I witnessed a gut-wrenching scene when I recently entered an adoration chapel in North Carolina. Like the rest of the country, there were no Masses anywhere. Thus, this chapel served as a place for local Catholics to pray and make spiritual communions.
Upon entering, I saw a woman kneeling in the back with her head against the chair, crying almost uncontrollably. A little while later, a couple came in and occupied the front row across from me. The woman placed her head on the chair and also wept. There were four other men in the chapel who, like me, wanted to do something for these poor women but felt helpless.
One gentleman walked over to the lady in the back and handed her a Kleenex, which she gratefully accepted. However, this small charitable act did little to assuage her sorrow.
I could only guess the reasons for their profound sadness. Perhaps loved ones had contracted the virus. Maybe, they just feared for the future or both. Fear and uncertainty are terrible enemies since they can lead us to lose sight of the fact that Our Lord loves us, and His dear Mother is only a prayer away.
At a certain point, I approached the lady in the back and handed her a Miraculous Medal. I told her to put it around her neck, then added, “Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay.” I did the same thing with the other lady in front.
Moments later, both ladies seemed to regain their self-control. There was a silence and blessing in the chapel that was so palpable you could cut it with a knife.
Not long afterward, the lady kneeling across from me lifted her head from the chair. Her tears had dried up, and she now seemed calm. She looked over at me with a smile on her face and quietly said, “Thank you.”
Continuing my prayers, I looked up at the figure of our Crucified Savior above the monstrance where He is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. I reflected upon how He –with the exception of His mother and a few others– had no one to console him in His grief as He endured His brutal passion and ignominious death.
This led to another consideration about the great crisis inside the Church. Today, Our Lord is being crucified once again in His Mystical Body, the Holy Catholic Church, and few console Him. On the contrary, by our sins, we add to His sufferings. Nevertheless, there He was, in that marvelous chapel, under the appearance of bread consoling His troubled little children.
There is not yet a cure for the Chinese virus, but there is one for the fear of contagion and the concerns of what might happen in the future. That remedy can be found at the feet of our Lady of Fatima. She foretold a chastisement if mankind did not amend their lives, but she also gave reason for hope with the promise that Her Immaculate Heart would triumph. Comfort can also be found in the presence of Our Lord. There we can hear the sweet voice of the Savior who said, “Come to me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest for your souls.”