By Anna Mahoney

Imagine God looking at us now. For the first time – in a very long time – families are spending time together. Your world now revolves around your family rather than your job, your hobbies, your friends, and your schoolwork.

I remember only a month ago when I was still at Ave Maria University. I had all my friends, the beautiful weather, my own dorm, multiple places to be alone, freedom to do what I wanted, and then – BAM!!! I am in Colorado with the snow, living in my dad’s office pull-out mattress, no place where I could isolate myself, chores to do, family dinners to make and attend, all luxury gone and to make the cherry on top – this was my new reality for the next MONTH.

Now the question we are all asking ourselves – How in the world am I going to last this long with my family?

In Proverbs 2:2 we read about wisdom. Wisdom is the necessary awareness for Prudence (one of the Cardinal Virtues that are available to every human being by nature). Wisdom allows one to discern the good and the best way to attain the good. God calls us to turn our ear to wisdom, rather than choosing sin; however, God gave humans the gift of free-will to genuinely choose to grow in Divine Friendship with our Creator and Redeemer or reject his offer of Divine Friendship.

Now why do I talk about wisdom and free-will?

Your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, your spouse and every human has been given the gifts of wisdom and free-will as well. We all know what annoys each other at this point or if you don’t then you will find out very quickly. We all have the free-will to choose to act towards good or evil. By now I hope everyone knows the Golden Rule – don’t buy silver, buy gold…. just kidding… Do one to others as you would have them do to you.

What about others? Siblings? Parents? Grandparents?

The best thing you can do is live through example and through virtue because you can only control your own actions. “The more that one does what is good, the freer one becomes, there is no true freedom except for that which is good and just (CCC 1733).” So if you’re going to survive being locked up in quarantine together, the only way to do so is by choosing to do good for the sake of one another!

Most importantly – be grateful for your family and being able to be together because not all families have that luxury.

I would like to end with a small note from a father who told us today, “my 14 year old daughter sent a beautiful note to her mother recently consoling her after her mother’s cancer returned to her spinal fluid yesterday with a quote from St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Suffering is not a punishment, nor a fruit of sin, it is a gift of God. He allows us to share in His suffering and to make up for the sins of the world.” We know that our suffering can be used for good and by accepting suffering as a gift, it will ultimately make us saints. We pray for this each day.