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The hope of a renewal

T eventTuesday, 03 August 2021

Editorial - Superior General of the Augustinians of the Assumption

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One year ago, the world was mobilized in the fight against the Corona virus. Covid-19 has spread its influence in all countries. The United States, Brazil and Europe have been strongly affected, but other countries are also cruelly affected. Our concern about the prolongation of the pandemic must be put into perspective with the global reality of our world. Pope Francis has rightly recalled that Syria has been at war for ten years. Hundreds of thousands of victims, millions of deportees and abandoned children make up the sad record of horror. We do not forget North Kivu, which has been handed over to warring factions and soldiers for more than 25 years. The Butembo region is experiencing an acceleration of violence and instability. In addition to the rebels and bandits, there is the return of the Ebola virus. One year, ten years, twenty­five years, all this brings us back to the harsh reality and asks us one question: do we have the capacity to find life, peace, joy? We do not have to go back to the “world before” the health crisis. There are two possibilities: to become better or to become worse. Obviously, everything must be done to make us better. But how can this be done? Our faith in God is our help. Without Him we cannot do anything good and lasting. The present situation pushes us to a salutary renewal. We need to change. We have learned that the resources of our earth are exhaustible; we have understood that pollution commands our future; we know that injustice and violence do not build peace. So what can we do to contribute to the emergence of a better world? We, religious, must rediscover with greater wonder the beauty of our consecration. Being a religious is a grace, because we have responded to a call from the Lord. In freedom, we have accepted to become disciples of Jesus. We have decided to follow him and to give our lives as a witness to the Kingdom. It is good to encourage more and more fraternity: it is a concrete sign of the Kingdom that is coming. Do we have the desire for brotherhood? Are we ready for forgiveness and reconciliation in our communities, our parishes, our apostolic works? It is important that we ourselves become better. Otherwise, we will be worse! It is urgent to deepen the meaning of the vows. Chastity, obedience and poverty are not an advertising slogan, they are a program of life, an ambition and a will to let the eternal realities shine through our poor humanity that seeks and hopes. For it is hope that we must announce. As Frédéric Boyer wrote in La Croix, “hope is our teacher when we no longer know anything, when we no longer have a support on which to rest, to catch our breath and reason. Hope patiently teaches us to think possible what seems to us in the present situation impossible or out of reach. It teaches us that our life exceeds what we have before us.” Easter is for us a reminder of the salvation definitively given. The world is saved if it believes in the life given by God in his Son and in the Spirit. Religious life can open the way by committing itself concretely to more life, more justice, more peace. By walking this path, it indicates to our world that hope is there and that the future is possible. A world where wealth is not the criterion for judging people; a world where power is not the imposition of force or violence; a world where everyone is loved for who they are: a son or daughter of God. On Easter morning the tomb was opened. Life spread throughout the world. May we all together be witnesses of this hope of renewal.