THE CHURCH IS OPEN! Masses will be live streamed via Facebook Live on Wednesday at 6:00pm and Sunday at 8:00am & 10:30am.
Read more

As history teaches us, lessons can be learned from unprecedented challenges

By:

Everyone nervously, wearily and hopefully wants to see life return to normal this summer, and celebrations on July 4 will be like those of past Independence Days. Pray that his forecast comes true. Fear will be gone. Hardships will be gone. The deaths from COVID-19 will end.

Whenever that great day comes, be it before, on or after July 4, if history is a guide, life will have changed. Managing the change, and making it a change for the better, is up to us.

Look at history. Now only a chapter in history books, the Great Depression — the virtual collapse of the American economy, when a third of this country’s breadwinners lost their jobs, just to name one calamity that affected millions — led to dramatic changes that now Americans take for granted.

Today, senior citizens not only receive, but expect and demand, Social Security benefits. Automobiles still are produced in this country. If full-time employees work more than 40 hours a week, they are paid overtime wages.

Within 10 years after the depression, the United States economy, improved and strengthened by measures taken to combat the depression, was the most powerful on earth; the country’s population, with conspicuous exceptions, often classified by race, was the most financially comfortable people in the world.

Rare was the American family not traumatized by the Second World War. It, too, changed life forever. Political geography changed. Millions endured communism, from Poland to China, but wonderfully good changes occurred. Because of desperate efforts by military doctors to save the lives of wounded soldiers and sailors, great advances in medicine came in the treatment of disease and injury.

Alerted by racial discrimination in the military during the war, President Harry S. Truman abolished racial desegregation in the armed services, the first step in a social revolution to bring human rights to African Americans.

When the war was over, Catholicism in the United States experienced the greatest surge in priestly vocations that it has ever known, as veterans in considerable numbers entered seminaries and eventually were ordained as priests.

Veterans who did not choose to be priests were married and began families. Churches were built by the hundreds across the country to accommodate people who wanted fully to practice their religion. Catholic schools were built, and they were filled with children of veterans. Veterans wanted their sons and daughters to know their faith.

Conversions multiplied. Firsthand experience in the horrors of war left so many veterans, and the population in general, knowing that life could and should be better. Faith in God, and minding God’s commandments, allowing Jesus to be the example, make life better.

The coronavirus pandemic and warfare are not the same, but both can lead to the same conclusion found 70 years ago. Life can have its worries and heartaches. The innocent may suffer and even die. Some are more fortunate than others. Some are ignored or left behind.

Reports of this epidemic, for instance, are replete with cases of unevenness in the management of the illness along ethnic or financial lines.

A better way is possible. Awaken, face facts and re-dedicate to the principles and ideals of the Catholic religion, just as so many veterans discovered in the Second World War. The world will be a better place, especially as it heals from the virus, if Catholics renew their commitment in God and live in the model of the Son of God.

The greatest lesson to be learned is that only in Jesus is the blueprint for change for the better.

Hopefully, the long, trying months of the COVID-19 plague, when it ends in a few months, or sooner, or later, will teach everyone this most basic and most treasured of lessons: Peace, security and joy come with life in the company of the Lord.

Easter reminded us that the Lord lives. His salvation, mercy, love and guidance live.

This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.

 

Catholic News & Perspective

Provides information on the Church, the nation and the world from OSV, America's most popular and trusted national Catholic news source


Recent

Opening the Word: Witnesses on earth

Friday, May 14, 2021
By: Timothy P. O'Malley There must have been a wondrous and yet anxious expectation that filled the disciples on that... Read More

Editorial: Dear kids: This is what it means to receive the Eucharist

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
By: Our Sunday Visitor Editorial Board Dear First Communicants, Congratulations! What a special time this is. It is the moment you receive Jesus in... Read More

Pope to institute formal ‘ministry of catechist’

Monday, May 10, 2021
By: Cindy Wooden VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While millions of laypeople around the world are recognized as catechists in their parish or diocese,... Read More

Opening the Word: Remain in my love

Friday, May 7, 2021
By: Timothy P. O'Malley The declining religiosity of U.S. citizens seems inevitable. Each time Gallup or Pew releases a poll,... Read More

Throughout May, join the worldwide Rosary marathon

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
By: Our Sunday Visitor Editorial Board Over the course of the pandemic, certain powerful moments of national and worldwide prayer stand out. A year... Read More

On difficult issues, think critically — and think with the Church

Monday, May 3, 2021
By: Msgr. Owen F. Campion A priest tells this story. He was driving through a rural area on vacation when he noticed an exit sign for one of the... Read More

Opening the Word: The scandal of abiding

Friday, April 30, 2021
By: Timothy P. O'Malley If you are looking to sell a book on Christian discipleship, you need a radical title. The kind of title that underlines... Read More

Religion is essential

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
By: Kathryn Jean Lopez We are now a little more than a year since church doors shut for the Mass, confessions went on hiatus in many places and... Read More

The inspiring — and surprising — conversion of Justin Bieber

Monday, April 26, 2021
By: Scott Warden The other day, I was driving along a fairly busy stretch of road with my two youngest daughters in the backseat when I noticed... Read More

Opening the Word: A letter to my son on his first Communion

Friday, April 23, 2021
By: Timothy P. O'Malley The writer has taken the occasion of his son’s first Communion to speak about the Eucharist considering the readings... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!