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Journey from the heart (VI)

April 20, 2020

As the days go by, the spring becomes penetrating, the days are sunny and it is difficult not to go for a walk with the pleasant temperature of April, in this hemisphere; We remain in a state of confinement for a time that is lengthening; this first week of Easter, with the echoes of the resurrection, we have been strengthened with the alleluia song and the apparitions of Jesus spreading peace, hope, joy, knocking down walls and closed doors and letting ourselves be seen and touched, transmitting calm to some disciples incredulous and hopeless.

Excellent life lessons for our current reality: death is close and the reactions to it are very varied. In the community this week we have been visited by the death of Pepa, Nieves’ sister, from our house in Entrevías. We have accompanied the double pain of the final separation and the impossibility of accompanying her in her farewell. At the same hour of the burial we meet the 3 sisters in the oratory to join us in that final goodbye with the Risen Lord; We pray and sing, we proclaim the Word and we are grateful for Pepa’s long and fruitful life. His 90 years and a very large family of children and grandchildren, to whom he has bequeathed his quiet kindness and generous dedication, has been the reason for a heartfelt prayer, in pain.

We wanted to say to the Lord with the words of Marta: “If you had been here, my brother would not have died”, but we were also comforted to hear Jesus’ response: “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me will not die forever”. And Pepa spoke to our hearts: “You will see me again but transfigured and happy, no longer waiting for death but moving with you along the new paths of Light and Life” …

And we accompany Nieves with this Scottish poem:

You can cry because it's gone
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he comes back
Or you can open them and see everything that has left.
Your heart may be empty because you cannot see it,
or it may be full of the love you shared.
You can cry, close your mind, feel the emptiness and turn your back,
or you can do what she would like:
smile, open your eyes, love and follow.

This time of prayer also helped us remember as many people as victims of this pandemic are dying without the consolation of parting. And there is a little relief because in Madrid we read -and undoubtedly in many other places too- the priests accompany with prayers and possible comfort to the relatives who go to the cemeteries in very small numbers. And we wish that in the midst of the painful losses of these days, we know how to smile, open our eyes, love and follow …

This week we continue to receive so many aids that keep us waiting and hoping that this stage will bring us a better future, but we also want to collect the wisdom that this time gives us: live it deeply, reflect, pray, be with family and community, accompany those who are alone … as an opportunity offered to us to live more calmly, with a different rhythm, putting things on their vital plane: what is important and what is relative.

And we started talking about the future, about the day after, about how to return to everyday life where we moved away a few weeks ago, and nothing will be the same; Hopefully, while we are still confined, we will learn. It is like an intensive course where we are committed to incorporating learning that surprises and overwhelms us, we are not prepared, they have come suddenly and question us.

And Pope Francis already appoints commissions to prepare the future, commissions that from different fields of society, are attentive to that future that is being drawn on the horizon and that will not be easy but for which we need to join, put into play all possible forces of individuals and societies.

And when the week is ending we receive with great joy a new message from the Pope through the magazine Vida Nueva: “A plan to resuscitate”, yes, to live differently in our society, in that common house that we sometimes mistreat so much .

And it is very comforting to hear his words: “God never abandons his people, especially when the pain becomes more present.” That is why in this historical stage that we have to go through we are invited not to distrust that the Lord walks beside us, we do not feel abandoned, even in the midst of so much pain that is becoming inseparable along the way.

And he continues: “We cannot write the present and future history with our backs to the suffering of so many.” The invitation always to leave our own gaze and situation to embrace the pain of many of our brothers struck by illness and death.

And I end with other phrases from the same papal message, referring to the women of the gospel: “Faced with doubts, suffering, perplexity in the situation and even fear of persecution and everything that could happen to them, they were able to put on on the move and not be paralyzed by what was happening. For love of the Master, and with that typical, irreplaceable and blessed feminine genius, they were able to assume life as it came and shrewdly overcome obstacles to be close to their Lord. “

And we come to the Second Sunday of Easter with the message of Jesus: “Peace be with us, do not fear”, but our rulers announce the extension of the confinement; In a little while our children will be able to go out into the street … we wish they could take a breath so that their future is purer and brighter. And the rest of us can get moving assuming life as it comes, full of paradoxes: inside the house “on the way out”, staying indoors but without closing ourselves, expanding the horizon of imagination, of freedom, without barriers, bringing out the best that we conserve in the heart.

I encourage you to stay in the best tone possible. We continue one more week, we are already less!

María Luisa Berzosa fi