A time for me, with you, O Christ

Confinement, the abrupt halt of work, a marriage that begins 24/7, and the inability to feel "useful". But in a homily by Pope Francis, a question that changes the situation: "My daughter, give me your failings.”

The spread of the coronavirus changed all my plans. My husband and I were blessed with the great grace of being able to marry just before the confinement, and to have been able to share this moment with our families and friends.

When I returned from our honeymoon, I had a strong desire to start our new life together and to be able to return to work. I have not been able to work for three months now, and I miss it very much. It is as if someone had cut off my hands, which are so essential to the success of my job as a chef.

This "angry" sadness has of course also impacted my relationship with my husband and the only thing I kept repeating to myself was, "Do not worry Cate, everything will work out when you get out of this moment." I already wanted to postpone my questions until later. After a few weeks, I realized that I was making everything related to me (work, my husband, relationships with friends) rot.

During a School of Community, a friend intervened and provoked us: "We have to ask ourselves how we can be useful, right here, right now!” That made me angry. How can he allow himself to ask us this question? It is very easy for him, he works in a clinic, of course he is useful. What about me? At the beginning, I put this question on a moralistic level, thinking: "So you have to be a good Christian, you have to help, you have to pray at all times of the day..., “but I immediately had the perception of an obligation. I wanted to remain myself. I did not want to have to give justifications for my day.

At one point I read Pope Francis' homily on St. Faustina: "At one time, the Saint, with satisfaction, told Jesus that she had offered him all of her life and all that she had. Btu Jesus’ answer stunned her: «You have not offered me what truly belongs to you. » What had that holy nun kept for herself? Jesus said to her with kindness: «My daughter, give me your failings. »

This is my usefulness, this is what I want to give, and not what I can give but what I want to give is myself, as I am here: sad because of work, sad because we were beginning a 24/7 marriage together. I agree, it is not the end of the world, but for me it is quite a challenge, sad because I would like to live up to certain friendships, sad because I complain when there are people who are really suffering.

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Since I have tried to look at this, to give what I have right now, I still miss what I miss, but in a different way, with a Presence inside, a cry within me that asks: "Where are You?" And on the other hand, another question (the one from School of Community): "Cate, do you love me?”. Yes, and now this time of confinement has a whole new gusto: not because I cook all day long, but because the purpose of this moment is that it be a time for me, a time for me, with You, O Christ. Nothing is resolved, the sadness is there, the wound remains, but it is filled with the newness of a Presence.

Caterina, Paris, France