Fight Pandemic Fatigue with Faith

Fight Pandemic Fatigue with Faith


A second wave of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be setting back all the progress made to control its spread over the summer. In the face of this new community spread of the virus on Monday, Gov. Baker reimposed some of the limits to activities he had lifted during the summer. These continually changing requirements and confusing claims and information regarding the pandemic's response leave many of us feeling frustrated and exhausted. We don't feel confident with the leadership of our country. This news and reports of an upswing in cases in Europe has many people feeling very discouraged. We all long for our lives before the pandemic. We wonder how long and what amount of suffering we will have to endure before a sense of normalcy returns to the world and our lives. This increased stress and uncertainty have many of us living on the edge of despair. We have a hard time not sinking into depression and a loss of hopefulness.

The coronavirus pandemic is causing us to question God too. We can feel abandoned by God and unable to discern how our discomfort can be part of the plan of a merciful and loving God. It seems impossible to discern God's presence in all we have been going through during 2020. But the only way to fight the pandemic is through a renewal of faith.

If we turn to Scripture, we hear how God has always been faithful in the past, and we can count on God's faithfulness in these times too. Paul wrote to the Romans, who were suffering religious persecution, "all things work for good for those who love God." In times like these, we must not give up our trust in God. We must fight the pandemic with a renewal of faith. If we follow the example of Jesus, the way, the truth, and the light, we can have the determination to move forward and not give in to fear and doubt.

In the Daily Office prayed by Catholic clergy, Religious, and many of the laity, we read through the Book of Psalms using a four-week cycle. As I read the Psalms, I am struck by how they proclaim the wide range of emotions we live. Some of them begin as songs of triumph, victory, and trust in God. Other psalms express despair and sorrow. Others express anger and revenge and call down God's punishment on the psalmist's tormentors. Whatever emotion I'm dealing with when I thumb through the Book of Psalms, I find one that addresses my emotions and calls me back to center on God and not myself. I feel Psalm 46 speaks to our present feeling about the pandemic and helps me center on God’s loving care for us. I hope you find you have the same response.

Psalm 46

2 God is our refuge and our strength,

an ever-present help in distress.

3Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken

and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,

4Though its waters rage and foam

and mountains totter at its surging.

5Streams of the river gladden the city of God,

the holy dwelling of the Most High.

6God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken;

God will help it at break of day.

7Though nations rage and kingdoms totter,

he utters his voice and the earth melts.

8The LORD of hosts is with us;

our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

9Come and see the works of the LORD,

who has done fearsome deeds on earth;

10Who stops wars to the ends of the earth,

breaks the bow, splinters the spear,

and burns the shields with fire;

11 “Be still and know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations,

exalted on the earth.”

12The LORD of hosts is with us;

our stronghold is the God of Jacob.