The coronavirus has raised numerous questions that can shake one’s faith:

The current situation with COVID-19 takes us back to eternal questions: Why hasn’t God prevented this? Why is death all around us if we call on Him and implore His protection? Shouldn’t we just admit that God has failed us?

This pandemic is one of the most formidable challenges to Christian faith. Without pretending to understand everything, let us try to find at least some answers …

 God never promised to keep the suffering of death away from us. 

The Holy Scriptures teach us that God did not create death; it is the consequence of Original Sin. With the Cross of Christ, God has triumphed over death but He has not abolished it yet. Death remains a part of our lives. No one can escape it. It’s a certainty no one can contest. So, we should stop imagining divine protection that will spare us from it. No one can avoid death; no one knows when it will come, which could be earlier than we expect or hope for.

But we continue to long for divine protection in dangerous times. “Let the gods look favorably upon you!” is a harmless superstition that must have come down to us from the old pagan religions and is still alive today. In times when the protection we called for has not been granted, it can conflict with our Christian vision of God. But our God is not fickle. Jesus never said that He would keep suffering and death away from us; what He promised us is the salvation of our souls and the resurrection of our bodies after the Last Judgment. 

So, should we pray and implore His protection? The answer is yes, but mostly from something we rarely consider – our spiritual death. Once acquired, this kind of protection will never fail us. 

Thierry-Dominique Humbrecht