points to remember from this period?
This whole experience finally brings us face to face
with what is most essential. We are helpless. When everything is “going well,”
when we do a lot of things, we feel we have control over reality. The pandemic
is an experience of loss of control and it brings us back to the basics. More
time for prayer, a quieter life, time for companionship. In fact, community
life has gained a lot; fraternity and care for each other have grown.
I was also struck by the testimony of so many lay
collaborators. For example, in the school networks, with the difficulty for the
educational teams to adapt to legal norms that change every week. There was a
concern for the work, for the people, for doing the best in the circumstances,
a real attachment to the mission and to the Society of Jesus through this. A
lot of loyalty.
What about the
Our communities are learning about the importance of a
stronger fraternal life. An interest in a religious life more rooted in the
relationship with Christ. We are brought back to our vocation and what it is
based on. We are called to live our reality with confidence: confidence in the
Lord and confidence in life.
At the same time, we must make plans! We must not wait
for everything to work out. For example, we have an important project in our
Province: the great gathering of the Ignatian Family in Marseille on All Saints’
Day (1 November 2021). Will we be able to do it as we imagine? We don’t know
yet, but it puts a lot of people on the move... and on Zoom! If the pandemic subsides and the vaccines allow us to return
to more normalcy, it could be a great moment of reunion and celebration after
the bleak times. We keep going; there is something else to experience together.
It is important to move forward.
Where you find
for many, the psalms have sustained me, the psalms of trust. I think of Psalm
91, “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom
I trust.”” And Psalm 23, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I fear no evil.” The psalms of abandonment were very precious in these
moments. And then, inevitably, we return to the “Principle and Foundation” of
our Father Ignatius. Not wishing for a long life rather than a short one, for
health rather than sickness... Are we always so indifferent and free with
regard to this? Do we put ourselves entirely in the hands of the Lord? It was
an opportunity to hear this invitation again.