The memory of a path

With an ill daughter, fear quickly became oppressive. Carrón’s letter was a breath of fresh air, "the battle is not against the virus, it is a battle of faith.”

These days are, above all, an occasion to verify that the consistency of my life is not in what I do, but in love. And I also realise how much I need to follow the path proposed by the movement.

A week before confinement became mandatory, I was worried about the possibility of my daughter, who had just recovered from one of her usual respiratory infections, being infected by the virus. I was anxious to apply all the instructions about hygiene and disinfection, had the difficult task of obtaining masks and gels, whilst minimizing our already scarce outings outside the house. With the news coming from Italy, thinking about my daughter's current situation, and thinking about the consequences if my daughter got infected, I was completely overwhelmed. Then I received Julián Carrón's letter, realizing that I really needed it.

The anxiety and my need were an opportunity to set out upon the path of reason that Julián talks about, and to unveil it, within reality, within the unprecedented situation we are living as a society. The challenges we are facing are ones that we have often faced before: fear of illness, suffering and death, fear of a future that did not yet exist. Although the scope of the pandemic is global, the personal journey that the situation demands of me is the same that I have had to take many times before. I have experienced many extreme situations in hospital over years, specifically, recently, when my daughter’s room almost became a hospital, or when, during pregnancy, I was affected by a virus that became the origin of my daughter’s illness! The threat of Coronavirus thus requires me to tread on the same path that I have already walked before. If on all these occasions I had been able to see Christ's victory, why should it be any different now? This judgment of memory, sustained by the example of the multiplication of the loaves mentioned by Julián in the letter, allowed me to pass from a defensive position to a position of trust that was reflected in my continuing my care in the present: the battle is not against the virus, it is a battle of faith. Realizing this already relaxed me enough so that I could take all the precautionary and hygienic measures at home without being determined by them.

A few days later, I started to have mild symptoms. One night, I woke up with a fever and remembered Samuel. I thought, "Lord, did you call me?" Suddenly, I was separated from everyone for a few weeks, including Maria. But nothing was changing, I thought, because my consistency is not in what I do, not even when what I do is something as necessary and beautiful like dedicating myself to the care of my daughter. My consistency is that I am made and loved at this moment. So, if the Beloved wants to take me to a room for two weeks and take away all my chores, I obey, because He will surely have something great prepared for me.

These have been special days of Lent, privileged days in which to open one's life to God, to allow Him to act in silence. As for Maria, I was aware that this was an occasion to abandon her to the Mystery, in the hands of my husband and children. I was able to take this step because I was certain that I was obeying.

School of Community has accompanied me a lot when I said that what I am does not coincide with what I feel or think of myself, but with what Jesus thinks and wants of me. In those days, I begged for this gaze and I recognized that I was loved by Him through many details: from opening my eyes and realizing that a new day was beginning, in which things were there, that tree that can be seen from my window, the birds, the clouds and the sky changing color, the walls of the room, myself; my husband’s loyalty in bringing me food on a tray, without taking it for granted that we have food every day; the willingness of my children to help and play with their sister, a friend who brought me a good mask... Days to think of all the people the Lord has put upon my path and to wish to look at each one with true veneration, because they are the sign that allows me to reach Him. The One who loves me before I answer.

As for my fear that my daughter might yet infected, once the virus is inside the house, it is defeated when I let His Presence prevail again. Thus, those two weeks passed with enough tranquillity and openness, to grow in intimacy with Jesus, wishing that the general situation we are going through would touch me deeply and allow me to beg for my conversion.

I left the room a few days ago, and I realized that everything is very normal for me, that I am really the same. That is to say, whether I am in one place or another, whether I am in bed with a fever or whether I am taking care of Maria, I know whose she is, I know Who I am doing it to and I know Who my consistency is. "Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's."

María José, Madrid, Spain