May the pandemic that confines us to our homes be our Easter.
this is “our time.” It is the time of our Lenten conversion to transform “a time of pandemic ” into “a time of Easter.” It is our “kayros” (the time designated in God's plan) to born again with Jesus to new life. The Church leads us to con-version, that is, to receive the grace to change the “version” of our life in the face of the great trial that currently besets humanity.
I offer you some examples with the certainty that you will find others.
Fear vs. trust in Divine Providence.
I think that recognising our fears is a good starting point: fear of uncontrollable contagion, of loneliness, of the danger to those we love, of not being able to support the family in these conditions, of losing a job or never getting one, of diminishing our income or not making ends meet, of an economic downturn of one's own country, and so many other personal fears along with the fear of death. Let us put a name to our fears.
In the face of fear, we can count on the last promise of the risen Jesus before he ascended to Heaven: “I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (Mt 28:20b). Jesus knew that fear paralyses us and confuses us; that is why He assured us from the beginning of his Incarnation that “nothing is impossible to God” (Lk 1:37). Let us ask the Lord to trust in his Providence and to tolerate or overcome our fears, reacting positively to Jesus' demand: “Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?” (Mk 4:40).
Praying “as usual” vs. new ways of praying.
We probably regret not having Masses, not being able to have access to the sacraments or Eucharistic adoration, not even being able to go to a temple... it is hard not to be able to pray as usual. Many of us have perhaps multiplied the usual vocal prayers or have taken advantage of the pious messages that flood our cell phones, but...
Hasn't the time come to learn new ways of praying? Perhaps we never had too much time for the Word of God, for a more contemplative life, for enjoying inwardly the comfort of being “in the palm of the hand” of our Father God, for the “looks” of his Son towards our person, for the deep motions of his Spirit, until this quarantine came. Do we want a change in the version of our life or do we still think that we cannot free ourselves from the daily maelstrom and continue to pray as usual?
Or perhaps we are being offered to open a new chapter for prayer in common, inside the house, in the family, giving a new light to our home and taking advantage of the fact that we have so much to entrust: the sick, the dead, the elderly, and then prisoners, health workers, priests and religious women who assist the infected, servants of society, researchers, authorities, the most vulnerable who have no way of protecting themselves from the virus, etc.
Isolation and unawareness vs. solidarity and dissemination.
Experiencing the limits of our physical space and the forced modification of our daily routine, on top of the concern for the emergency in which we are immersed, can lead us to isolation and to being somehow unaware of how many negative things we can avoid and how many positive things we can gain. Isolation and unawareness are at odds with our vocation as women to be generators of life and caretakers of those around us.
I feel personally called, like each one of you, to discover how to avoid negative situations: depression, isolation, domestic violence or risk for some member of the family, in particular minors who may be alone with those who are not reliable. We have also to discover how to act preventively by implementing new alternatives of care and protection. Likewise, I propose that we become aware of how to promote positive situations, developing new ways of going ahead with our organisations or of online training, spreading virtually what we can offer, and communicating current initiatives to the Secretariat for the dissemination of good practices; that is, creatively intensifying our solidarity.
Finally, please allow me to recommend to watch the video and then to reflect and pray on the homily of the moment of prayer in times of pandemic by Pope Francis last March 27, embracing all humanity from the colonnade of St. Peter's Square (watch it on our website).
I would like to send you my warmest regards, in the hope that, this Easter 2020, the “seeds” that this pandemic is leaving will become trees with flourishing, abundant fruit: Everything is the work of the Risen Jesus!
María Lía Zervino, Servidora
WUCWO President General