Suffering All Around Us by Fr. Jeremiah
As we now enter into April and what will be the most difficult and deadly two or three weeks since the outbreak of the virus, until we pass over and then downward from that peak of deaths in mid April, it might behoove us to consider those regular statistics of death and suffering all around us occurring year after year. This puts the gift our lives in better perspective and also its fragility. As Catholics, it should also increase in us a sense of compassion for our neighbors both here in America and around the world. Each death is an obvious loss to the one who dies. But it is also a painful loss to the many who knew and were connected to the one who dies.
Each year worldwide there are:
- 9 million deaths from hunger,
- 4 million deaths from infant mortality,
- 3 million alcohol related deaths,
- 250,000 deaths from illegal drugs,
- 800,000 suicides,
- 560,000 deaths from murder and war,
- 18 million heart attack deaths,
- 10 million deaths from cancer,
- 770,000 deaths from AIDS,
- 584,000 deaths from malaria,
- 40 to 50 million abortions.
As of April 1, there have been 46,854 Coronavirus deaths across the world.
We are all going to die. Our bodies pass to dust. Our souls do not. They are eternal and will be borne to God for a rendering of account. Would that we would care for our eternal souls as much as our failing, dying away bodies. We make our final and eternal destiny here. Are we becoming holier or hellier?
The first principle of Buddhism is life is suffering.
The central symbol of Catholicism is the crucifix bearing the suffering Christ for our sins in order to render us eternal life.
And notice the largest figure of deaths above.
We moderns fret in vain about our passing bodily life lasting within a world that murders the innocent.
Agnus Dei Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis !!!
FATHER JEREMIAH LYNCH, S.J.