The Letter of Superior General to the Congregation on the Anniversary of the Papal Approval of the Constitutions and Rules – February 17, 2021
The pandemic is helping us see more clearly what is essential in life. The Spirit speaks to us in the signs of the times of this pandemic and enriches our missionary lives.
· – Our faith is deepened as we affirm God is right alongside us in this mess. We know that, with God, all things work together for the good of those who love Him. Nothing is outside of God’s creative ability to bring good from it. We believe this and we renew our oblation to live for the Reign of God.
· – The pandemic has made us aware of our common vulnerability. No sector of humanity, no state, no global corporation controls the world. Armies do not regulate borders as the virus travels around the world. St. Eugene knew the wisdom and power of the cross. With courage and humility, we embrace our vulnerability and we gain wisdom and strength.
· – The pandemic, with its isolation and distancing, has provided the opportunity to draw closer together. Both in religious traditions and secular life, we have discovered a new sense of solidarity and care for one another. The pandemic has reminded us that our missionary life must be based on apostolic community accompanied by prayer and the vowed life. Already in 1816, when Fr. De Mazenod called together Fr. Tempier and his other companions, he was convinced of this.
· – We have to ask ourselves whether we too are caught up in the conversation around ‘returning to normal,’ or the ‘new normal,’ etc. This ignores the reality that the majority of the people in the world have never experienced the concept of ‘normal’ being spoken of. The peo- ple we serve around the globe live without water, without the mini- mum of necessary food, without medical care, etc. The pandemic must open the eyes of the world to the great injustice that the majority of earth’s people never have enjoyed a so-called ‘normal’ life.
· – The pandemic has helped us become more aware that consumerism and materialism generate poverty and destroy the environment. These idols of society must be exchanged for a concern for the common good, expressed in caring for the poor and for our common home.
Father Louis Lougen OMI