Sunday Thoughts About The Coronavirus

From what I am hearing because of the coronavirus a new tradition has arisen in America. I don’t know how widespread it is but more than one person has mention it as something they plan to do. It’s probably based in part on the Passover with some Irish folklore blended into it.

→ Most know the Passover story. Moses whose name means “he who was drawn from the water,” was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter. He was raised in the palace. He became involved in a dispute with another man, killed him, and had to flee into the desert. While he was gone a new Pharoah came to power. Shortly after that he said: ‘Behold the Children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply…'”  His way to deal with them was to enslave them. This did not accomplish his goal because they continued to multiply so he increased the harshness of their slavery.

After many years Moses returned from the desert with his brother Aaron to become the leader of the Israelites. Upon his return he approached the Pharaoh about the conditions under which the Israelis lived in Egypt. He asked the Pharaoh to let the Israelites be freed from enslavement and leave Egypt. The  Pharaoh refused. God then brought various punishments (plagues) on the Egyptian people but the Pharaoh wouldn’t relent. The tenth punishment was that God planned to kill all the first-born children in Egypt.  The Israelites were told to avoid that fate they should slaughter a lamb or a kid and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts or lintels. Then when the angel of death stalked the land of Egypt she would pass over any of those houses so marked.

→  Many Jews today continue to mark their homes with a mezuzah. This is said to have no connection with Passover yet if the angel of death is cutting a wide swath across the land and she is looking for victims it may serve as a reminder to it to follow tradition and pass on by.

→  The Irish tradition is seen mostly around Christmas. There some people put one or even three candles in the window  –  “the candle in the window represents welcome – the cead mile failte that is nearly Ireland’s trademark”. … Three candles are used to represent Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus. When the candle is in the window the door was left unlocked so they could find a place of rest should they arrive after the family was asleep. This is done as a reminder of the difficulty they had finding accommodations. But it is also a recognition of spiritual beings roaming the earth.

→  Add to that the Bram Stoker story about the guy who rises out of his coffin to look for victims. Stoker who was born in Ireland was probably used to its stories of other worldly beings. One of the ways to ward off the evil guy was with a cross. If he approaches the person can raise up the cross and he will be repelled by it.

⇒  The new tradition of which I write is to put a cross on the door or lintel on the outside door of one’s home or if a window is near the door to put a cross or crucifix in it. It is hoped that when the angel of death sees it she will be inclined to pass over the house.

⇒  I’m not sure other religions have their own way of warding off evil from the home but if they do I’m sure the members of those religions would be well advised to use it. As for those who don’t believe in a God who has concern for every individual they probably best follow the guidelines the medical authorities have established but they may want to follow one of the other suggestions of  Bram Stoker concerning how one can ward of evil. They can wear a necklace of garlic.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Sunday Thoughts About The Coronavirus

  1. I have been watching Dr Vuong on YouTube
    You might enjoy him.

    He interviews Dr Gordon re Covid19

  2. How far we have come from Salk. On a recent program, he was castigating the greed in the pharmaceutical companies. He said was “privileged” to bring the vaccine to the world and was appalled by the profiteering and greed rampant in this country. How about masks on E-Bay supervised by Kushner? Come-on-Down!

  3. Matt, a very apt and very well told essay.

    Along with putting Religious Symbols in the window, one can put patriotic symbols. For several years, I have had a shamrock( dark green glass) hung in an upstairs window alongside a bust of the Native-American sachem or sagamore, Shawmut (of the Shawmut tribe.) Since last year, I’ve had two Betsy Ross Flags posted in small garage windows, and a large American Flag on our porch.

