Why does the Lord seem to be silent? Why does the Almighty not manifest himself with the blaze of His omnipotence? Why his apparent indifference to the tragedy of our lives? Is it true that he cares for us? Are we really important to him? (Free reading of some words of Carlo M. Martini - Message for 1996-1997 year).
It is no wonder that people of faith in times of tragedy like this ask themselves such questions which are deeply felt in the heart, disturb our faith, make us think and search. Yet God is on our side and participates in our pain for the evil devastating the earth. He is not a selfless spectator or a cold and distant judge.
God suffers for us and with us, for our loneliness, our inability to love and solve problems. Divine suffering is not incompatible with God: it is the suffering of loving care, it is the active and free compassion, the fruit of limitless gratuity. In the journey of life, in the light of the Gospel, the God of Jesus Christ appears to us as the God capable of tenderness and pity to the point of suffering with the world and for the sins of the world.
A God who never denies his children. A humble God, who manifests His omnipotence and His freedom precisely in His apparent weakness in the face of evil. A God who out of love accepts to bear the weight of sin, and the pain that sin introduces into the world. Through the Jesus' death on the cross, God tells us how much good can arise from evil, how much life from death.
The contradiction is not in God, but in our continuous desire to be gratified by everything and everyone, even by God. Perhaps we have to understand that the mystery of a dead and risen Lord is at the core of the Gospel and of our faith, and it is even the key of human existence!
The waves of our resistances collide against this rock of the paschal mystery, while we say with Peter: God save, Lord: this will never happen to you! Yet right here the knots of the relationship that binds death and life, pain and joy, failure and success, frustration and desire, humiliation and exaltation, despair and hope are united.
The law of the Cross is the key to understand the Christian faith, to understand even every human life, believe it or not. When it touches us, it upsets us and we are deeply disturbed. Yet it is here that full liberation from evil takes place, to the point of accepting its consequences for oneself in order to forgive and overcome it, as Jesus did on the cross and how we can do, even though we are human and so fragile in front of life, disease, to death. In front of the events of history that surpass us as in this time.
Therefore, Guido Dotti, a monk of the Bose's community, is right when he writes, "We are in treatment care, not in war". In front of titles such as, "The virility of war language", "We are at war! Corona-virus and its metaphors”, Guido Dotti rebukes. "No, I do not accept this. Covid 19 is not at war against humanity. The war metaphor has a charm, immediacy and efficacy that is not easy to eradicate."
But it is dangerous. We need "a different metaphor that does justice to what we are experiencing and suffering, yet offering paths to hope and meaning for the days ahead."
Artists, scholars, intellectuals and actors have chosen and illustrated "their significant word for this historical moment and have provided a precious vocabulary ranging from harmony to proximity." However these terms cannot "provide a metaphor for the whole narrative of reality that we find ourselves living in." And he continues, "For personal history, training and living conditions, I know well a discriminating ridge, the one between spiritual struggle and holy or just war, along which it is easy to lose balance and fall into while reading oneself, one's own events and the course of history according to the paradigm of war. But then, if we are not at war, where are we? We are in treatment care!"
We are all in treatment care, even our planet, not just the sick. And this care embraces every aspect of existence, not just the aftermath. The treatment can begin now, in fact it has already begun. "War and treatment care need both some qualities: strength (which is not violence), perspicacity, courage, resolve, tenacity also... But, then they feed on very different foods. War needs enemies, borders and trenches, weapons and ammunitions, spies, deceptions and lies, ruthlessness and money. On the other hand, care is nourished by something else: proximity and solidarity, compassion and humility, dignity and delicacy, touching and listening, authenticity, patience and perseverance."
We all "can be essential architects of this taking care of others, the planet and ourselves with them. All, men and women of every or no creed, each for his / her abilities, skills, inspiring principles, physical and spiritual strengths".
We are all caregivers, general practitioners and hospital doctors, nurses and paramedical staff, virologists and scientists, rulers and public administrators, servants of the state and of the common good, workers in essential services, psychologists and social workers, volunteers and teachers, professors and learners, men and women of art and culture, priests and bishops, ministers of various cults and catechists, parents and children, close friends and neighbors.
"They are architects - and not only the object - the sick, the dying, the weakest - these precious and fragile goods to be handled precisely with care -, the poor, the homeless, the immigrants and the marginalized people, the prisoners, and the victims of domestic and war violence."
The awareness of being in treatment care - and not in war - is a fundamental condition for the aftermath: "The future will be marked by how much we have been able to live these days, it will be determined by our ability to prevent and cure, starting with taking care of the only planet we have at our disposal. If we know and know how to be guardians of the earth, the earth will take care of us and safeguard the indispensable conditions for our life."
There are incurable diseases, "incurable people never exist and will never exist." Wars end, the treatment cure never ends. "We are not at war, we are in treatment care! Let's heal together".