Today more than ever all of us must be filled with zeal to overpower the virus. Not in terms of what is not in our power, but what is. In Goa, the number of the COVID-19 cases is rising and along with it, comes the scare of whether will I also be affected by it? Or even if I am, will I be able to survive it? Nevertheless, we must constantly fill ourselves with zeal, even with the drooping spirit; whether a parent, student, teacher, politician and religious leader.
Perhaps, inspirations from the prominent lives of the saints filled with zeal help us encourage ourselves. Saint Mother Teresa saw every possibility to praise and serve God. She was filled with zeal to seek Jesus in every poor she saw on the streets of Calcutta. Therefore, without anyone requesting her to serve these needy brethren, she felt that this was her mission to answer the call within a call. She served Christ with zeal in the poor brethren, cleaning their wounds and nursing them with medicine. She listened to their plight being sorry for them not with a sense of pity that fades away, but with real love that lasts lifelong. She surrendered everything she had to glorify God.
St. Francis of Assisi, who taught us to love everything, that surrounds us, from the simplest of stone to the glorious flying bird that soars in the sky. A saint who spent hours speaking to the birds of the air, fish in the waters, and plants that surround him. We are blessed to be surrounded by the songs of the birds in the morning. The sweet singing reverberates our soul to live another day with joy and thanksgiving. The plants that keep dancing to the wind remind us that life is playing its game. Sometimes, you will notice the plants pause for a moment and then start their rhythm again. It is wonderful to notice and learn from nature around. They give us a glimpse of our God. They give us a glimpse of who we ought to be. The nature that surrounds us is a blessing in itself teaching us lessons on the transience of life, the melodies that we ought to play every day, and that we are entrusted with a task to play with great zeal.
St. Vincent Pallotti said, “Love of Christ urges us on.” And he did everything in love for Christ. In 1837, during the Cholera epidemic St. Vincent was a pioneer to go out on the streets and attend to the needs of the children and women. He cared for the destitute. In his attempt to alleviate hunger and poverty, he started houses for the women and children along with the help of a few of his associates. The house was named Pia Casa. St. Vincent strived hard to start night schools for children. He searched and knocked doors of people to support him and his friends to build the Church of Christ. He was no different from St. Paul.
Like St. Paul who embraced every opportunity to serve Christ, St. Vincent left no plan to cater to the needs of Christ unexploited. St. Vincent didn’t move out of Rome but his followers to date have spread across the globe rekindling charity and love. Adhering to the need of the hour, the priests, brothers and sisters do everything possible to reach out to the people who are in desperate need.
As the situation around us is shabby, all of us need to fill ourselves with more vigour. We must give up our attitude of hatred and stop stigmatizing people rather look at them with love. A partial solution to the pandemic and the anxious mindset it is creating is, love. We must engage ourselves in the loving activity. If you are a parent engage yourself in expressing your love for your children and vice versa. Love among the spouses must also be nurtured in ways exemplary to the children. If you are a teacher or a businessperson, doing every activity with utmost patience and care as a fruit of love should be the priority. If a politician or religious leader engage yourself in thinking of the common good of the people entrusted to you.
If love is our focus and we are truly motivated by it, we are sure to fight this battle and be victorious at the end of it. There is nothing then that we cannot achieve together. Only we ought to come together and that coming together is a task. Given that we have our inhibitions, preoccupations, and goals to achieve. To surrender all of them for the sake of the common good of our neighbour is a difficult task to take upon ourselves. But we have to do it till we have won the battle that we are facing at the present.