We’re hearing a lot about Him these days.
As ever, God is being blamed for this virus sweeping the world. He is being blamed in particular by those who say He doesn’t exist.
“Why does your God let this happen?” I have heard non-believers say.
“If your God is so powerful, why doesn’t he just click his fingers and wipe out this virus?” is another one I’ve heard.
It’s quite clear for some people that a supernatural being which doesn’t exist has either done his worst by creating this virus or sat back and watched as it has done its worst.
I happen to be a believer.
Like many, I went through years of not believing or maybe not realising that I believed.
Belief. It’s a strange thing in itself.
A few years ago, I was at Mass in Mount Argus, close to where I live.
There was a visiting priest from, I think, Belfast.
He told us about his mother, and her last hours.
He had called to see her and when he did, he could see that she was visibly upset.
He asked her what was wrong.
She told him she was worried about what would happen to her after she died.
He told us that he smiled and reassured her. “You went to Mass every day of your life Mother. You were devout. You loved God. You are going to Heaven.”
She looked at him.
And her face was angry.
And with that angry tone in her voice, she demanded of her son, the priest: “How do you know?”
He couldn’t answer. Because he didn’t know.
We don’t know, pure and simple.
I have seen some on social media mocking RTE for broadcasting Mass every morning.
Watching isn’t compulsory.
If it brings comfort to some, it not only does no harm, it does some good.
And it reminds me of another story.
A woman contacted the newspaper for which I then worked.
She wondered if anyone knew where she could get her hands on Padre Pio’s glove.
Her husband, she said, was gravely ill and had asked her to see if she could have it brought to him.
As it happens, my then editor knew precisely where to get it.
And he organized for it to be brought to her home, somewhere in the Midlands if I remember correctly.
A few weeks later, she called.
Her husband had died.
“But thanks to you getting the glove for him. It gave him great comfort in his last hours, Thank you.”
Yes, there are many who will mock that and call it superstition and what not.
But a dying man got comfort.
Is that not wonderful?
Personally, I’ll say prayers now.
I don’t know if they’ll do any good or not.
But I’m not going to stop any more than I’ll stop taking all the medication I have to take every day…
…just in case both actually do work!