Let's be careful!

Publish date 27-05-2023

by Corrado Avagnina

These are days that don't allow for distractions. First of all, the catastrophe of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria which was unleashed in a terrible moment in places that have been suffering tensions, conflicts and clashes for years.
A tragedy of enormous proportions for the number of victims, for the conditions of the displaced and wounded, for the destruction of entire cities and many towns. Scary figures, from which to let ourselves… invest in order to pray about it, to rethink the fragility of planet Earth, to be involved in concrete solidarity, to put aside platitudes and nonsense.
There is the Lenten journey in which we are immersed, as believers who do not hold back to make room for a sobriety that slightly rewrites the map of the superfluous, of waste, of inequality. The sign of ashes on the forehead has relaunched a strong message with an evangelical flavour, but which is also humanly acceptable.

Never before has there been a need to go "beyond things", to pick up the thread of a full meaning to existence, turning the page where it is necessary and urgent.
Rediscovering counter-current gestures such as forgiveness, transparency, authenticity.
In short, we need a serious pit stop, to readjust the course and not finish and stay out of the way.
And then the tragedy of the last ones who end up on the bottom of the sea, drowned, in the adventure of crossing the stretch of sea that separates North Africa from the European coasts - which are above all Italian coasts - on routes that should be of hope, but which are actually a deadly abyss. "Tombs of water" have been called the fate of those lost among the waves. There is no legal means for emigration and relief procedures are being tightened for NGOs. Bad times for those seeking dignity beyond the sea. Boundaries come first rather than people.

An unacceptable distortion. And yet there is the war that has completed the year of victims, rubble, hatred, tears, destruction... We need to be attentive and vigilant so that warlike and military dynamics do not contaminate our approaches, even mental ones. Wars must be defused, as soon as possible and with a joint and convinced effort. Today, the openings for negotiations starting from a ceasefire seem all closed. But the "builders of peace" cannot be marginalized. Instead, it is time to invoke different, alternative, counter-current steps. Pope Francis often says that it is necessary to have the "courage to open ways of peace".

Corrado Avagnina
NP March 2023

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