So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord save me” (Matthew 14:29-30).
Fear is a beast. It can make people act in ways they never would. So for the Christian, it is imperative to not be distracted by the storms and keep your eyes on Christ in order to maintain your interior peace. Keeping your eyes on Christ keeps you from drowning.
It’s hard right now to maintain this peace with the constant flow of media in our faces. If you are watching endless news and counting Coronavirus deaths, then you are watching the storm instead of Jesus. It’s okay to maintain a sense of what is happening, but eating from the tree the knowledge of good and evil will leave you in a state of panic and fear. Now is the time to fill up on the Word of God. God is in control. He is the giver and taker of life. In that, you can Trust, and have no fear. Just get yourself right with Him. Turn off the noise that distracts you and raises panic.
I read an article the other day by Sonja Corbitt called Redemption Happens in the Dark. It was probably the best thing I have read to date about this storm we are in. In it, she outlines how God has worked in the dark using Scripture. It is a thing of beauty. And if you have been keeping up with the daily readings, they are speaking to us for these times we live in right now. God is calling you back to Him. God is calling you to repentance.
I don’t know about you, but hunkering down in my home with my family has shown me all of the idols I have in my life. These are idols that need to be purged, from slothful comfort to vanity, to pride, one by one the Lord is showing them to me and knocking me over, bringing me to my knees, humbling me. And I am grateful for it. Yes, I said I am grateful for it. I want anything that keeps me from Him removed from my life. Lord purify me. Purify my family. Make us who you want us to be because I trust that it is greater than anything we could imagine. Even a virus can be used to work all things for the good of those who love Jesus.
The Church is walking a Passion. I do have to say the greatest ache in my life as a layperson was having the Eucharist removed. I felt like Mary Magdalene in a heap at the foot of the cross when the Sacrament was taken away from us in this hour of immense need. As a friend of mine used to say, “these things must come.” We have, as a church, been violating our covenant with God which brings a curse. From molestation, to cover up, to liturgical abuse, to abuse of the Eucharist, to bowing down to idols, and laying in bed with communist governments, God is fully aware of our sin. He is making it transparent and he is dealing with it Himself. Servant of God Louisa Piccarreta said over 100 years ago the following;
Deserted churches, and without ministers. Continuing in my usual state, my always lovable Jesus made Himself seen so very afflicted, and I said to Him: ‘My Love, why are You so afflicted?’ And He: “Ah! my daughter (Luisa), when I allow that churches remain deserted, ministers dispersed, Masses reduced, it means that the Sacrifices are offenses for Me, that the prayers are insults, the adorations irreverences, the confessions amusements, and without Fruit. Therefore, no longer finding My Glory, but offenses, nor any Good for them – making no use of them, I take them away. But this tearing ministers away from the Sanctuary means also that things have reached the ugliest point, and that the variety of scourges will multiply. How hard man is – how hard!” Volume 12 February 12, 1918
This has all been predicted and should give us great pause. It is a chastisement. It is cleansing. But not because God is mean and unloving, because He is the opposite of that and He sees how the choices we have made have brought destruction. He wants to bring us life abundantly. For you personally he wants to pour gifts over you and He will use many means to purify your soul so that you can receive these gifts to the fullest. Trust in that.
When Mass was canceled, it felt as though Jesus was falling the first time, and I suspect we will see a rapid succession of our Passion as a church. This is not meant to scare you. It is meant to strengthen you. Remember what happened after the Cross? Resurrection. God knows we are weak and he can lift us up and do the impossible. We must hand everything to him. Our fear, our jobs, our health, all of it. Examine your conscience and, if you still can, get to confession. If not, make a heartfelt Act of Contrition with the resolve to get to confession whenever you can. Do not look to your own false expectations of what God should be doing and instead just Trust Him. Trust that He loves you more than you can fathom.
Let go of hatred and rage, even that directed towards our authority. We must forgive everything as Jesus did, trust that he takes care of the sin, and we must fight Satan with all that we have. Do not give in to the poison arrows of fear he is flinging at you. Renounce and rebuke it. Use your Sacramentals, your holy water, blessed salt, and holy oil. And pray. Pray every single day. In this time of the absence of Sacraments, Prayer is the most powerful remedy at your disposal.
Prayer of Command
In His name and by the power of His Cross and Blood, I ask Jesus to bind any evil spirits, forces, and powers of the earth, air, fire, or water, of the netherworld and the satanic forces of nature. By the power of the Holy Spirit and by His authority, I ask Jesus Christ to break any curses, hexes, or spells and to send them back where they came from if it be His holy Will. I beseech thee, Lord Jesus, to protect us by pouring Thy Precious Blood on us and our families, which Thou hast shed for us and I ask Thee to command that any departing spirits leave quietly, without disturbance, and go straight to Thy Cross to dispose of as Thou sees fit. I ask Thee to bind any demonic interaction, interplay or communications. I place (Name a person, place or thing) under the protection of the Blood of Jesus Christ which he shed for us. Amen. – Deliverance Prayers for Use by the Liaty