In this time of fragility...
...let us humbly acknowledge our human situation.
Here we are again... already in Lent! At the beginning
of last year's Lent, we were beginning to feel the terrible effects of the
coronavirus in the world. One year later, we are still in the midst of a health
crisis. The time of Lent, an invitation to the desert in order to pray, is an
opportunity to make progress in the spiritual life. To do so, according to the
Ignatian perspective that leads us to find God in all things, we must first see
reality as it is and above all see ourselves as we are.
The Covid-19 reveals more clearly than ever before the
human fragility. It opens our eyes and forces us to humbly acknowledge our
situation. That is the annual call of Ash Wednesday, but this year we hear it
While the liturgy rightly offers us the option of
using the phrase "Convert and believe in the Gospel" when the ashes
are laid on our foreheads, the traditional formula is probably best suited to
the beginning of Lent 2021: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you
shall return" (echoing the text of Genesis 3:19). A call to humility
better understood in times of pandemic.
However, this is not a time for self-pity, for
discouragement. The call to conversion in Lent is also - and perhaps even more
so in times of pandemic - a call to the responsibility we all have to ensure
the quality of the world in which we live. Fragility encourages us to
solidarity, mutual support, and even self-giving, as evidenced by so many health
workers around the world.
Throughout Lent 2021, we will publish a newsletter
every Wednesday. It will open with a short reflection on the theme "In
this time of fragility..." with a quotation from Pope Francis' encyclical Fratelli Tutti. Mosaics by the Jesuit
artist Marco Rupnik will also accompany our journey. Have a good Lent! May
fragility encourage you to find strength and courage in God!