In this reflection shared to us by Sr. Mudita Sodder rscj, she shares what their community has been doing since the start of the pandemic, and how they are contributing to JPIC practices, in their own little ways.
April 2020, the Indian government announced the nationwide lockdown to fight the pandemic. Suddenly the world went quiet, and all activities stopped. This quietness for some was a deafening silence, while for some others, it was BLISS. It gave them the chance to experience the orchestra of the birds, bees and insects, to exhale and look back with amazement, at the risks taken by frontline doctors, nurses, sanitation workers etc.
The Covid-19 crisis, paradoxically, made us truly united spiritually. Our inner world and faith were tested. Living the Eucharistic celebration 24/7, the importance of community, family and friends took on a new meaning. It was also an intense time of spiritual and personal formation. Challenging, but wholly necessary in these dark times. We now know that it is time to change our direction, do activism differently, work toward net-zero emissions and become change makers to help build a better future by promoting new paths.
Collective commitment to the common good enabled our community herbal health garden to flourish, as we disseminated information and saplings. Our dormant hidden talents emerged with greater interest, attention and passion, as we immersed ourselves in art from waste- mending old garments, making pot-holders, garbage segregation, composting, making fertilizers, soil etc. to increase our carbon handprint. Most of us learned new IT skills, as all classes and other meetings were online. We also experienced virtual human warmth; made global presentations and helped many by way of generative listening/speaking and counseling; sharing of life stories etc. via phone and internet.
What grounded us as a community was the realization that, the world and the universe are in constant change, the pandemic has travelled throughout the world and we are all connected. Our awareness of the power of nature deepened both seen and unseen and helped to strengthen our faith, soften our fear and dispel our anxiety. The pandemic touched us directly, forced us to slow down and we all began to look at life in a new way. Our community organized quite a few RSCJ fun and other reflective get-togethers; bringing all the RSCJ on the Sophia campus together. These collective gatherings made the palpable Presence of God in our midst very tangible; and it was this divine activity that absorbed all our anxieties and fears and brought us comfort and peace.
The future is bound to see more disruptions, new variants and mutations. We need to cultivate resilience, enjoy solitude, develop hobbies and increase genuine friendships. The secret to a meaningful life is not how much we have but how happy and contented we are with what we already have. Some will die of the pandemic and some of old age, but we will not let our youth, children and the future generations die of Climate Change or lack of cheer! God loves a cheerful giver. Let's stand firm in hope!
Dr (Sr) Mudita Menona Sodder rscj