Category Archives: Coronavirus

What Martin Luther Teaches Us About Coronavirus

George Dunlap, April 18, 2020. Today I woke up by the soft purring of 1 of our 3 cats, Jasmine, so named…of my daughters Disney fascination. I grabbed my morning tea and fruit, and jumped on the computer; to read today’s Coronavirus updates. While all along wondering when our Catholic Churches will reopen? I miss those gatherings of coughing and sneezing parishioners. Maybe now we will take seriously an on going concern…of allowing or welcoming… known sick Catholics in our Churches for the sake of filling the pews. We must all respect the health of all by staying at home if sick. But as Martin Luther comments below…our responsibility, as healthy Christians, is not to “hide” at home either.

Is it faithful to flee an epidemic? German reformer’s reflection on the plague can guide Christians in China and everywhere the virus has spread. Emmy Yang January 30, 2020

Image: Betsy Joles / Stringer / Getty Images

From its epicenter in Wuhan, China, the current coronavirus outbreak is stoking fear and disrupting travel and business across the globe. More than 150 people have died from the virus in China alone, and more than 8,000 are infected across 20 countries—exceeding the SARS epidemic in 2003. [Update: As of March 15, more than 3,200 people have died in China, and more than 168,000 have been infected across 120 countries.]

Citizens in Wuhan, a major central city comparable to Chicago, are under lockdown by the government and public activities have come to a standstill, including annual celebrations for Chinese New Year (which began on January 25). Chinese Christians, in Wuhan and China at large, have faced difficult decisions about whether to join the millions of Chinese who return home to visit family (as is customary during the lunar holiday season), to flee from the mainland, or even to gather for regular Sunday services.

But are followers of Jesus right to flee an epidemic when people are suffering and dying?

In the 16th century, German Christians asked theologian Martin Luther for a response to this very question.

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Abortions, 3000 per day and yet we do not shut-down our Churches, our Jobs, or our Lives. Fear is now in control, or some would say…Satan is in control. Easter is full of pain and offers us all salvation.

By George Dunlap, April 7, 2020. Waking up to a world of confusion and unknown, I am challenged to understand the math, to-date we (no death is to be minimized) have lost over 10,000 Americans to the Coronavirus and to-date 294,00, unborn Americans, are killed by the hands of fellow Americans. Fear is now in control of our lives; our feelings, and our faith. We have shut the doors to our Churches because of the FEAR of catching the Virus, but we turn our heads by the screams and crying of 3,000 babies being killed every day. I suggest we have lost our faith and hope. The only weapon is truth, payer, and accepting our sins. What do I suggest? First a return to our trust in God, return to Praying the Rosary daily, and a stronger faithful effort to being fully Catholic. We as Catholics must, be the example, not to be seen as a herd of Fear driven sheep.

Please pray for our souls for we have Lost our Way this Easter Season. The Cross is our path to salvation. It is full of pain and sorrow and it is the branding that transforms us to be with God.

PALM SUNDAY WITHOUT PALMS

George “Thomas” Dunlap, 4/5/2020. Last week I turned 65, since I was a child, my family would return from Church on Palm Sunday, I would always have a palm in my hand, always, and now nothing. I believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I now understand, having full and complete acceptance in our Lord without having to feel his wounds. I am learning how to accept without doubt, learning daily now, full belief in our God. AMEN. David G Bonaguar, JR, explains it best see below.

By David G Bonagura, Jr. Sunday, April 5, 2020

Today, in countless Catholic churches the world over, palms will not be given to the faithful. Many of us will watch piously on our TV screens as priests begin by blessing the palm branches in an action that makes this Mass so distinct, so memorable, and, normally, so tactile.

But not this year. We will not be present to receive our palms, to hold them as the Gospel of Jesus’ triumphal ascent into Jerusalem is read, to make crosses out of them, to thread them through our crucifixes upon returning home. It is a Palm Sunday without palms.

The annual commemoration of our Lord’s passion is not meant to be melancholic. Catholics rightly celebrate the events of Holy Week, knowing that the sorrowful passion is the means of our more glorious redemption. And so we begin Mass on this day with a note of triumph: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. Hosanna in the highest!”

This year, however, our joy is tempered, with the Coronavirus keeping us from reliving these mysteries, as we ought. Ours is an historical religion, and it is through the Holy Week liturgies, above all, that we are mystically transported to the very moments that changed the world – and each of our lives – forever. Now we have to relive our history with our senses and souls deprived of the accessories: smells, sights, and even physical presence at the liturgical celebrations themselves.

Instead, we will find our historical anchor in something that transcends the senses: the deprivation the disciples felt between the passion and the resurrection.

Normally, receiving palm branches is the first act of our paschal celebration, and it points ahead to the end of the story a week hence. Christ enters Jerusalem today hailed by all as the king of the Jews. The palms, explains the liturgist Fr. Pius Parsch, are “symbols of our loyalty to Him and of our willingness to do Him homage.”

