The grace of a new Pentecost

Sr Nathalie Roberge, op
Dominicaine Missionnaire Adoratrice
Québec, Canada

We have been living a confusing adventure since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, to say the least. I had already experienced confinement since, I was walled up inside my cell for a few years to complete a doctoral thesis! But this new episode of confinement was going to lead me down unpredictable paths, on a personal, fraternal, and missionary level.

Being assigned to an itinerant preaching service, my daily life was turned upside down from one day to the next. I could no longer physically travel the roads! But the desire to meet the other, in a fruitful dialogue, stimulated me to take to the open sea in a different way, notably through writing and digital technologies. In spite of the many adjustments to be made, I realised how privileged I am to still be able to give my life for the Church. And I thank the Lord for this!

The invitation to creativity was also felt at the level of fraternal relationships. Indeed, the imposed isolation has strongly highlighted the thirst for communion inscribed in our human hearts. It seemed to me an imperative call to deploy all the small means possible to take care of life, to alleviate solitudes. The simple gestures of daily life have regained, in this context, an exceptional value.

In this effort of fraternal communion, my condition as a creature also imposed itself on me forcefully, confronting me daily with my powerlessness, even my limits and my poverty. I was thus given the opportunity to unearth seeds of impatience, indifference, selfishness and omnipotence, buried deep in the folds of my soul. How much I missed the support of sacramental grace during these months of seclusion.

In short, the experience of the pandemic initiated a serious examination of conscience in me. It has had a revealing effect, allowing me to glimpse both the best and the worst that are intertwined in my life! As the days went by, however, one conviction became forcefully evident: just as the Spirit hovered over the chaos of the world at the time of creation, it still hovers over the chaos of my life, my community, the Church and the entire universe. How could I not then fervently ask him to help me detect the grace at work in the present moment? For, it seems to me, the present reality disposes us, more than ever, to receive the grace of a new Pentecost. That, at least, is my hope!

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