Rome (Italy). “The Lord is making us live this Lent of 2020 in a very particular way, in a way that no one could think or imagine and that really requires of us each day to make a decisive change in style and way of life”.
With these words, Card. João Braz De Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, addresses Consecrated men and women in a Letter written on Lent in time of the Coronavirus which is also signed by the Secretary Msgr. José Rodriguez Carballo.
The invitation to live this strong time of faith and to be authentic witnesses: the “most effective testimony” for Consecrated persons is respect for the restrictive measures that “are required of us by those who govern us, both at the state and ecclesial level, to everything that is prepared for the protection of our health, both as private citizens and as communities.”
“Prayer, sacrifice, penance, fasting, and charity” are the weapons to wrest from the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus the grace to stop the infection by coronavirus.
It is a “duty of charity and gratitude” to ensure “unceasing” prayer and offering our ‘sacrifices’ for Authorities, Governors, doctors, and health workers, volunteers of the Civil Protection and Armed Forces, “all those who offer their precious work during this calamity.”
“As in every era of past and recent history, we share sufferings, anxieties, fears, but with the certain confidence that the Lord’s response will not be long in coming and soon we will be able to sing a solemn Te Deum of thanksgiving.”
At the conclusion, the Prefect asks us to entrust ourselves to Mother of Divine Love in harmony with Pope Francis who entrusts the city of Rome, Italy, and the world to the protection of the Mother of God, as a sign of salvation and hope.
O Mary, we entrust ourselves to you.
“O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the sick, who at the cross were associated with the suffering of Jesus, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need and we are sure that you will ensure that, as in Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration will return after this time of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the Father’s will and to do whatever Jesus tells us, who took our sufferings on Himself and bore our pain to lead us through the cross, to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.”
The full text of the Letter in the various languages can be found on the Website of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.