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News from Lasallian Region of Africa

Posted on 30 June 2020
News from Lasallian Region of Africa

Is the current pandemic a punishment of humanity by God? Fabrice Hadjadj1 proposes to see it as an access to the truth of our human existence. With this pandemic, the Way of the Cross no longer evokes the practice of a devotion proper to Christians; it becomes, on a planetary level, a common humanpractice. 

Should each one view himself or herself solely as a victim when faced with the suffering and all the deaths the pandemic causes? To answer this question requires being able to move away from the pain one feels because they are in a situation of victim who is suffering from some pain external to the self, to experiencing pain that is much deeper in itself. The pandemic is an opportunity to ask ourselves about our personal and collective unconscious complicity with evil. Indeed, through our unconsciousness, we can contribute to increasing evil and suffering in the world. Confinement offers the opportunity to each one to look within oneself and to ask oneself about one's complicity with the expansion of evil. In general, we unintentionally commit or transmit evil. There are many cases where ignorance, negligence and indifference are not excuses but constitute offences, if not crimes.

Under the threat of contamination, we become aware of our dependencies, of our solidarity with others. The care given to our own interiority allows us to discover another face of ourselves. Suffering, be it violence we suffer or violence we inflict on others, has two sides, one of which is often forgotten, if not rejected. To suffer means to undergo but also to endure2.  The person who suffers has the opportunity to learn self-endurance, to take his suffering upon himself. It is good to know how to manage self-endurance, to know how to carry one's cross; for without this, we tend to make others carry our own, taking revenge for example. Carrying one's cross leads to the practice of the virtue of patience with oneself. He who endures nothing knows only how to suffer and make others endure evil; he makes others bear the full weight of his suffering. He lets himself go, ultimately, like a dead weight on the back of others. He or she does not stand to be frustrated or deprived of anything; he or she is always protesting or revolting, on the verge of collapsing on himself and sometimes to the extent of committing suicide. The characteristic of today's society is that it encourages impatience, the inability to wait. However, impatience develops the inability to self-endurance, makes any limitation unbearable, and creates intolerance with oneself and with others. 

When Jesus asks us to carry our cross and follow him, it is something that every human being must do; what changes with him is the meaning of that cross3.  God suffers from our lack of love4.  Without love we cannot stand each other5, we undergo reciprocal suffering. The pandemic brings all humankind into a collective and  individual way of the cross. Unable to bear our existence, which has become a cross, we tend to transfer our cross to others. Dear Brothers, dear Sisters, dear Lasallians, we need courage and patience. Let us pray that this trial from the pandemic may be a source of salvation for the multitude. May Jesus live more than ever in our hearts, in our members, in whole our being.

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