A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

May 12, 2022

Last week the United States hit a tragic milestone in the Covid-19 epidemic. One million people have died because of the ongoing effects of the virus. Unfortunately, the event passed with little recognition or concern. Covid cases are rising as we struggle to return to “normal.” Let us pause for a moment to remember all those who have died because of the pandemic. Let us remember with gratitude those in the medical and support communities who have and continue to respond to those who are suffering and dying.  
Our quest to return to normal must not endanger the lives and well-being of other people who remain vulnerable to the ravages of the pandemic. We are called to be a self-giving community. Our common sense invites us to care for the common good and well-being of all people.
The politicization of Covid-19 results in hostility to vaccines and indifference to the guidance of the medical community. No one is ever free to harm the health of other people. We must appeal to our higher consciousness in our care and concern for others. As citizens of a Nation and members of the human family, we must recognize the human rights of others to simply live.   
The history of Religion is replete with saints who reached out to care for the afflicted and the sick. We would do well to reconsider such saints in our own given traditions. The experience of the Divine invites us to care for the sick and hurting. Our care for the sick helps us to realize how close we are to the Divine Presence. It is heart-breaking when the powerful and short-sighted use Religion to justify indifference, if not hostility, to those dedicated to eradicating Covid-19 from the face of the Earth.  
Compassion demands and invites us to be caring people who not only come to the aid of those who are sick but strive for that justice, which prevents people from becoming sick in the first place. Compassion is not an after the fact reaction but a consistent heartfelt response to the dignity and well-being of all.
Blessings to you, Holy community, for striving to cultivate and practice heartfelt compassion in all the words, deeds, and actions of your life.