Entry of Christ into Jerusalem by Pietro Di Giovanni D’Ambrogio, c. 1440 [Pinacoteca Stuard, Parma, Italy]

* This procession was one of the few times in His life that our Lord accepted public honors. He only did so on His own terms, upsetting all our expectations of what we think a king should be. He received gold, the symbol of kingly power, only as a helpless infant. Now, as a man who has manifested unimaginable power, He chooses the meekness prophesized by Zechariah, repeated in today’s Mass: “Tell the daughter of Zion: Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:5)

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Message on the Combat against the Coronavirus COVID-19

George Dunlap, April 4, 2020, As important and essential as going to the grocery, gas station, drug store, our ability to go into our churches for personal and faith healing food.. is an essential need. Closing completely the doors of Gods House will not provide internal peace. Cardinal Burke explains it best in the below essay. This is way we as Catholic Men need to meet and Pray together. We must not Hunker Down and Wait. God Bless us all.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, March 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

For some time now, we have been in combat against the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. From all that we can tell – and one of the difficulties of the combat is that so much about the pestilence remains unclear – , the battle will yet continue for some time. The virus involved is particularly insidious, for it has a relatively long incubation period – some say 14 days and some say 20 days – and is highly contagious, much more highly contagious than other viruses we have experienced.

One of the principal natural means to defend ourselves against the coronavirus is to avoid any close contact with others. It is important, in fact, to keep always a distance – some say a yard (meter) and some say six-feet – away from each other, and, of course, to avoid group gatherings, that is gatherings in which a number of people are in close proximity of each other. In addition, since the virus is transmitted by small droplets emitted when one sneezes or blows his or her nose, it is critical to wash our hands frequently with disinfectant soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and to use disinfectant handwash and handwipes. It is equally important to disinfect tables, chairs, countertops, etc., on which these droplets may have landed and from which they are capable of transmitting the contagion for some time. If we sneeze or blow our nose, we are counseled to use a paper facial tissue, to discard it immediately, and then to wash our hands. Of course, those who are diagnosed with the coronavirus must be quarantined, and those who are not feeling well, even if it has not been determined that they suffer from the coronavirus, should, out of charity toward others, remain at home, until they are feeling better.

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A QUARANTINE SYLLABUS FOR TEENAGE BOYS

George Dunlap, March 31, 2020. So what are you doing with your time, during the pandemic, with your children? Video games, all day Netflix shows; how about reading or better yet…see below. This is a classic approach to what is needed in our Catholic homes during this most interesting crisis. This pandemic will pass but will we has adults use it to develop better citizens and more… faithful Catholics?

by Mark Bauerlein, March 31, 2020 from First Things

Okay, First Things parents. Those of you with adolescent boys at home—you need help. So do I.

No matter how energetic and vigilant the teachers are in this time of seclusion, hours at home can’t replicate the classroom. As soon as the online assignment is finished, once the streaming lecture is over, the boys drift back to the iPhone for games and peer banter and pictures. The atmosphere of the school disappears. Instead, boys are back in their private spaces (and virtual social spaces), wherein books and knowledge are negligible matters.

You have been thrust into the role of part-time homeschooler with little warning, and you need better tactics than the bare confiscation of that demonic device. By all means, take the tool away, but give it back after the boys have done their daily work for school and spent some time with the syllabus you have fashioned as a supplement to it.

In the area of history, have them watch episodes of Appointment with Destiny, a short-lived series from 50 years ago that 14-year-old boys will love. There are only a half-dozen entries in the series, each one a documentary-style recreation of a fateful moment in time. One episode dramatizes Cortes and Montezuma, another one the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. There are reconstructions of Appomattox, the hunt for John Dillinger, the attempted assassination of Hitler. Lorne Greene narrates some, Rod Serling others. Historical figures speak to the camera as if they are on 60 Minutes. Historical settings, clothing, speech, and actions are reproduced with vivid fidelity. Check out one episode here.

In the area of music, let’s introduce them to the classical tradition with an engaging battery of lectures by Leonard Bernstein. The site is Harvard University, the time 1973. Bernstein was in residence at Harvard for a year, savoring the academic climate and ending up idolized by the students. He had to give six public lectures, which he devoted to music theory from Mozart to Stravinsky, using Noam Chomsky’s linguistics as a conceptual frame. He sits at the piano explaining what happened with Beethoven et al., then turns to the piano to illustrate the point. Occasionally, the lecture breaks away to a film of Bernstein conducting the Boston Orchestra in the symphonic pieces he is discussing—such as Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet. Some of the theory will go over the heads of younger teens, but Bernstein’s winning manner and the brilliance of the examples he plays on the piano make everything clear. Here is the lecture on the Romantics.

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