Monday, April 6, 2020


In these days of epidemic, let us remember that Saint Thérèse of Lisieux lived through an influenza epidemic in her convent that ended the lives of several religious. In the monastery, she was one of the youngest, and had to take care of the sick as best she could. They all lived through it with a spirit of faith. Those who died did so with peace and joy, eager to go meet the Lord. Those who survived, kept in mind the words of Saint John of the Cross: “What does it profit you to give God one thing if He asks of you another?” And they understood that God asked them to live in peace the unexpected circumstances, changing their schedules, adapting to the situation, keeping faith and hope at all times. This is how she describes it:

"The flu spread in the community, and only two other sisters and I were spared of the disease. I will never be able to express everything I saw, and what life and everything that is temporary seemed to me…

The day I turned 19, we celebrated it with a death, which was soon followed by two others.

At that time, I was alone in the sacristy, because the other religious was seriously ill. I had to prepare the burials, open the choir for mass, etc. God gave me many graces of strength in those moments. Now I wonder how I could do everything I did without feeling fear. Death reigned everywhere. The sickest were cared for by those who barely stood up. As soon as a sister breathed her last breath, she had to be left alone.

One morning, when I woke up, I had the feeling that Sister Magdalene had died. The cloister was dark and no one came out of her cell. At last, I made up my mind to enter Sister Magdalene's cell, which had the door open. And I saw her, dressed and lying on her mattress. I did not feel the slightest fear. Seeing that she did not have a candle, I went to get one, and also a wreath of roses.

The night the Mother Superior died, I was alone with the nurse. It is impossible to imagine the sad state of the community in those days. Only those who survived can get an idea.

But in the midst of that abandonment, I felt that God was watching over us. The dying passed away effortlessly into a better life, and immediately after dying, an expression of joy and peace spread over their faces, as if they were sleeping a sweet dream. And so it was in reality, for when the appearance of this world has passed, they will awaken to eternally enjoy the delights reserved for the chosen ones... "

What a different attitude with that of today's world, where many claim to "believe" in Our Lord and His promise of eternal life, but at the same time we see an insane dread at even the possibility of getting sick with coronavirus, let alone the possibility of dying.

Let us learn from the heroes of the faith, the Saints, to accept God's provident plan for our lives, certain that "all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28).