this Covid pandemic opens before us we have to freshly look into the force behind this universe, source behind our existence, strength behind the resilience people have in spite of such odd difficulties. Moreover, people continue to go on living a life without being very pessimistic of the future. With this Covid pandemic we have become more vulnerable to susceptibility than ever before. We are not sure when will be our end. Earlier we could predict that it would happen in sometime of our life and now no more such predictability is possible.
However, the Word of God from our Bible should suffice us to keep us fresh and optimistic before God our Lord. The very first Psalm in the Bible deals exclusively on the happiness of people in God:
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked...but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night (1-2).
The Psalmist continues to encourage every human person in his or her pursuit of happiness on this earth:
They [happy] are like trees planted by streams of water,which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.In all that they do, they prosper...
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous (3, 6).
In fact, Psalm 8 encourages us to think positively about ourselves in spite of our littleness and fragility because we see only the mighty works of God in this creation. Psalmist says, "Yet, you have made them [men and women] a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have put all things under their feet" (5-6). Can we recognize the vibrancy in our lives having formed almost to the divine nature of our God?
However, to maintain our position as creatures close to God, Psalmist invites us to follow something very important.
Those who love me, I will deliver;I will protect those who know my name.When they call to me, I will answer them;I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honour them.With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation (Psalm 91:14-16).
Nothing is permanent in our lives except adhering to the precepts of the Lord and this will assure us to live in God forever. Perhaps during this Covid times certainty of our lives on this earth is greatly minimised. Only way forward for us is to have deep faith in God and in his precepts. Thus we embrace his will in our lives whole heartedly.
God alone is enough - A way to conquer ourselves
Today the Church remembers St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), a Spanish Carmelite Nun known for her work, Interior Castle, which treats her mystical experiences, contemplative prayer and the stages of spiritual growth that leads to complete union with Christ.
St. Teresa speaks to her soul so gently:
Be joyful, my soul…Don’t let any earthly thing be enough to separate you from your delight,and rejoice in the grandeur of God;in how He deserves to be loved and praised;that He helps you to play some small role in the blessing of His name;and that you can truthfully say;
My soul magnifies and praises the Lord!
It's our experience that God loves every person and even ‘all things.’ God loves everything in the Universe. God loves every star, every planet, every rock, every tree, every animal and of course, every person. God loves you and me. We are utterly loved by God. You are so loved that God wants to spend eternity with you . . This can seem too good to be true and therefore difficult to take in.
Perhaps these following words of the saint of the day, St Teresa of Jesus, fill us with confidence to obtain courage and peace of soul, that our God, in Christ Jesus, together with the Holy Spirit, is with us.
Let nothing disturb you,Let nothing frighten you,All things are passing away:God never changes.Patience obtains all thingsWhoever has God lacks nothing;God alone is enough. [From Nada te turbe in Spanish]
- Olvin Veigas, SJ
15 October 2020
Memorial of St Teresa of Avila