I am trying to learn a new calendar: day 63 of the 2020 confinement, Phase 0.5, in Madrid; Before we had it very easy: one hour less in the Canary Islands and everything else was the same, but now who knows the rhythms of each Autonomy? What is allowed in each phase? When and how do we go to the next one? If we behave well, if we are responsible, if we keep the meters of social distance, if we are scrupulous in washing our hands and wear gloves and masks, if … we are incorporating the demanding and meticulous regulations to advance in the rhythm of the phases and arrive , in the process of de-escalation to a “new normal”.
But there is still talk of extending the state of alarm for a few more weeks, while the dance of the phases continues and this news is not pleasant, we are still being asked for a confinement that seems to have no end. But a little more patience will come so as not to worsen personal and collective health by rushing us.
In addition to a new calendar we also learn a lot of vocabulary, the Royal Academy of Language cannot incorporate it so quickly, but it is already on the street: confinement sounds better than confinement or lock up ?, climbing, de-escalation, new normality, quarantine, alarm state … and I wonder what the new normal will be? Back to the norm? otherwise? And how will that novelty be?
No. I do not see that we return to the usual thing; but perhaps it is that we have not gotten deeply into this reality, and if we have not entered we cannot leave, the days and weeks and months will continue to pass and we will continue the same. But if we are living this forced retirement in depth, if we take advantage of each day to go through uncertainty, to uninstall fears, to awaken solidarity in the face of so much pain, to allow ourselves to be affected, to assume our own weakness and that of others, to learn humility and lower so much self-sufficiency that makes us believe we are all powerful … everything will be different.
Hopefully we will learn lessons, as individuals and as societies, from this historical stage, so global, so paralyzing, that it has equaled us crossing borders, that it has stopped our dizzying pace, that has alerted us to how and how much we were mistreating the “common house “; the planet has recovered clean air, we see the horizon with clarity, the intense blue sky, the luminosity without polluting mists. Can we keep it that way?
We begin to go out, life and movement are rebuked, little by little, and we are subjected to the test of our citizenship, of living in a society that speaks of the common good, not of individual views. And the desires, the projects, the dreams are awakening: to meet again, to be able to embrace each other, to be together without separation, to return to spontaneous relationships … and while this comes, keep the hope that sustains those desires, remain with the greatest serenity of that we are capable becomes a great challenge. But let’s not stop the deep questions from arising: what’s the point? Where does it take us? What changes are we invited to? How do I want to live the essential and the relative, the important and the urgent, what gives me a sense of truth or only in appearance ?: work, money, family, friends, power, spirituality, consumption, transcendence, community…
I have experienced some things this week that have helped me a lot at this time of the quarantine: I meet with liaisons of the M. Cándida Family, in our province of Spain-Italy, to resume the journey begun, to see us after a time of absence obliged, to prepare for our party on May 31. Seeing that the charism of our Founder expands and grows in the church and in the world is always comforting.
And I was also able to participate in a meeting with colleagues from Fe y Alegría from various countries, dedicated to the service of pastoral care in our places to join and exchange projects and materials, depending on our schools now that we have encountered so many difficulties along the way, But the passion that inhabits us is very strong and we reinforce ourselves in dreams to continue with the hope that ceases to inhabit us.
And I also follow other spaces such as “Re-imagining the religious life of the future” offered by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) from Rome, referring to the US and the Caribbean and also to Europe. There are coincidences in that we must unite more than ever to face this crisis together, that technologies help us and we have to prepare and learn because we are going to need them more every day. And that we cannot do without the world of social networks and communication.
And we are already celebrating the week of Laudato Si ‘and in the words of Pope Francis it is “a global campaign on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the encyclical. Because the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor do not give more than themselves. In this pandemic, the earth is affected, but above all the poor, who have fewer resources, suffer with greater virulence from the consequences of this virus that spreads without stopping.
We continue to trust in the selfless dedication of the healthcare world, of so many people that in various services, almost always at extreme risk of their own lives, do not look for themselves but to save the lives of others. And we continue sustained in prayer, thoughtful and silent, committed and committed from where we are and so that the question “what have you done with your brother?” we can have a consistent answer. Without looking the other way.