The Sacred Art of Surviving and Thriving During a Pandemic

Is there a divine purpose for a pandemic?

Is this nature’s way of weeding out the weak ones among us and ensuring a more controlled population and a stronger species?

For centuries philosophers have struggled with the “problem of evil,”or the conundrum that things like pandemics pose for those who believe in a good God, Goddess, or Ultimate Reality. Why would a loving, Divine Being let such bad things happen to good people?

Enlightenment Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz coined the term “theodicy” for attempts at explaining this sort of an excuse for God’s indifference to human suffering. So what is our theodicy for the coronavirus? Is this a challenge to humanity of some sort? If so, are we rising to meet it? How are we handling this?

If this is a divinely orchestrated occurrence, it stands to reason that the purpose of it is to impress upon humanity the importance of working together for our own common good. And the unavoidable truth in all of this is that whether or not we believe in any sort of celestial hand directing the course of our cosmos, this is an “all swim together or all sink together” situation.

Have you noticed that the birds are singing just as sweetly as ever? Their morning trills sound even brighter in the midst of our time of grave concern for our survival. The truth is that the world can survive just fine without humans.

Believe it or not, people have been doing without hand sanitizer and paper towels for millennia. I am old enough to remember people living their lives just fine without them. So we can relax our efforts to shore up supplies for ourselves or our own small circle of loved ones. 

Instead, we’ve been presented with nobler pursuits. We can open our hearts and minds to embrace the beauty and vulnerability of our situation here on Earth, to appreciate our place in global ecology, and to nurture a genuine concern for all of life on this gorgeous planet.

We’ve been complaining about not having enough time to spend with our spouses and children for years, and now we have been blessed with an abundance of it. Instead of watching reruns of bygone sporting events, reality competitions, and movies over and over again, we can find time to write those novels, how-to books, poems, and memoirs we’ve been planning to write for years. We can paint those pictures, assemble those photo files, clean out all our closets, and actually find time to meditate.

I am a true believer in the power of the human spirit. Surely we can rely on our brilliant scientists and doctors to find the antidote. But just as important as this is, we all have the capacity to nurture hope within our own hearts and within the hearts of everyone we come in contact with. Let’s limit our “social distancing” to health – conscious spacing.

This is a true gift of awareness and Grace. Let’s not blow it.


The Vestal Virgins

On my recent trip to Rome to finish researching St. Cecilia’s life for my historical fiction novel, Virgin Martyr,

Read More »