SIENA, Italy (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who ushered in the new year by trumpeting Christ as the antidote to the crisis in the Church and in the world, is offering a way to transform pandemic-related quarantines into means of growth in holiness.
Isolation at home, said Müller, "can be transformed into a moment of particular grace if we find time to renew our intimacy with the Lord by listening to His Word, by personal prayer and by meditating on the saving mysteries contained in the Stations of the Cross or in the recitation of the Rosary."
"In these moments of great trial," said Müller, "we, believers in Christ turn our gaze to our Lord and to His glorious Cross, confirming our adherence and belonging to Him — the one Savior and Lord of our lives."
Despair is not an option for believers, according to the cardinal, because "our life is stretched towards eternity and it is for this reason that in the face of these trials and tribulations we do not despair, certain that we are in God's hands."
The image of God's hands is "spread among many pages of the Bible," said Müller. The image expresses "not only faith in the act of creation, but also a constant defense of His creatures, from whom comes a strong message of comfort and hope."
At Mass on New Year's Day 2020 for SLS20, a five-day conference hosted by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), Cardinal Müller had elaborated on this theme of hope, explaining how hope and charity are rooted in Christian dignity: "The one who hopes will not reach for drugs. The one who loves is not after the lust of the world, which will pass away along with the world. The one who loves God and his neighbor finds happiness in the sacrifice of self-giving."
As many are now under quarantine, Müller said those in isolation "can take on a commitment to intercede for those in need."
After the cardinal offers Mass every day, he focuses on the Lord through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and prays for the world, "asking for the grace of consolation for those afflicted by pain, for strength of spirit for all who help them and for blessings for those who, in various ways, guarantee a constant service for the common good."
Cardinal Müller ended with a prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, you have taken upon Yourself our weaknesses and sufferings, and delivered us from the oppression of evil through your passion, death and resurrection.
We entrust to You mankind, struck by this evil, and we pray: Deliver us and protect us from all dangers. We ask you in a special way for the afflicted: Comfort their hearts, give them hope, revive their faith.
We beseech you, hide us in the shadow of Your hand so that we may experience the power of Your love which triumphs in every situation. Make us witnesses of Your infinite mercy that redeems and saves us.
To You be honor and glory for ever and ever.
Many Italians received Müller's words enthusiastically, describing them as "wonderful," "beautiful" and a source of "courage, strength and hope."