In Cahors (Lot-France), three Sisters in community at the ‘Cité Bellevue’, near a primary school, find themselves confined.
Isolation – Amazement!
A protocol to respect in order to live! Move around! Stay at home!! Everything is at a standstill, closed! No more noise of children at school, the place is empty. By phone our neighbor inquires about our food supplies! All the super markets have been ransacked! No more bread … no more milk … no more eggs … flour … noodles …rice…cheese … We’re stunned
White coats fill our screens! After a lifetime of serving the sick: No more visits to the elderly. What a sad situation: no more support to the dying. A complete dehumanizing confinement. All gatherings are therefore prohibited: no more choirs, nor family or community meetings or associations.
But nothing prevents the Holy Spirit’s action in the hearts of humans!
Lots of computer info!
A whole selection of spiritual food is at our disposal; we must prioritize our bonds! Our parish choirmaster organized a choral group on WhatsApp: S.M.S. a whole choice of texts, prayers, music, photos, videos, that everyone wanted to share with its group members. We experienced another human and spiritual dimension among choristers: we got to know one another, we socialized!!!! Bishops and priests suggested reading the Bible along with the daily comments on the texts.
Find a method and strengthen the spiritual bonds with the Congregation (many Jubilees planned!)
Welcome the news received from Kermaria, enhance our prayer meetings and live communion.
“Open the suitcase” (a tool for reflection) and live intensely the proposals discovered there: humility, sharing, trust. We find lots of treasures to dig in!
“Return to the source” of our origins, especially the writings of Mère Marie de St Charles so that they become more deeply interiorized.
“More time also for prayer.” …. thus carrying with us the silent suffering of the world which could no longer be expressed or heard.
De-confine ourselves !
The newspaper… but the garden as well held an important place! Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si : « our common home » has taken a little more ground… an Ecological Conversion, a love to work the soil, to watch the seeds germinate and grow… Moments of wonder… the extraordinary creation of God!
We also kept very strong ties with some seriously ill patients… by telephone…; followed by outside visits … through the windows or in the garden of our sick neighbors in isolation.
We pray to Jean-Gabriel Perboyre – a Lotois saint, a Lazarist priest, missionary in China who died suffocated by strangulation on a cross, in 1840, at WUHAN. This WUHAN -as we know- is the starting point of Covid-19 … and our patients today, suffering from the virus, die in a similar manner: suffocated. And we just discovered that Chinese Christians of today keep invoking this saintly man! A real challenge for us today: have we gained in interiority?
To question ourselves about “BEING” and “DOING”… would that not be the challenge for tomorrow!
YES, in community, we have enjoyed beautiful sunny days at l’Abbaye d’En Calcat, Tarn, for a spiritual renewal and a getaway to the lake of St Féréol!
Sisters Marie-Paule, Marie Emmanuel and Marie Christine, Cahors, France