Pandemic also brings opportunity to reform society
Pandemic may help people reflect on responsibilities to others, priest says in story.
By Vicki Voldal Rosenau | Valley City, N.D.
Maybe I need to spend my Sunday mornings in a pew again. But in which church? Even though my grandfather was a strict Lutheran preacher, the compelling goodness of New Salem’s priest, the Rev. John Guthrie, provokes me to consider a conversion to Catholicism.
The culture in which we are not thriving is hopelessly sick - flagrantly operating on raw greed, limitless acquisitiveness and the veritable worship of power over others. About a fourth of U.S. garages are so full of stuff that there’s no room for parking a car. Most ominous of all, millions of us seem not to care a whit for the welfare of anyone besides ourselves.
But in a Dec. 5 news story, Guthrie pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic, catastrophic as it is, has provided an (unsought) opportunity to fundamentally reform this toxic society.
Forum staff writer Adam Willis reported that Guthrie hopes the pandemic is prompting all of us to reflect intensely “on the responsibilities owed between neighbors, communities and countries.”
I heartily agree with Guthrie’s conversion-inspiring insight: Once the pandemic is over, we need to intentionally reject returning to the hollowness and mind-boggling selfishness of our pre-COVID life together and instead grow into a world “much deeper than where we’ve been.”
We say we can’t wait to get back to our old lives, but, as Guthrie advised, “Maybe ‘get back’ is not the right word.” I would simply remove the “maybe” from his sentence