Each week a member of the Vincentian Family will share a part of his/her experience during recent months. From the depths of their heart these writers will present a message of hope because we are convinced that there are positive lessons to be learned from this pandemic.
The change has not been substantial; but yes, even though we have maintained intense communication through telephone and video calls, we have still experienced loneliness and isolation. Our relational nature demands a living and real presence.
Above all, we have felt vulnerable. We have come to realize that our sense of security was an illusion and this pandemic has revealed our fragility.
Along with the above, we have seen that others are concerned about us. We have seen this not only in those with whom we usually interact, but also in those individuals with whom we only relate to occasionally. We seem to have established new relationships with individuals during this very special time of pandemic. It has been pleasant to reestablish contact and instill/receive encouragement and hope.
Faced with the vulnerability that I mentioned before, we have also experienced helplessness: “what to do?” is the question that we asked ourselves … and we have been perplexed. We have experienced in our very flesh that we are in the merciful hands of God.
We also reflected on the fact that human interaction with the environment (often one of continuous exploitation for the sole purpose of greater economic gain) has not, in any way, enabled us to confront the most damaging aspects of the pandemic.
Above I mentioned that we have all become transmitters/receivers of hope and therefore, supplied with the means to confront our feelings of loneliness.
With regard to those most in need, these same social media platforms have made it easier for us to know their needs. Before, wrapped up in our own worries and absorbed in our personal problems, those needs escaped our notice. Through the various social media platforms we have been able to contribute in some way to the alleviation of the suffering of others.
By coincidence, in the days leading up to this forced confinement, I was reading a book that a doctor, my friend, has published about the limitations of medicine … despite all the scientific and technical progress medical professionals are still unable to solve many health problems.
The mirror in which I look at myself has helped me understand the weak and brittle character of my nature … of all human nature. Although we engage in this self-examination exercise with some frequency, never before have we realized our own interdependency as we do now!
What to do in the future? There is no doubt that there is a need to recognize ourselves as fragile and dependent and therefore, recognize that we need the Lord’s protection!