In recent weeks, the advance of COVID-19 has led many regions of the world to take measures to try to curb the number of infections and avoid saturating health systems. Whether you are in a hospital bed, in self-isolation at home by quarantine or for prevention, teleworking from home or “tele-schooling”, caring for children or grandchildren, or facing economic uncertainty, it is easy to become pessimistic and anxious, or even obsessive about knowing the latest updates.
Nevertheless, this time of apparent inaction is also an opportunity to live out one’s civic duties with responsibility, make good use of one’s time and be united in solidarity to those who are more seriously affected through prayer, keeping in mind healthcare workers, government officials, and other people and institutions that are working hard to reverse the situation.
As an institution within the Church, Opus Dei seeks to help ordinary people find God in their daily circumstances: work, family, friendship… The situation we are experiencing is not exactly ordinary or habitual, but Saint Josemaría taught us to see God’s loving hand behind everything, because even tragedies can bring about something good.
Lessons from History
In April 1937, Saint Josemaría went through a similar experience of isolation, although it was even more dramatic. With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he was forced to take refuge in the Legation of Honduras in Madrid. He stayed in that house with this brother Santiago and four young members of Opus Dei for four long months, sharing a single bathroom and several mats spread over very few square meters, and almost a hundred people…