Will I ever be able to overcome and recover from this infectious and toxic virus?
Will I be transformed and drawn to Christ through my suffering and pain?
The COVID-19 global pandemic has left us bone-weary, grieving, and fragile—and many of us are asking these questions.
Sidelined by grueling illness, Severo S. Alvarado struggled to make sense of the deepening madness within his mind, body, and spirit. We often think of night as a time of rest and peaceful reflection, but Alvarado dreaded the dark hours. Alone, depressed, fearful, and hopeless, the darkness became the enemy of everything good as he searched for answers and solutions.
In The Dark Side of COVID-19: Toxic Darkness Gives Way to the Light, Alvarado candidly discusses his struggle and invites readers to embrace the light he clung to during pain and suffering. Though our physical eyes may focus on our present trials, Christ opens our spiritual eyes to find hope and experience intimacy with God.
There can be great hope in times of adversity when we face the darkness with faith and trust in God. Let the light of Jesus dispel darkness to reveal peace.
Born in Mexico, Severo S. Alvarado moved to the United States in 1963. At Texas Tech, he earned a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in curriculum instruction, and a minor in bilingual education and Spanish literature. A 1983 spiritual conversion led to a deep personal relationship with his Savior and catapulted his life into service for God. A retired educator and ordained Catholic deacon, Alvarado enjoys writing about spirituality and ministers at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Lubbock, Texas, where he and his wife live.
I have learned through my life experiences that I have to be blinded into darkness (Like St. Paul), so that I may be able to see the life-giving Light of Christ. It is then that I can reflect on my spirituality and re-align my life with the teachings of Christ.
My dark chamber and my pain and suffering became for me a spiritual director who revealed truths that drew me closer to God. Only God in His wisdom knows how to best transform our lives, and He certainly transformed mine.
It was during the darkness of my nights, when my body was torn, that the Light of God came to me with His wisdom. God answered a prayer that had been in my heart for a long time.
It never ceases to amaze me how God, in His great mercy and compassion, always sheds His glorious Light when we are in dire need of His assistance and help. His Light always shines forth at the moment when our human nature and our human faculties surrender to our darkest days.
I praise God for my illness. Not because I delight in pain and suffering, but because through my pain and suffering God was able to access my soul and renew my life.
The demands in our lives encourage and mobilize us to live for the world at the cost of our spiritual advancement.
My mind was filled with uncertainty and confusion as I sought answers and solutions for what my soul was experiencing.
Even though God was with me, at that moment, I felt completely abandoned and alone. Was this how Jesus felt at the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives when he was about to be handed over to the Romans?
Have you ever found yourself buried in trials and tribulations so deep that your peace and joy were turned into darkness and despair?