Covid-19, in spite of being a global threat, is not all bad in its effects. While we are at a standstill, we have time to rethink our future and the planet breathes anew.
A brief survey of the Daughters of Jesus in Canada tells us how they perceive and live this without a doubt extraordinary time.
A time of challenge
Some Sisters find the lack of contact difficult. The Sisters who live at Royal Court or in residences elsewhere are prohibited from visiting their companions in long term facilities at Canterbury or Monarch Hall. This protective measure, perceived as necessary, is nonetheless painful on both sides.
Moreover, there are certain Sisters whose immune system is compromised, thus causing them to be more vulnerable and increasing their levels of stress.
A time for renewal and catching-up
This “halt in time”, though forced upon us, can nevertheless be beneficial. It allows us more time for prayer, reading, and reflection; a time also to take stock of our experiences, our life of faith, our manner of praying, our relationship with others, and with creation, this wonderful gift of God.
The annual retreat having been canceled, several Sisters at Parkland Riverview, decided to undertake it on their own. This was very timely since, because of distancing, our meals are now taken to our apartments.
This free time is also an opportunity to accomplish certain tasks that were always postponed for “when I’ll have time”. Result: our apartments have never been so clean, our documentary files so tidy, our photos so well organized.
For my part, I have been making masks that I share with other tenants of the apartment block and with our Sisters in residences.
Our prayer embraces all of suffering humanity
We are aware that it is also a time of heartbreak for families who do not have the opportunity to accompany their loved ones dying either in hospital or in nursing homes. (We ourselves have lived this experience with the death of our dear Sister Marie Paquet.) Moreover, the loss of jobs and income, leave families in dire straits and where family violence was already present, this period of confinement certainly does not make life any easier. The conscience of these distressful situations extends our prayer to all of humanity.
Other positive effects of Covid-19
- Families get to know each other much more by spending precious moments together: longer and friendly conversations, sharing, games, cooking, outings, cycling, and other activities.
- There seems to be a sincere concern for the well-being of others.
- There is more voiced appreciation for those who give themselves fully either in nursing care, in the food industry, or to the safety of all citizens ….even at the risk of their own life.
- The adepts of social networks strive to create and put online songs, virtual choirs, and stories in order to entertain people who like us are restricted in their activities.
And our planet in all that
Statistics show that this forced shutdown is just what our planet needed to re-invigorate itself again. There are fewer cars on the roads, air flights are reduced to the strict minimum, many factories are closed down, all this greatly reducing pollution. The air we breathe is much purer.
I will end by borrowing an excerpt from the delightful testimony of Cécile Lavoie from Rimouski: “That tiny invisible bug breaks down barriers, builds bridges, brings folks together, gives rise to outbursts of sympathy, generosity, creativity, and charity that radiate and alleviate injuries.”
Sr Catherine Cormier dj