Even as the world is still coming to grips with the Pandemic that is the Coronavirus, here is a few things that we, as responsible Catholics in India, can and should do:
(01) STAY AT HOME – Social Distancing – This you need to do no matter what your spiritual beliefs. Clusters will affect everyone. We ALL need to be concerned that actions aren’t negatively impacting anyone else. Perhaps you’re young or have a strong immune system but what about the older ones / with compromised immune systems? Do we do what we want to do, at their risk? Stay at home as far as possible. Speak to your boss about working from home. No more partying, no more restaurants, no crowded places. Only groceries/meds when needed.
(02) TOUCH THE WORLD THROUGH PRAYER – Use this time to PRAY. We in India need to pray much for unity in country (really this is a world need). We also need to pray for those affected with the virus. For the souls of those who’ve died. We need to pray for those in Hospitals on the frontlines, the doctors, nurses are caregivers who are risking their lives daily. That they may be safe and protected by the Blood of Jesus. Here are some resources Online you can pray with:
a) Holy Mass Online – Go to YouTube.com and type in Catholic Mass. I was happily surprised to see the number of services that are easily available – including DAILY masses. Yes, we won’t get Holy Communion, but let’s remember that people in the time of other pandemics or in times of war etc haven’t had that privilege either. Instead let’s be RESPONSIBLE and stop going out in clusters to avoid spread of the disease.
Mass Online – Click here to choose.
b) Rosaries Online – If you’re home with lots of free time, there are also Virtual Rosaries on YouTube.com you can pray along with – just 15-20 mins each. I find them an easy way to pray the rosary when no one is with me. There are also a lot of awesome channels you can listen to teachings / participate in praise and worship. I particularly like the ones prayed by ‘Archbishop Carlson & the Seminarians’.
c) Other teachings / Catholic info sites online –
Fr. Mike Schmitz
Bishop Robert Barron
(I’ll put a few more up soon, share your preferred channels as well)
I also *love* Steven Furtick, he’s not a Catholic but his teaching is ON point (and non-denominational Christian if you’re worried). If you’re young, you’ll love.
(03) READ YOUR BIBLE! – There is GREAT POWER in the Word of God. This is a very good time to pick up your Bible and READ. (Maybe this is a good moment to stop reading this article and search for your Bible, if you’re not sure where it is!).
If you’ve never read the Bible before (or reading it after a while), I suggest starting from the New Testament, perhaps the book of ACTS and then reading through all the LETTERS that follow Acts. One chapter a day. When you’ve read the Chapter, ask “How is the Lord speaking me to me through this?”. You can make notes, highlight or underline. The Bible is not a showpiece. God is happy when you make it REAL. If you’re unsure of what a certain verse means, you can google the verse along with “Catholic Commentary on Verse XYZ”
(04) Stop reading whatsapp fwds as your source of information – Part of the reason why it’s so difficult to get through to people is that they’re stuck with whatsapp as their main source of information. As responsible adults we need to STOP the ridiculous fwds – stop reading them and stop fwding them. Many fwds have varied ranges of information from incorrect to ridiculous. Besides spreading misinformation, it can also be confusing when people are reading such a wide varied of different information.
Incorrect: “Covid-19 cannot survive in warm climates – so we Indians need not worry”. Tell that to the 2 people who’ve already died, won’t ya?
Ridiculous: “The sun at the Vatican has gotten darker because no public Masses are being said there”. I’m not making this up. And honestly, I don’t even know where to begin! And what’s most scary is that this is not even the most ridiculous thing on the internet.
Instead, try getting your news from reliable world sources like:
Open a browser, google covid-19 and read what THESE sources are saying about it.