COVID 19 – Closeness, Care and Sacrifice
Pope Francis is encouraging during this Covid-19 time the sharing of testimonies of hope. He says they teach us “how much we need closeness, care, sacrifice to nourish fraternity and civil coexistence. In this way we will emerge from this crisis stronger.”
Here is a beautiful sharing from Patrizia, a mother of two children in Northern Italy who is a nurse in a hospital caring for Covid-19 patients.
Patrizia writes of her colleagues as follows:
“Our work seems to have taking place on a battlefield where one is covered from head to toe. We become indistinguishable from each other, like Martians. With our uniforms, we are like a white, green and blue army…. I can testify that my view of my colleagues at this time has changed and has become more profound. The compassion I feel for all those faces marked by the masks and dripping with sweat is indescribable.”
She then writes of her Covid-19 patients as follows:
“The sadness and sense of loneliness that I feel when I walk into patients’ rooms is impossible to fill. They who with a look full of hope extend their hand towards you to look for a caress, a hug, a little comfort, a smile, who ring the bell ten times with any excuse only to see a face, which, even if hidden behind a mask, is familiar to them….. Lingering by the side of the dying, who are denied the presence of their loved ones, I felt it was my duty to be there.”
Patrizia demonstrates great faith in the face of great fear. Her own faith really gives her the motivation to continue on. It even helps her to be enriched in her own humanity by affirming the human dignity of the sick.
Although we are not in the epicentre of this global crisis, we too can offer little testimonies of how the Lord has used us to share his “closeness, care and sacrifice” to those who are fearful at this time. Perhaps there are elderly members of our families and friends. Perhaps there are our neighbours. Do you have any testimonies of hope to offer? Although not as dramatic as Patrizia’s testimony, I wonder if you would be prepared to share with Catholic Voice how you have offered or received from others the “caress of God” in these times. Please pass them onto us. We might publish them. It might help others to show deeper concern.
May I offer you two little prayerful testimonies on faith and fear?
The first is from St John of Avila, a sixteenth century Spanish priest and Doctor of the Church. He says, “NOTHING CAN TERRIFY US AS MUCH AS JESUS CAN REASSURE US.”
The second is a popular English proverb. It was sometimes quoted by Martin Luther King Jr in some of his famous talks. It says: “FEAR KNOCKED AT THE DOOR. FAITH ANSWERED. NO ONE WAS THERE.”
Archbishop Christopher Prowse
July 21, 2020