One of the last pages of the Rule summarizes Sermig's dream that has developed over the years and is “a dream that continues”. We left in '64 to "feed" two thirds of humanity who suffered from hunger for bread, underdevelopment, perfectly treatable diseases for those who have the means. Since 1983 we have begun to renovate and live in the Arsenals to experience first hand the care of wounded people: refugees, single women with their children, prisoners, marginal and marginalized people ... In all these years we have welcomed the people who have knocked on our door with respect for their dignity, history, culture, religion, we have welcomed everyone freely, with the care and competence that develop when we love. And in welcoming we have learned to recognize the signs of the times: encounters, situations that announce something new is coming, something that must be read according to God's logic and that must be prepared in advance. Thus we have grown in love for mankind, in the work of justice and peace, so we continue to grow, trying to be as the Rule says: "Like a defenseless feather, available to the wind of the Spirit".
In recent times, Covid and its consequences in people's lives and in the life of the world are signs that are challenging us and make us feel the urgency to respond to our profound call: "Our dream is to bring men to God »(Rule of Yes). It has always been a strong appeal but today, in the light of what we read in people, in the social situation, in world scenarios, it has become a priority for us. It is too little to live this moment as a parenthesis, waiting for a better time to return to life as before, as if nothing had happened. On the other hand, the roads that humanity is traveling on do not bring hope to people who increasingly experience their limit and the limit of things. You don't need to be an expert to understand this. This time can instead become an opportunity to change course, a precious opportunity to change our lifestyles, to return to God and rediscover the reasons for hope in him.
In the cry for help that rises from people and from humanity, we feel that God has failed, the relationship with him has failed. The Creator and Father of all for most people is a stranger, someone who has sometimes been heard of but far from life; many remember this when they don't know who else to ask for help and then walk away if things don't go the way they want. By detaching ourselves from him, however, we detached ourselves from the best part of ourselves, from feeling part of the one human family, from putting ourselves at the service of one another, from loving, respecting, forgiving each other, from living our lives with sobriety because everyone can have the necessary to live, from respecting the resources of creation ... Without God, other gods have had the first place: well-being, achievement, success, selfishness, wealth, power passing above all and above all. The world has detached itself from God, but God has not detached itself from the world. God is always here, hoping to reopen the dialogue with each of us. When we touch our helplessness with our hands and so many certainties are lacking, perhaps the time has come to return to ask ourselves the fundamental questions about life, death, the meaning of everything: where I come from, where I am headed, for whom I live ... We found the answers to these questions in the Gospel which gave us clarity on the meaning of our life and offered us a complete lifestyle. Jesus Christ, Son of God made man, dead and risen, is the foundation of our life, of our action and service, he is our hope. Fidelity to the poor, the immediate and concrete response to the basic needs of people, like all our services, rest on the solid rock that is Jesus present in concrete, daily life, in the efforts, in the joys and in the trials.
We felt sought by him, and slowly, with all our efforts, we came to understand that God is Presence, God exists and even in the most difficult moments he is a faithful companion, always with us. Let's go back to the Gospel, to the life it offers us because it is a response to the deepest needs written in our DNA since creation: we are children of God, loved and made to love, we are custodians of creation made to live in harmony with things and between we. Let's go back to introducing drops of hope into our life. Let's go back to walking with God, to have a heart that beats with him.
NP December 2020