• To be in solitude. In a world of extreme over-communication it is good to withdraw myself into myself. Can I retire in my heart and feel good about myself? In my ordinary life, I don’t even have the time to think about myself.  Thank you “corona virus” for forcing me to be with myself.
  • Humility. We modern men thought that nothing could stop us. Our computers were invincible; our stock market, universal; our medicine, secure against any abnormality; our economic system, the best in history. BUT… a little virus has put all this in jeopardy; nothing seems to be working any longer; our economic system in shambles; our medicine totally inefficient. Just a little virus, from an unknown market in an unknown town in China, was able to drive everything into confusion… We thought we were invincible! Now we realize that we are only humans. A bit of humility is bringing our fantasies back to reality, back to earth.  I can die tomorrow, and the world would not even know about it. I am less than a virus!
  • Compassion and care. Yes, our individualism had turned us all into islands, when instead we were created to be in communion. The corona virus is forcing us to think about the other person. My virus can infect many other people, even if I do not know about it. My attitude and responsibility can affect all the people that I love around me, even if nobody knows what I am doing. My responsibility lies in my heart and in my inner compassion. Corona virus is teaching me that I am a compassionate being and that I have to care for others, not for what I can get from them, but for what I can give to them. My life is not just for me.  It is connected to all those I love and those I live with. Social distancing is good because I do it for love and compassion of others.
  • Trust in God and in my brothers. When all the social, medical and political recourses are running out, the only recourse left is GOD. Certainly, because He was the only recourse in the first place. We had to try everything else before we discovered that there is only one Lord of heaven and earth. Both the virus and the sick person are under the power and care of the same Doctor, who is the Creator of both. So instead of blaming the Doctor for our sickness, we better put all our trust in Him. He knows the diagnosis; He has the cure; and He knows when to administer. It would be foolish to accuse the Doctor for our infirmity; on the contrary we should go to Him and follow all the recipes He has given us a long time ago. That is the sure way to get better and return to His good life.
  • Heavenly Wisdom. We men thought we had the power to change even the laws of creation. We thought we could give God a lesson in wellbeing and creation. Actually, as in the Garden of Eden, we thought we could become like God. We were building our own garden of Eden without Him. We were following someone else’s plan, with our own guidelines (Civil Laws). We have made our own laws and decrees (Financial Institutions); we have modified even the genes of our own creation (Gender, Bioethics); we have decided who should live and who should die (Abortion); we have determined when it is time to go to heaven or to remain on earth (Euthanasia). But something very little went wrong and the whole house of cards has fallen down. Like in the old days, we were building our own tower of Babel, but now we are all confused! There is another wisdom that comes from heaven, a great alternative to our own foolishness! Why not look for it in us and in our Bible? It has been there for us for so many thousands of years.
  • SOLIDARITY. Something that we had almost forgotten. My mother could rely on my aunt next door for salt, sugar, flower and many other things, when she ran out of them, because my mother and my aunt were one family. We have forgotten that we humans are one family. We all belong to the same family of God, because He is our Father. At a moment where the wellbeing of Americans depends on the unknown workers of Hubei and that the energy of the world depends on the oil fields of Arabia, we realize that if we are in solidarity, we will all be OK. If not, then we will all die together. So, corona virus is teaching us that we better be in solidarity for life instead of being in solidarity for death. But let us start with our neighbor; we all have one.

About Fr. Walter

Father Walter Tonelotto was born in Italy in 1947 and entered the Scalabrini Seminary at an early age. At 20 he was sent by his superiors to study Theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York and then to the Toronto School of Theology. He holds a Master in Divinity from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa and a Master in Moral Theology from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, New York City.