When in a crisis

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

DEFINITELY, when we are in some especially difficult situation like what we are having nowadays with the coronavirus pandemic, we should band together, close ranks and help one another in any way we can.

Everyone, from those in position of government to the lowest citizen of the community, should care for one another. Our differences and conflicts in some issues should take a backseat, at least temporarily. They can be attended to at some other time. Like in the hospitals when there are just too many patients seeking attention and admission, we have to do some triage.

When our very own life, health and survival of our society are under threat, let’s work together to tackle the problem together, and avoid bickering, complaining, fault-finding and the other etceteras of negative activities among ourselves.

If we notice certain aspects of the problem to be disregarded or are given inadequate attention, then let’s bring them out to the proper authorities. But this should be done always in the proper tone, with great delicacy albeit with utter clarity, especially when the matter involved is considered urgent.

But if we ourselves can already do something about these aspects of the problem, then let’s do it ourselves without unnecessarily bothering the others or the higher entities in our society. It’s part of the principle of subsidiarity that should govern our social, collective life. The other two are those of the common good and solidarity. It would be good if we once again review these social principles.

When our government orders some drastic measures like lockdown or quarantine, etc., to tackle the problem of the coronavirus, we have to presume that things are studied well and that these extreme measures are resorted to with good measure of prudence—that is, to avoid a greater harm and damage to the people and to our society in general.

I know that some of us may feel that such measures are an over-reaction, and that they fail to consider the unpleasant implications on some sectors of our society. Truth is they are indeed a bitter pill to take. No question about that.

But if we consider what is happening in other countries that are affected by the same problem and what they did to tackle that problem, then we should understand why such measures have to be resorted to.

Yes, no doubt everyone suffers, though in different ways and in different degrees. That consequence cannot be helped. That is just part of our human condition here on earth, whether we are in good times or in bad.

That is why we should just help one another. Those who are stronger among us, better positioned, favoured or endowed should give a helping hand to those who are weaker and less fortunate. This is where the social principles of the common good, solidarity and subsidiarity should get into action. This crisis can be a wonderful occasion to find new and creative ways to help one another.

Besides, if we are genuine Christians, we already know and are assured that everything will always work out for the good. (cfr. Rome 8,28) We already know that whatever suffering we would undergo here can have positive, constructive and salvific effect on us. Christ takes care of everything. What we cannot do, he can do it. What is impossible to us is always possible to him.

So, we should not worry too much and waste our time fighting each other over some perceived inadequacies, missteps and mistakes that others, especially our public officials, may commit.

Let’s just be sport about everything. We cannot avoid some mistakes and setbacks from happening. But these should not stop us from moving on.

Instead of focusing on the mistakes and raising complaints, let us find solutions and offer some help. The very least that we can do and can be done always is to pray and offer sacrifices.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com