LIFE WITHOUT PARENTHESES.
My name is Valeria and I am one of the consecrated virgins of the “Ordo Virginum” of the diocese of Pavia, Italy.
These months of COVID 19 have been very difficult and we all wanted the situation to be resolved as soon as possible. However, from God’s point of view, there are no parentheses that we can call “non-life.” It’s not a time to wait for what we consider life to come back – an existence free of fatigue, suffering, disease, and death and mourning. This would be an ideal life, but not a real one. Every moment is life: life because God himself, in his incarnation, has assumed our humanity, with all its complexity and pain.
Nothing that we live on this earth is lost: EVERYTHING cooperates towards its fullness and its goal. “This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent, Jesus Christ.” The purpose and meaning of our life on this earth is to know Him. When we go through difficult situations that seem like “parentheses” that prevent us from achieving our goal, it is there in real life where we can meet Him.
During the pandemic, we have been presented with a new way of life, without prior notice and without wanting or seeking it. It has led to an economical and social crisis and above all, existential instability. What were once certainties for us have been destroyed; the customs which we’d had for so long have become mechanical, devoid of a full, authentic and true meaning.
Lockdown, in addition to being exhausting and causing a lot of suffering, has been an occasion to see ourselves in depth and to face the truth about our relationship with God and with others. It has fostered an experience of desert. In biblical language it’s an auspicious time. In the desert, the patriarchs, the people of Israel, the prophets, and finally Jesus, experienced God and came to truly know Him. In the desert all of them lived their crises, they overcame them and they were born to a new life. Life in God means living on a constant pilgrimage and passing through the desert, it is the paschal mystery- dying to be born again. It is a process which we never go through alone, “I will not leave you orphans. I will be with you until the end of the world.”