Our Lord aligns events in our lives in accordance with the Church’s liturgical calendar. What do I mean by that? This past weekend I thankfully tested double negative for the China Virus; the little Latin Mass parish I attend had a “second wave” and so the priest gave his fatherly blessing that those who are positive should absolutely refrain from coming to Mass out of charity to our neighbors. This virus is truly a death sentence for the elderly…
So, while I tested negative, I still had “something” questionable. Since I knew it was not the virus, I would of course fulfill my Sunday obligation but the part I was having scruples about was receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion and attending my weekly visit to the confessional (being a confined space and all). Before the Coronavirus hit the world, I do not believe one ever had such scruples; the common cold is practically unheard of now. Now, the minute one even coughs or breaths wrong, “ah, you have the virus”. It’s simply absurd, is it not?
However, the weeks leading up to me catching this cold the priests gave some striking homilies about charity to our neighbor and not being selfish by getting them sick. A dear friend made a wonderful comment when she said, “we can’t just have charity and love because then we would be hippies, but we can’t just have sound doctrine either because then we would be the Pharisees.” What a brilliant statement. Needless to say, I had some profound scruples about not receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist and missing my weekly confession. The night before I settled it with myself to refrain from both, but of course… I still had my doubts. Until the reading came for the 4th Sunday after the Epiphany was read:
Charity is the fulfillment of the Law.
As if Our Lord was telling me, “Refraining from uniting yourself to Me sacramentally, out of love of your neighbor, is indeed pleasing to Me, your duty, and fulfillment of your Sunday obligation.” Was it exceedingly difficult to sit far off in a corner in the back, not receive Our Lord along with absolution in the sacrament of penance? More than I can say, but I am grateful that Our Lady showed me the very advantageous lesson on how important it is that charity and the Law, go hand in hand.
Ave Maria et Laudetur Christus Jesus!