Challenges and Opportunities
Challenges and Opportunities
A great experience for each encounter…this is how Mother Yvonne defined the last General Chapter. It was an encounter with persons who witnessed to love and it was certainly a profound encounter with Mary, “the first believer, she who accompanies us on the journey of realizing true encounters, capable of provoking real journeys of conversion.” She was the woman open to the newness of the Spirit that arrived unexpectedly to surprise and overturn the life of a group of fearful and uncertain believers gathered in the cenacle…to launch them toward the daring of a mission of planetary frontiers.
The encounter with Mary invites us to look at the scenario of today’s world with the eyes of a woman and mother; to become aware of the grave problems of humanity and not to draw back from the challenges that assail people. These are challenges with many names, at times fresh and unforeseen, but frequently having shared origins: an individualistic and consumer anthropology that tends to suffocate the weak, the complex world of the new technologies, pervasive and with thousands of possibilities; discrimination bound to ethnic belonging, to social condition, to faith, the imbalance provoked by nature, the merchandizing of the body, especially those of women and children. We are challenged today with particular force by the worldwide economic crisis, connected to the ethic of the financial market to a neo-liberal vision. It is an emergency that does not touch only banks or large companies, but especially the lives of people, who bear the consequences.
We are all touched and stimulated to assume stronger personal and social responsibility. “Let us not pretend that reality will change if we always do the same things. This crisis is the greatest blessing that could happen to persons and nations because the crisis is an incentive for progress. Creativity comes from anguish as light is born from the obscurity of the night. It is from crisis that being inventive, discoveries and great strategies are born…The true problem of persons and nations is the laziness that impedes us from finding ways out and solutions. Without crisis there are no challenges, without challenges life is routine and a slow agony…Let us, rather, set ourselves to hard work. Let us finally end with the thought that the only crisis that threatens us is the tragedy of not knowing how to fight to overcome it.” These are words of great reality written in the first half of 1900 by Albert Einstein. During the period of the great recession of the ‘30’s, Mother Luisa Vaschetti emphasized the opportunity of the critical transition in act. In her Circular of October 24, 1931 she wrote: “Have courage, dear Sisters. Let us trust in the Lord. May the present crisis be like a mission for us, at the cost of our egoism” and she suggested practical ways to guide responsible choices, in solidarity and hope. Perhaps even today, reviewing our habits, we can renew creativity, daring, and the essential, and contribute toward humanizing life and the environment.