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Is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a chastisement from God? Can praying the Rosary help stop it? What does the Holy Spirit want to do through us for a cure?
In Matthew 16:3, Jesus chastised the wicked because they knew how to read the signs of the weather but not the signs of the times (the signs of salvation that Jesus made evident everywhere he went). Today, we need to make sure that we are paying attention to the signs of the times — and heeding their warnings.
Do you have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit? Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit so we could be enlightened. The Spirit of Truth teaches us what we need to know: Unlike the people of the world, “you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20 NIV).
So, what do the signs of the times reveal?
1. The virus named COVID-19 is demonic. Look at these signs:
Church services, including the Catholic Mass, have been cancelled. Satan conquers by dividing; God heals by joining us together. The Holy Spirit works through Christian community. God designed us to thrive best in community. Demons work to isolate us in order to disempower the earthly Body of Christ (the Church).
This coronavirus began in the province of Hubei. This is the hot spot where the Chinese government has been enforcing drastic measures against Christians because, in Communism, believing in God is illegal.
2. There is so much sin in the world that even leaders of the Church are in need of repentance.
I’m not going to talk about the crises in the Church here (for that, go to footstepstoheaven.com/category/church-crisis and wordbytes.org/church-crisis). Suffice it to say that we as a Church need to repent much from immorality, abuses, and heretical teachings. But for now, let’s look at just the problems exposed by the coronavirus.
Bishops have ordered the cancellation of Masses and other public church events, rather than see and understand that the best, most effective way to defeat the devil is to do the opposite of what he wants. Coming together to pray becomes more urgent and more important as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and take more lives. But this requires faith and real trust in Christ as our Healer. Where is that trust?
We can learn from history
In 1632, the bubonic plague was devastating Germany due to the evils of the Thirty Years War. Food was scarce, and undernourished citizens were fast succumbing to the disease. The town of Oberammergau decided to isolate itself from the outside world to prevent the plague from taking hold in their town. The plan worked well until October.
That’s when they held their annual festival that celebrated the anniversary of the consecration of their church. Despite their insufficient food and the risk of disease, the people of Oberammergau believed that this event was too important to cancel. One Oberammergauer, who lived and worked as a farmhand in a nearby village, sneaked home for the festival. He did not realize that he carried the plague. Within days, both he and his family were dead. By the end of the month, 84 people had died. In 1633, nearly every family experienced loss. The small town’s population faced total decimation.
To stop both the disease and the famine, the townspeople humbled themselves, sought repentance from their worldly ways, and united in prayer. The town council and the residents (those who were well enough) walked to the church and vowed to God that if he would rescue their town, every ten years they would put on a Passion Play (which was common at the time) as an act of penitence, worship and thanksgiving.
From that moment there were no more plague deaths in Oberammergau. The next year, the residents of Oberammergau put on their first Passion Play. The entire cast and crew were villagers.
That’s the origin of the Oberammergau Passion Play, which attracts people from around the world and still happens every ten years. With a population of about 5200, nearly half of the residents participate in the play in some way, either as cast, crew or front-of-house staff.
We should do this too!
On March 11, 2020, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, called on every Catholic priest in his diocese to “lead a simple Eucharistic Procession” around the local parish church before the feast of St. Joseph on March 19 as a way to fight the coronavirus. This should be done, he said in a tweet, “for repentance, Christ’s healing hand on the coronavirus and that all men may be Godly, manly sons and disciples of His Son Jesus Christ.”
Watch this short video by Father Mark Goring for more about why this is so necessary:
True followers of Christ work miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit
How many good shepherds do we have in our Church? A good shepherd imitates The Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, laying down his life for his flock and even working miracles. During the coronavirus pandemic, our priests are called by Christ to take what is demonic and turn it into the victory of faith. (In fact, we all have this calling.)
Shortly after Italy was placed on a nationwide lockdown, Pope Francis urged Catholic priests, on March 10th (2020), to “have the courage” to go out and help those sickened by the coronavirus. He said, “Let us pray to the Lord also for our priests, that they may have the courage to go out and visit the sick… and to accompany the medical staff and volunteers in the work they do.”
Poland’s bishops have taken this a step further. Instead of cancelling Masses like bishops in other countries have done, they have asked parish priests to add more Masses to their schedules.
Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, issued a document (March 10, 2020) asking that parishes add extra Masses so that the congregations will be smaller. Implementing this means that priests must lay down their lives for their parishioners, sacrificing more time and energy than what they normally do. This is truly embracing the calling to priesthood!
We also need priests who will lead the way in organizing processions of repentance and prayer through town streets or publicly marching around the parish campus. The coronavirus pandemic is a sign that the time has come to boldly show the world that Christians do not fear death and also that Christians believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to prevent death and to even raise people from the dead.
To miraculously stop COVID-19, we each need to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. And we need parish prayer groups that are active in the power of the Holy Spirit. We need — spreading throughout the whole Church like an anti-plague — the anointing of the Holy Spirit, releasing powerful faith. We need to make holiness our highest priority for person growth and serving others our highest community priority.
Miracles begin with repentance
The coronavirus pandemic is a sign that we as individuals and as communities need to turn to God. Fully. We need to recognize that sin is sin and we have sinned. We need to pray daily in our private prayers and with our families, asking Jesus to cover us with the purification and protection of his blood.
For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me….
Woe to the sinful nation,
a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.
Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted….
Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong….
Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
(From Isaiah 1 NIV)
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. (2 Chronicles 7:13-19 NIV)
God always provides protection to his true followers during chastisements
As Christians, we need to be prepared for any kind of suffering. God will work it for many blessings. There is nothing to fear if we purify our lives and choose the path of holiness. When everyone else is panicking, God wants us to joyfully get busy sharing Christ, helping others discover the reason for our faith.
Jesus doesn’t want us to be worriers; he wants us to be warriors conquering evil. True followers of Christ will win every battle. Through these victories we will bring the world to Christ!
Pray this whenever you begin to worry: “Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to You. Take care of everything.”
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom…. Be dressed ready for service” (Luke 12:32,35a NIV)
Pray the Rosary. The Blessed Mother has been coming in apparitions for many decades to warn the world about chastisements resulting from sin, while promising that praying the Rosary is a powerful weapon against evil. But pray the first decade of the Rosary for yourself, especially for joy, so that you are strengthened for the battle and become better equipped to conquer evil.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy (Psalm 45:7 NIV).
The Holy Spirit is the oil of gladness. Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Then it will become natural to do the will of God and to serve as the Lord’s instrument of miracles, which is supposed to be normal Christian living (as proven in the Book of Acts).
See also Terry Modica’s video on this topic:
© 2020 by Terry A. Modica. Please download this important article and distribute it freely, as widely as possible (just keep everything intact).
Novenas to powerful saints who have stopped plagues in the past: Saint Joseph, St. Roch, and St. Gregory the Great. These prayers can also be prayed as reparation for those who should be praying but are not (yet): the faithless and the ignorant.
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