Last Sunday the NY Times published an article by Pope Francis which is Linked below:
It is so good that I would like to summarize the high points here. Pope Francis points out that the way we are responding to the Corona Pandemic reveals what is in our hearts. He says:
“In this past year of change, my mind and heart have overflowed with people. People I think of and pray for, and sometimes cry with, people with names and faces, people who died without saying goodbye to those they loved, families in difficulty, even going hungry, because there’s no work.
“These are moments in life that can be ripe for change and conversion. Each of us has had our own “stoppage,” or if we haven’t yet, we will someday: illness, the failure of a marriage or a business, some great disappointment or betrayal. As in the Covid-19 lockdown, those moments generate a tension, a crisis that reveals what is in our hearts.”
“What is revealed is what needs to change: our lack of internal freedom, the idols we have been serving, the ideologies we have tried to live by, the relationships we have neglected.”
Francis goes on to talk about the illness that almost killed him when he was 21, and they had to remove part of his lung. He named too nuns, now deceased, who saved his life by nursing that went beyond what the doctors could do for him.
Francis mentioned all the doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who gave their lives to treat the sick. ” their choice testified to a belief: that it is better to live a shorter life serving others than a longer one resisting that call.” ” They are the saints next door, who have awakened something important in our hearts.” ” They are the antibodies to the virus of indifference. They remind us that our lives are a gift and we grow by giving of ourselves, not preserving ourselves but losing ourselves in service.”
It is impossible for me to adequately summarize Pope Francis’s beautiful words. They are so rich, and full of spiritual meditation that you have to read them yourself. I’ll just close with the last paragraph of Pope Francis:
“To come out of this crisis better, we have to recover the knowledge that as a people we have a shared destination. The pandemic has reminded us that no one is saved alone. What ties us to one another is what we commonly call solidarity. Solidarity is more than acts of generosity, important as they are; it is the call to embrace the reality that we are bound by bonds of reciprocity. On this solid foundation we can build a better, different, human future.”
As they say in Italian: “Cosi sia,” Let it be. Amen.