As the coronavirus crisis deepens across the world, allow me to suggest three ways by which we can respond in a way consistent with our Catholic faith. For ease of remembrance, I can call this advice the “three p’s.”
Preparation: It is important that in every aspect of our lives, including our worship together on a daily and weekly basis, we prepare ourselves in every way possible to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe from this virus. Much of what we should do has been explained in great detail by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We need to remember that our preparations (i.e., washing our hands frequently, disinfecting any public area that is touched by many people, etc.) is an act of charity, protecting not simply ourselves but the most vulnerable in our midst, especially the elderly and sick.
Prudence: The definition of prudence is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by use of reason. This means that we should not overreact or give into a sense of panic that can easily be generated by some of the media coverage we hear each day. We need to act reasonably, proportionately and decisively in our preparations and interactions with others. Once again, refraining from unnecessary handshakes, avoiding large crowds at events for which our presence is neither required nor needed, are acts of prudence that are charitable and in service of our neighbor.
Prayer: This is a time when we must offer intercessory prayers for all those who have died from this disease, that they may rest in the Lord’s peace. We must pray for consolation for their families and loved ones during their time of sorrow and grief. Let us also pray for those who have been sickened by the virus, that they will soon recover, and for all those who are quarantined and are living alone and in fear. Finally, let us pray that this emergency may pass and that our love for one another will help us to make the right decisions to keep each other safe.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.