A strange summer

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(from the Alphonsian Academy Blog)

Many of us have experienced life as temporary and fragile in recent months. Suddenly we found ourselves vulnerable. An invisible enemy has changed our way of life. Established habits, daily encounters, deep-rooted customs, in a few hours have increased. The experience of fragility then became temporary, taking away our ability to plan in the medium and long term and preventing us from seeing the horizon.

The COVID-19 is also undermining the summer considered sacred by many. In fact, the arrival of summer, at least in the northern hemisphere, coincides with the holiday break for schools, many offices, and industry in general. It corresponds, in a few words, to a slower pace of life.

Perhaps in the coming weeks, someone will have the opportunity to get some rest. But what summer awaits us?

It will be a summer in which the usual habits will have to be changed if we want to safeguard our health and our lives.

A summer in which we should limit hugs, feed on looks, and be constantly attentive to minimum hygiene standards.

Summer always remains an essential time for rest and refreshment. Never before have we needed to recharge ourselves to face a winter that promises to be tough.

Summer has always been synonymous with freedom, now it becomes an experience of “probation”. Without committing a crime, everyone lives by the restrictions of socializing, relationships, and health.

For many people, summer is the time of light-heartedness. This summer there is a risk that we all run and it is that of wanting to recover everything that has not been done in the months of lockdown.

I believe it is essential during this summer to put the experience of the past few months in order. The pandemic has given us a box full of memories. Some of them we would like to erase, others we need to cherish. Putting order into the whirlwind we have lived that will help us to dream with our hearts filled with Christian hope. This is because summer is a time of questions of meaning, of balances and departures.

This summer we should take some time to give thanks to God for the experience of the pandemic and reflect on what He has taught us. The “limits” ask questions of meaning that challenge our faith and living in reciprocity. It is certain that this experience has led us to rediscover values such as solidarity, volunteerism, welcoming, gratitude for those who sacrifice themselves for others. These values must now be taken on to build the future together.

These past months are a bit like the treasure from which, over time, we could draw old but always new life experiences. That is why I am convinced that as believers, we must give thanks to God for this experience because we have the capacity to dream and as Christians above all to hope.

I end this reflection by thanking those who have enriched this blog with their reflections that will start again in September. Happy summer to everyone!

Alfonso V. Amarante

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