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We are increasingly aware that we are going through a time of crisis; we are immersed in a scenario of profound changes with important consequences for all of humanity.
The COVID - 19 Pandemic has taken us by surprise without being prepared and has come to fill us with confusion, insecurity, fear... revealing a dramatic reality that affects us all, on the one hand, almost without making any distinction, although on the other, it highlights the injustice and inequality of the world we have built.
The experience of confinement, of silence, of lack of freedom, of fear and uncertainty; of powerlessness and pain, is, however, a time when God is also at work in each person, in the world and in Creation... We must recognize this action and hope that our lives are truly changing. This time has brought us the opportunity for new life, for resurrection and for re-invention by being creative, finding solutions for living, relating, learning, communicating, sharing, supporting, celebrating and living our faith.
The Light has illuminated our experience of indecision and darkness through so many people: men, women, youth and children who in one way or another are being light in their communities, in their families and in their workplaces; they are giving hope from great and small actions: caring for the sick, researching health solutions accessible to all, seeking economic alternatives, educating and accompanying the development of the new generations, especially the poorest and most abandoned of the earth.
They are an inspiration for us too to decide to define at once a plan of life, a plan of hope, a decisive commitment of life, passion and dedication, giving ourselves totally and as Marie-Eugénie of Jesus reminds us: “I have decided to give myself, not to lend myself to Jesus-Christ”. (ME, Letter to Father Gros, 1841, n°1504).
We would hope that our “new normality” would break with our old normality. The one which installed us, accommodated us, distanced us from pain, blinded us so as not to see the injustices and hardened us so as not to feel the pain of so many brothers and sisters... It is time for a new dawn, time for a new life, time to fill us with hope and to transmit it!
Let us see our world with a new look, let us allow our heart and our guts to be moved and from a renewed passion “let us love our time”, yes let us love it without limits and let us be creative to live and make possible a full life for all, from our warm and human relationships, from decisive and committed decisions, and from our concrete responses through our mission of transforming education.
Marie Eugenie knew how to see the reality of her time with realism and courage; far from fleeing from it, she loved it and felt strongly the call to transform it from a passion for Jesus, and the conviction that education would be the means to transform society, highlighting in her life faith, trust in Providence, the desire for union with the Lord, love of service and fidelity to her vocation.
COVID-19 is once again revealing to us the reality of our world, of our time, of the human being. Now it is necessary that we also ask ourselves: “How am I living this time? How am I loving it? What can we do: “God has done so much for me that I want to do some“God has done so much for me that I want to do something for His name.” (ME, Intimate Notes, n°154/10) It is fundamental to connect with the Source, only from God and for God can we live with meaning and hope, with passion and dedication, with love and freedom, the great calls of our time and the answers we must give.
Since this time of Pandemic began I have seen that behind all this there are opportunities for life:
More than “protecting” and “distancing” us, it is fundamental to strengthen the interior, the sense of “the experience of God”; to strengthen relationships, the emotional dimension, love, tenderness, solidarity. For the body to learn how to feed and nourish itself, physical activity, rest, work; to form thought through study, reflection, analysis... As daughters of Marie Eugenie, we must follow her example of deep faith, a categorical prayer that should impel us to work in the midst of this hard reality, with firmness, fidelity and passion centered on Jesus Christ and the extension of the Kingdom.
Our mission of transforming education:
During the last few years we have been reflecting, sharing, enriching, updating this fundamental dimension of our charism. The world and educational responses changed overnight since March of this year, something we never imagined and for which we were not prepared. From diverse realities and with great differences in opportunities between the countries of the North and the countries of the South; between educational institutions with resources and public education systems in conditions of precariousness and abandonment by the States of underdeveloped countries, we see how the gap of inequality between children and young people in the world today is widening. It is there, in this interconnected world, where today we can find an opportunity and an option for life, for justice, for equity and for hope from our educational actions, and from our creative responses that generate life.
This third edition of our magazine #Assumpta opens our eyes, through our experiences, reflections and contributions, to face this new world that recognizes itself as different, after being shaken by the pandemic that has exposed the darkest shadows of a selfish, ambitious and arrogant society that needs to be transformed.
SISTER ODESSA HERRERA
Provincial of Central America and Cuba