Humanity is afraid to die. The fear of death is inherited, but the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has given our contemporaries a very vivid awareness of human fragility, radicality and general questioning and reassessment.
It is quite clear that "The Covid-19 virus has totally changed our way of living in community, our interpersonal relationships and even our spiritual practices".
The light of inspiration comes essentially from hope in faith. All is not lost
Our Founder, Pierre Bienvenu Noailles, taught us to discern the presence of God, in joy or sorrow, through everyday events.
The global health crisis is a call to conversion to a new way of life, in awareness of our human frailty.
A painful ordeal like the Covid-19 Pandemic can generate in us a specific charism offered by God for the salvation of humanity.
The pandemic makes us aware of human frailty:
Pope Francis tells us that we must never forget that we are like "vessels of clay" in which to cherish the treasure that God has given us: the revelation of the mystery of the Incarnation. When we forget this, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are something other than clay; this turns our heads and we think that we are greater than we are.
We are like clay vessels that contain an immense treasure.
The apostle Paul, a simple, frail and physically challenged man, renounced the grand phrases suggested by human wisdom. Yet it was to him on the road to Damascus that Jesus fully revealed himself, inviting him to make His light known to all. Paul was the first to realize the gap between the greatness of his mission and the weakness of his own person: a treasure hidden in a poor clay pot. We often make the same observation nothing our poverty, our inadequacy, our powerlessness in the face of situations that are beyond us. We perceive our tendency to evil, and the difficulty of resisting it because of the weakness of our will. Like Paul, we feel we are vessels made of clay.
We have shared our personal experience during this time of the epidemic:
In general, we have lived it with difficulty. We of course have to obey the rules imposed by the government to protect others and ourselves. The constraints of isolation before, during and after the contamination ... remembering that we live in a community ... being deprived of Mass, community meetings, apostolic activities (such as taking communion to homes, etc.) Repeating the instructions and constantly warning of the danger sometimes created tension. But at the same time, there is the awareness that this time calls us to live in communion with the sufferings of people around the world. It calls us to recognize God's love and blessing upon us, to live in thanksgiving.
Because of the coronavirus, the Sisters of the Marino community have gone through a difficult period with successive times of isolation, quarantine, and transfers to other more suitable healthcare structures.
On April 4, 2021, the feast of Easter was lived in the joy of the Risen Lord, but in the suffering of not being able to participate in any liturgy, not receiving the Eucharist, not living “together”. But there was no shortage of greetings and contacts, transmitted by internal telephone or by the service personnel.
The community suffered a great deal from Covid, because of these repeated times of isolation, but what was hardest to live with was the death of three Sisters in the space of 20 days.
However, life goes on... We wanted to boost our morale, so after so many months of isolation we took the risk of organizing the 2021 Jubilee celebrations of the Italian Province in Marino, the house of the elderly Sisters. We celebrated our 4 jubilarians: Daniela PALLOTA and Giovanna PAPA 60 years of religious life, Gertie PEIRIS, 50 years and Jacqueline IMBUNGU, 25 years. On September 25, all the Sisters of the Italian Province, together with Ana Maria, the General Council, and the local community of the General House, gathered to give thanks with them and to surround them with our affection and our prayer, in the presence of our older Sisters, who are precious in our Holy Family Institute.
We also thank the Lord for having allowed us to live this celebration together, despite this pandemic and after so many months of absence. It was a great joy for all.
Looking at the clay vessels that we are, we could lose heart. But what is valuable - and what we want to focus on - is the treasure we carry within us!
St. Paul knew that his clay vessel was filled with the light of Christ, which gave him the audacity to dare everything for the spreading of the Kingdom.
As Sisters of the Holy Family, we too carry an infinite treasure: the Holy Trinity.
If we look within ourselves, we can discover an immensity, a divine sun shining within us and around us.
Let us go beyond appearances, beyond the "clay pot" that we see in others, let us also discover the treasure that they are.
Sr. Maristella Arokiam - ITALY