Imagine, if you will, a family living in a fairy tale world where the monsters truly come out at night. It’s been rumored that a monster is entering the territory of this family and loves to consume children. As night falls, in order to “save” the family, the Father pushes the children out into the dark unarmed. The door shuts with a decided bang and the lock thuds ominously behind.
Trembling, unprepared, and afraid the children cower in the dark seeking to shelter in place until morning. Every sound terrifies. During the middle of the night the Father realizes he doesn’t have his expensive pocket watch. Cracking the door a little he implores the son to throw it to him. Hidden in the dark the son remains silent grasping the watch. The son is astounded, bewildered, and angered.
If only, the children think, they could get close to the fire in the hearth inside the house. Monsters, as every one knows, are afraid of fire. They stand at the door and knock but only silence greets them. They’re tired, cold, frightened, and weary. There is no place for them. They long to hear the voice of the Father call to them, receive them, and comfort them. Silence still.
This is the picture of the Catholic Church during the hardest part of the Covid crisis. No sacraments, no adoration, and no sacramentals. No apostolic letters of comfort and encouragement from Priest or Bishop. In our diocese there were three letters asking for money during that time – a time when many people were laid off work. Where was the churches generosity towards their people? Why did they stand with close fist?
Frightened and angered we stood in the dark deprived of the graces God provided for us. Graces that were especially created to bring comfort in times of crisis. We stood outside the doors crying, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.”
My prayer is that when real persecution comes the Church will be willing to stand up and die like the martyrs to bring her people the sacraments.