Christ in the Pandemic

“Care of the sick must rank above and before all else so that they may truly be served as Christ…” Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 36

I have been quiet over the past few months because I have been sick with a cold that seems to not have wanted to go away. No, I do not have COVID-19! But what I do have is a small sense of anxiety because I work on the front lines of this pandemic and am myself not in the best of health.

I have been seriously considering what I should do. Should I seriously discern whether God might be calling me out of the medical field? Shouldn’t I think first of myself and those I love and not risk being in the midst of something like this? Why chance it? It’s just a job, right?

This evenings reading from the Rule of St. Benedict brought comfort to my soul. Let’s be honest – God did not call me to work in medicine to then abandon me. If I am called to serve Him in the sick and suffering then I must trust that His grace is there with me.

It’s only human to be fearful in situations we can do very little about. The unknown scares us. Our anxieties must be tempered with a good dose of faith in the God who does not abandon His people. Christ is both in the pandemic and in those suffering from it.

As an oblate I am to remind myself of the promises I made. Conversatio Morum calls us to a continual deepening of our monastic way of life. Am I really to turn my back on my sick brothers and sisters when St. Benedict tells me that their care must “rank above and before all else so that they may truly be served as Christ?” In thinking of myself would I not be turning my back on my sick brothers and sisters and essentially on Christ himself?

In sharing in Christ’s sufferings may we also come to share in His resurrection. Let us pray for all medical workers and all those affected by this pandemic. Let us pray that our fasting, prayer and almsgiving during this Lenten Season may be offered on behalf of all who suffer at this time.