Friday, August 7, 2020

Christianity In The New Corona Age

A seminary professor writes in Bible And Life magazine his thoughts on the new world that is being ushered in by Coronavirus —the 'new normal'. This new way of thinking is planted in our consciousness, consequently, our overall human existence and future way of life are open to many questions and introspection. How will life change? What is essential, what can change?

When we speak of holistic development what is meant? We are talking about the integral development of the person. We can't separate them but can work to differentiate and distinguish the physical, logical-intellectual, psycho-emotional, socio-economic, and spiritual.

These five dimensions are joined together intimately. When the body is dealing with sickness there is usually a negative effect on the other aspects of our being. Because of the sickness, we are uneasy, depressed which influences the whole of our lives. However, often the resulting pain and hope, life, and death and their meaning bring us to a deeper reflection on life and opens one to the spiritual dimension and a deeper sensitivity. 

This principle of unity we find in ourselves is also found in the solidarity of the human family. In the COVID-19 world, we are experiencing this dynamic in the mutual relationship within the human family. 'Corona blue' is affecting all aspects of our life even when the medical aspects seem to be controlled, the economic problems loom large. The economic depression can continue to last a long time, and in certain areas, we will continue to have the non-face-to-face lectures, video meetings, and non-face-to-face medical care, changing the way we live.

Holistic spirituality follows these same principles. A need for harmony with the other aspects of our being. A person needs to be emotionally at peace and his mental faculties able to rightly judge if he is to have a deep mature healthy spirituality. Society has to be able to nurture this in the way it is structured. When this is not the case we will have pseudo-religion and a break down of the family, superstition, and fanaticism.

Religion seen academically can be seen as beliefs, rituals, and structures. In the corona era, the rituals and social meetings have been curtailed. This will be a problem for religion in the future. Even if we find a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus we will have other epidemics that will restrain religious activities. This will require thought and some of the spirit of our religious ancestor in the faith.

He concludes the article with a quote from St. John Paul II in The Church in Asia: "I have written elsewhere, in my contact with representatives of the non-Christian spiritual traditions, particularly those of Asia, has confirmed me in the view that the future of mission depends to a great extent on contemplation. In Asia, home to great religions where individuals and entire peoples are thirsting for the divine, the Church is called to be a praying Church, deeply spiritual even as she engages in immediate human and social concerns. All Christians need a true missionary spirituality of prayer and contemplation."

 'Doing' is very important but the future may be leading us 'to be', born again as a spiritual person. 

"Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change, modeled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do" (Rm. 12:2).

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