    Now, something special. Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, I went to our side door which faces the street, and there were five paper hearts (one red, one orange, three green; two large, three smaller) posted on our door and side windows. Two had messages on them. (“We love you” and wishes of “health” and “fun” in these trying times) Anyone walking by on the sidewalk clearly can see them, so any neighbors or passersby will instantaneously be uplifted (except for Scrooges, Scoundrels and Scowls, most hearts will be gladdened, a little, at least; on seeing them.) These five hearts brought instantaneous joy to us. They were posted by my godchild (a teacher) and her two young daughters (a teenager and grammar schooler.) I’ll protect their anonymity. They’re not looking for public praise. I remember the nostrum: “Do good by stealth and blush to find it fame.” So countless many in these tough times do good. I’m reminded of Stephen Grellet’s quote: “I shall pass through his world but once . . .” which was posted on our refrigerator when we were growing up.

    MUSINGS:

    More serious notes: As you know among Egypt’s ten plagues were Locusts. In one of my Science Magazines, I’ve read Locust Infestations in Northern Africa threaten 20 to 50 million people this season and next. Another plague was “thunderstorms and fire”. Four major hurricanes are predicted this year for America, and we are aware of the recent wildfires out West. The Climate Scientists tell us Seas Will Rise, harkening us back to Noah’s Flood. These literary biblical stories remind us that historically mankind has suffered much (from oppressors and nature) yet mankind has endured and proliferated, fulfilling the biblical edict (Genesis) to be “fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue (govern) it.” Which means we should be stewards of the earth and take good care of it, as I see it.

    We are stronger for our endurance and perseverance, for our faith, and for our forefathers who recorded their stories and revelations in scripture.

    So, too, the Angel of Death may often be warded off by optimism, a healthy attitude, a belief that we’ll prevail, and so if you believe that God will help you, and you act in accordance with that belief, through prayers, symbols worn (crucifixes, scapulars, yarmulkes) , signs in your windows, your Faith and demonstration of Faith will indeed save you . . .or, at least, increase your likelihood of being saved, by strengthening your resolve and hence strengthening your immune system. Faith and fortitude go hand in hand. Medical science confirms the benefits of Faith.

    America is built on Judaeo-Christian principles. Freedom of Religion is ensconced with the FIRST AMENDMENT . . .the very first Amendment . . .as one our most cherished freedoms . . .the very first freedom mentioned. The other First Freedoms which Congress shall not abridge are: Speech, Press (meaning anyone can print or today e-opine), Assembly (associate with whom you please) and criticize the government (petition).

    The Israelities, led by Moses, considered freedom from the Pharaoh their most pressing need. Today, many Americans identify with their quest, and say as Patrick Henry did in Revolutionary Times: “Give me liberty or give me death!” or echo New Hampshire’s motto: “Live Free or Die.”

    Today, on Palm Sunday (when figuratively speaking all in Jerusalem hailed Jesus) we look forward to Holy Thursday (his arrest), Good Friday (his crucifixion) and Easter (his resurrection)

    And from all of this we learn that we too shall rise from this oppressive pestilence of 2020 and resume our lives as a free people, bowing to no Pharaoh, no King, no Bureaucracy, and beholden to no one but our own consciences (let each man march to the music he hears, however measured or far out) and our Maker: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

    1. And don’t forget to be thankful for Western Civilization’s contribution to medical care, from Jenner and Pasteur to Salk and Sabin, to Alexander Fleming’s 1926 discovery of penicillin, to the innovative surgeons, pharmacists, researchers, commercial laboratories, academic labs, schools, and don’t forget the heroic work of nurses: Florence Nightingale, along with “Twelve Irish Sisters of Mercy, who served as nurses during the Crimean War and. Mary Clare Moore (1854-1856) who led a group of four English sisters from the Bermondsey convent in London’s docklands, and who worked closely with Nightingale at the Scutari Barrack and General hospitals for seventeen months.”
      Think of all who were comforted and saved and all the innovations in patient care that came from their sacrifices. Same with Clara Barton (Civil War), to mention a few. To all health care workers, and biological scientists, we are thankful, in this season of remembering and gratitude.

      Finally, (finally for my sermonizing, today) remember, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” But, cursing sometimes helps to let off steam. Have fun!

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