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A journey from the heart

March 15, 2020

In this time of staying at home, with that moral obligation imposed on us by the common good, I have many hours to dedicate to think, pray, read, write … The “chrono” is becoming “kairos” … and I do not want to miss this opportunity, once some activities remain on Skype but they are not so many and, by not going out, the agenda is immobile and this allows me to go deep.

It is a strange sensation, internally and externally: empty streets, silence everywhere, it seems that life has stopped; but what is happening to us? Is it true what we are living ?. Yes, it is not science fiction, although it may seem so … and, as the news continues to arrive and I realize that this virus transcends borders, I have decided to put my heart to travel and I am going through unpublished but real landscapes.

I travel to our entire country and I stop in so many cities where I find sisters of the congregation, family, friends, companions and missionaries. I move to Italy, to Rome, to our general curia – and I meet our sisters there and in other houses, with their programs stopped, with their plans changed. In civil society, in ecclesial society, throughout the territory.

And, since there are no borders or restrictions for the wings of my heart and I am not prevented from flying, I reach Latin America where from some countries similar news reaches us and they write in solidarity and I can jump to Asia where also and before here, The coronavirus pandemic has been unleashed and several countries on that continent are suffering from it. But I do not want to limit myself to the places where the Daughters of Jesus are, but the whole world is our place of vocation and mission and therefore we owe ourselves in universal dedication.

And I cannot stop dwelling on situations much more dramatic than their own: how many people cannot stay at home, simply because they do not have it; she lives on the street, exposed to all contagion, as she has always had to suffer, outdoors in the most literal way possible.

People with special situations who need to go out, move around, get air and sun and have to stay at home; sick and lonely people; elderly people in solitude -so many in our European society-, many people who do not have current technological means and cannot communicate and suffer greater isolation.

And how can we not remember so many people who risk their lives – also in times of confinement – because they are dedicated to taking care of our health, selling food, allowing urgent trips to have their means of transport, cleaning hospitals and streets, providing us medicines; a society is sustained, even in serious crisis, thanks to so many anonymous and silent heroes who are the necessary counterpoint so that the social building does not collapse even when it is threatened.

And while I am making my trip, I take note in my logbook of what learning I am acquiring: 

– Everything, absolutely everything, becomes relative, in the face of a serious threat of loss of health and life, which becomes global; the rhythm of life, not stopping, not breathing, the day full of activities, the emergencies that oppress and squeeze us, the “it doesn’t give me life” … everything stops suddenly. And suddenly we have all the time of the day and night to be at home, time to lose, to play, to sing, to not-do… 

– The current technology allows us to continue working, in communication, inter-acting but everything at a distance, affective and effective contact ends, we see each other and smile or cry, through the screen.

– Creativity emerges in unthinkable ways: all the time to figure out what to do and how to fill our hours: we applaud, sing, say phrases of encouragement on balconies and windows that are our speakers. 

– We send ourselves many messages of solidarity, it is a matter of all people, nobody can be left out, we encourage ourselves hoping that this nightmare will pass and we will return to “normal” life… 

– Could it be that this situation will make us change the norm and we will learn to live in a more “abnormal” way, that is, more human and humanizing? 

We are offered the opportunity to make the best of our people, the ability to feel compassion, to be in solidarity with those who are most in need, the possibility of thinking and acting from an “us” and not from my individual and reduced self. 

Privileged moment to live the common-union, from the heart, in the diversity, in the distance, because there is something that unites us above races, colors, ideologies and any type of creed: that invaluable good that is health is seriously Threatened, therefore, the grave obligation to fulfill with exquisite rigor our duties as citizens of a global world. 

That of thinking globally and acting locally becomes more urgent than ever; The whole world is there, next to us, at the door of our houses, from which we can leave, so global has become local that we are very surprised in this new stage of confinement. 

The “kairos” – not the chrono – also invites us to hope, to joy, to trust, to put our means and to believe that there is Someone who is Lord of life and death. This time of darkness will pass, it becomes necessary to cross it without losing our spirits, and we will meet again physically and really, and give each other so many kisses and hugs, and say to each other with the touch, that we continue walking with the lesson well learned. 

And for the end of my trip I remember what Saint Paul says in one of his letters: “always be happy; pray at all times; thank God for everything”.

Joy, prayer and gratitude, are good allies with other recommendations: wash your hands, wear a mask, gloves … happy stay at home!

María Luisa Berzosa fi 

Entrevías – Madrid


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