"I am Facing Christ"
Miriam gave her class an assignment on Generating Traces just as they went to online classes. Here is Anabella's response.
I am a high school theology teacher, and before all of the craziness that turned all of our lives upside down happened, my students and I were discussing the Church. They were learning about the Church as a community of the human and the divine. Their first assignment in our modified online class was to read an excerpt from Generating Traces that I sent them and to use that along with their notes on the Church to answer the following question: “What is the difference in facing the Coronavirus pandemic on my own, as an individual, versus facing it with the awareness that I am part of the community of the Church?” Below is the answer I received from one of my sophomores.
Coronavirus, a pandemic that struck the lives of many; it can be described as something that has progressively evolved, and later turned out to be a severe, worldwide issue. On behalf of myself, I could personally say that I never expected this issue to have become so alarming or to have caused so much chaos. Never would I have imagined that in the last quarter of my sophomore year, I would be here, sitting on my computer, facing the struggles of online school. However, I strongly believe that the way I view this subject matter, along with others, is essential in trying to come to terms with it. As a result of this, the question then arises: “How do I face Coronavirus by myself, an individual, versus facing it with my community, the Church?” Generating Traces states, “If He were not present in the living Church, Christ would be irremediably far off and therefore a prey to our interpretation” (42). To me, this statement characterizes the way I face Coronavirus as an individual. It exemplifies how without Christ, there is no Church; I would be following or seeking something that does not exist, as without God there is no vision or hope in my life. Facing Coronavirus by myself, I would most likely be focusing on the negatives of it rather than accepting the fact that God’s plan is greater than my fears. I would be forgetting that God’s plan for us, is the ultimate one, as He knows what is best for our lives. My life without God would be an unsettling one, as I would be lacking that stability to maintain order and peace in it. However, I consider that my life, with God, would be a balanced one, as I now would have that missing piece I would have been lacking if facing Coronavirus individually. Generating Traces states, “The Church is the universe reached, recreated, and possessed by Christ through His Spirit” (41-42). I consider the Church to be a community in which I can both live out and share my faith. It allows me, as well as the other members that are a part of it, to be able to rely on one another; this is especially crucial in times of difficulty, such as the pandemic of Coronavirus we are currently experiencing now. By being members of the Church, we will be able to lean on each other for both support and compassion during this hardship. Christ is present through these members of the Church; so by facing these members, I am facing Christ. Christ can be compared to a missing puzzle piece, without it, the puzzle would be incomplete. This is parallel to my life, because without Christ, my life would be incomplete.
Miriam and Anabella, Miami, Florida