Alexander Tschugguel, who battled coronavirus for more than two weeks and spent the last week in an Austrian hospital, was released today.
On Sunday, Tschugguel issued a statement via the website Corrispondenza Romana saying the virus strikes hard. He called on all Catholics to offer up the special crosses associated with the current pandemic as a remedy for the evils in society and especially for the evil taking place within the Catholic Church.
In his message on Sunday, Tschugguel thanked everyone for their prayers and support while noting how hard the virus is hitting people of all ages.
"Many thanks for all of your prayers and your encouragement in recent days. It is now the 15th day of my illness and I am slowly on the path to recovery," said Tschugguel. "The virus strikes much harder than expected and it strikes people of all ages."
The Austrian Catholic took a divine perspective regarding the pandemic, saying God has allowed it to occur during the season of Lent to counter the evils in the world and especially the evil playing out in the Church.
"Now we must learn to confront it, which means understanding that God requires sacrifice from each of us. And during this Lent he is asking more from us than usual," remarked Tschugguel. "Today we must contain ourselves a lot and know how to renounce many things and do penance for all of the evil things in the world, and especially for all of the evil things that have happened within the Church."
The coronavirus, also called COVID-19, has struck more than 350,000 victims around the world. Several countries have greatly restricted travel in attempts to contain the virus. Tschugguel sees all of these inconveniences associated with the pandemic as part of the crosses that Catholics must offer up for the good of Holy Mother Church and for the world at large.
God, in his immense Providence, has placed these limitations on us, and we must see them as a cross that we must carry, above all for those for whom the virus was lethal, for all the families that have been destroyed, for all of the aborted babies, for the destruction of our homelands.
The Catholic Church has always upheld the doctrine of what's known as redemptive suffering. This spiritual offering entails personal sacrifices that Christians unite with Christ's sacrifice He made of Himself to the Father. Crosses carried by members of Christ's mystical body have redemptive value to atone for sin and to call down God's blessings on humanity. Christ views crosses borne with Him as an extension of His Cross, as St. Paul in Galatians 2:19–20 writes: "With Christ, I am nailed to the Cross. And I live, now not I; but Christ lives in me."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) in paragraph 1502 teaches that all pain, toil and sorrow united to Christ's passion "can also have a redemptive meaning for the sins of others." In paragraph 1505, the CCC explains, "Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: ... By his passion and death on the Cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: It can henceforth configure us to Him and unite us with His redemptive Passion." Paragraph 1521 likewise states that suffering in "union with the passion of Christ ... acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus."
One way faithful Catholics sanctify their crosses is by making what's called the morning offering. In making this spiritual act, Catholics unite their "prayers, works, joys and sufferings" with the "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" for the "salvation of souls" and in "reparation of sins."
"For all of this suffering," reflected Tschugguel, "we must now sacrifice our freedom, our prosperity and our usual way of life. Let's do it together as believers. We can be certain that God will never deceive or disappoint us."