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Fracturing Our Common Home

By Fr. Michael O'Grady

As the news of the Wuhan virus started if felt like another MIRS or SARS virus outbreak. With time it will pass, I thought. Little did I realize that it was soon to be a pandemic. If it were biblical times it would be called a plague: it was and is. The whole saga became existentially real when the virus broke out in a cluster at a pseudo Christian church in Daegu city. The whole city and province were placed in total lockdown. Was mother earth having a whack at us for the way we treat our "common home"?

Columban Fr. Michael O'Grady
Columban Fr. Michael O'Grady


​As time passed, fear began to grip me at the thought of the unknown floating around. The grim reaper was on the prowl and he kept me twisting and turning in bed at night from sheer worry about what might eventually happen. I am of the age that I would be a statistic fighting for oxygen before I might cave in. Not only that, instead of a coffin, I would be stuffed into a body bag, brought to the furnace and then dispatched to a lonely grave. Being in the older bracket, I felt that I would be treated as an antiquated entity "with underlining health ailments."

At times we can be so busy with the work of the Lord that we forget who the Lord of the work is. During the pandemic, I have found much spiritual nourishment from the talks given by Laurence Freeman. With the advice of a dear friend I have discovered Laurence. Listening to him helps me to focus on who I really am. He says in one of his presentations, "You and the Risen Christ are one undivided person." You can search for him on YouTube - just press HERE. Such presentations have brought me peace of mind and serenity of heart. 

What might we learn from this? What amazed me was the satellite picture of Wuhan after lockdown. Everything can be seen as clear as day. Compared to normal, when you could see nothing because of the blinding pollution. The same was true of Paris where you could just about see a jogger plodding along through the smog. In the clear picture however, during lockdown you could even see the small windows in distant buildings.

What does the future hold for us? Will this pandemic force us to reevaluate our lifestyles? The rush to reopen businesses seems to favour the rich companies so as to make more money at the expense of the poorer segments of the population. Will the effects of COVID-19 urge us and our governments to work with greater determination to solve climate change? Change both the way and how we live? When and how will we stop fracturing our common home?