Myles Cesario ’21
In the Catholic Church there are three theological virtues that are interconnected and ultimately define the Christian life; they are faith, hope, and charity. These are the virtues that the world must see at the end of not only this pandemic, but this academic year. Three virtues that will set the world on a new path of understanding and virtues that are summarized in two main themes: freedom and love.
Faith is a virtue that allows humans to believe in something that, either scientifically or logically, makes no sense whatsoever. A Christian example is the Resurrection. By every scientific and logical means when you’re dead, you’re dead, especially after three days. But to Christians, we believe that Christ rose from the dead, beating sin and fulfilling the scriptures. But faith can have practical applications. When we look at this pandemic, we all have faith in the fact that the vaccines will help, and the pandemic will end. But by looking at the present COVID numbers, logically that seems unlikely. But we humans are hardwired to believe in things that may not even be practical. That is faith.
Like faith, hope is a virtue that allows humans to believe in a brighter tomorrow in situations that seem hopeless. To a Christian, the hope and the belief is that this world is not the end. But in a society that thinks it can control everything, the idea of giving up control about death and what happens after does not sit well. But the idea that this life is not the end, that there must be something more, is the most human thing to dream about. We humans dream of the stars and that there are no ends to our achievements, but if we cannot hope of a divine being, or an afterlife, what does that say to our other dreams of walking on the Moon, or Mars? If this year does not end with hope, what’s the point in coming back? I don’t see one.
As summer approaches and we prepare for our future lives, let us discuss charity. The importance of charity to others is essential to Catholics, for as St. James said, “faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:17). As this pandemic ends, hopefully, we will each be called to give to our needy brothers and sisters just as we’ve done in this pandemic. But I would encourage you to not give and count the costs or to just drop a dollar and let it be, but to give time, love, and hope to our world. For charity is more than just money, it is giving of oneself, one’s time, and one’s love. One doesn’t have to be a Christian or even religious to be charitable; one just must be human.
So, what do these gifts of faith, hope, and charity have to do with tomorrow? Well, I think I speak for many when I say that when this pandemic ends there will be hard questions to ask, not just coming from government, but from each one of us. We will ask ourselves what do we do now? Do we still go to religious services? Or because we didn’t go for two years, can we forget about it? Another is, how can I put myself back into situations of helping others? These questions have many different answers that all vary to different degrees. But when humanity once again attains its freedom, living by the three virtues of hope, faith, and charity will propel humanity and bring it the healing love it will need, from all of us. And so, with this year ending, I pray for you all and the future success of this school I have thought of as a second home for four years. God bless!