St Mary's Hermitage Nr. Canterbury Kent.
"a message full of hope, even during a global pandemic"
Laudetur Iesus Christus – Nunc et semper
Easter is a victory of beatific and virtuous proportions! It is a victory for justice, for life, for hope. Easter is the peoples victory! The victory of good for us Christians was fully achieved through Jesus Christ: and for this very reason, we Christians, make a solemn commitment to celebrate Jesus’ victory over death. This proclamation, has been defended and preserved by Christian communities for over 2000 years; it offers us hope. Even in the second year of a global pandemic.”
This year, my wish for a happy Easter is yet again overshadowed by the global pandemic we have faced, which for the past 460 days has been inflicting suffering upon us, it has moderate our freedom dramatically and has had repercussions on our relationships. The pandemic has weakened and placed a strain especially upon the weakest and the most frail of people: the elderly, the sick, the disabled, families whose finances were already precarious and hanging in the balance, those with children, those with long term ill family members … yet we must not forget the many, and there are many, who experience hardships and will experience hardships due to onerous fiscal burdens and social consequences generated by the prolonged quarantine measures due to the corona virus.
My wishes are sincere and have had an impact upon me just by the thought of so much suffering and fear throughout the world.
In this environment, however, we can grasp an aspect that touches all areas of our daily lives and which I believe may have already infected many of us and that is: nostalgia.
We express nostalgia periodically. There is nostalgia for days gone by, to see the faces of loved ones, for our feelings and emotions. There is nostalgia for the things that are aesthetically pleasing. Nostalgia is almost always about beauty; I would like to refer to the nostalgia for “the things that concern God”.
We experience a nostalgia for God today within our efforts to carry out those gestures which represent God’s closeness and His presence. And end to gatherings of the congregation of believers, an end to celebrations, a cessation liturgical meetings, an end to assembled people.
My wish is for you to perceive my nostalgia for God, that would be a true blessing. It means to wish for the possibility of “a look which goes beyond” our daily lives, our human, material, historical understandings; which is far beyond our own intelligence.
A nostalgia for God intimates a remembrance within our hearts, which open to love, is the full realisation of the person, made up of affection for our nearest and dearest, but which can also be expressed in our friendships, in being good neighbours, in fraternal solidarity, to the point that they become genuine and substantial social networks that breathe life into our communities and make us feel part of a larger real world.
Nostalgia for the things of God also means the rediscovery of our understanding of a “life which is capable of giving” to what we do and of finding the meaning of life, work, emotions, those values and ideals such as justice, freedom, the dignity of man, for whom we have always fought and which have allowed us to grow as a society. Returning to the meaning of our life also means finding both the courage and strength to face our hardships and justify our commitment as men and women.
Above all, my wish for the many Christian communities of all denominations, is for us to return to the simplicity of the faith, the Word of the Gospel; to that which is essential; to those who support people’s lives even when they themselves are going through exactly the same difficulties. These time, are quite unique for many of us and they are exhausting and draining, but which will ultimately lead us toward the discovery of that which is truly essential, that which is absolutely vital, which no one and nothing can ever take away from you; it empowers you with the ability to transmit your own spiritual heritage to your children and introducing your young persons to life: and to hope. A life which is moved by hope is drawn to a future which promises to be better and which is anticipate with firm and resolute confidence, knowing that we can develop together, thanks to the many abilities we were given, to our intelligence, to good will.
Our faith in a future, our desire to make the world a better place, has its own repercussions and an evident sign also on the birth rate. I wish today more than ever to rediscover, in our city and in our world, the beauty of fatherhood and motherhood. It is a sign that we have faith in the future, that we trust others, our family and neighbours, our local communities, our country.
If there are children in your homes and in our courtyards, we would become simpler and we will be in tune with their needs for kind-heartedness and love. Children will save us from our weariness and the “absurdity” we have a knack of creating. Our effort would then have a reason! Children would help us to live a more joyful life.
Easter is the victory of beauty and of good! It is a victory for justice, for life, for hope. Easter is the people’s victory!
The victory of good for us Christians was fully realised in Jesus: for this reason we Christians make a solemn commitment to celebrate the victory of Jesus over death.
This proclamation, has been defended by the Christian communities for over 2000 years, and it offers us true hope. Even during the 2021 global pandemic.
I pray that the good Lord will watch over you all, may the Blessed Virgin Mary be your shield, May the Holy Spirit be your spiritual and moral guide, so that you will all fulfil God’s expectations of you.