Chile: "Nothing stops us from living intensely”

No community vacations due to the pandemic. Thus the CL community in Chile moved its days of living together online. Four days of meetings, testimonies, games, art and cooking workshops... An experiment that tries to embrace everything.

From January 28 to 31 we spent a few days together to remind ourselves that there is no circumstance that prevents us from living reality intensely: art, science, music, literature, history, cuisine. Everything is an opportunity to discover a good that awaits us and embraces us.

For the first time, we faced the challenge of not being able to organize our CL community holiday in person. This moved our creativity and we put ourselves at reality’s disposal. All the proposals experienced during these days arose from our friends’ preferences: what are you passionate about, what would you like to delve deeper into?

Cooking, making bread, baking cakes, painting, drawing, learning, reading, playing, eating, experimenting, loving: living!
The theme of these days was "He is present here and now," and we put this to the test in meetings through which beauty entered our homes. Technology allowed us to have the meetings online and to listen, for example, to a presentation of "Spirto Gentil," to discover what Fr. Giussani thought of an education in which recognizing the splendor of beauty is a privileged opportunity to perceive that what the heart desires “exists”. We learned to paint with our families, following impressionist techniques, to remember that "faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.” Thus, art is also the opportunity to marvel at reality.

Why make memory in the present? This was the question that guided the meeting with Claudio Rammsy, head of education and public relations at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago. The pain of our country's history hurts and challenges us. What can make us look at our history and our present with hope? The museum proposes a vision that, with realism and without hate, allows us to dialogue and build a society that does not need to forget in order to look at the present.

"Every generation must seek paths of forgiveness”. This was the invitation of Margarita Morandé, a psychologist, with whom we discussed the need for trust on a social and personal level. "We are made to trust; we need trust." Faced with the lacerating pain of a wounded society, "forgiveness cannot be a demand, but must be lived firsthand," respecting human freedom and the necessary time that this freedom entails. Seeking paths of reparation and forgiveness is, therefore, a social call, but it is also, above all, an intimate and personal matter.

Gert and Vivi, through their precious testimony, shared with us their love full of tenderness for the circumstances that the Lord has proposed in their lives. It might seem impossible to be grateful for illness, for life that is constantly "uphill," and yet, looking at them, we see that it is possible, and that vocation is love where everything shapes us.

"Nothing in this world is indifferent to us," which is why the presentation and dialogue on the Encyclical Laudato si' was a gift: the "Common Home" is worthy of care because we are united to all that exists, because "the greatness and the beauty of created things, [whose] original author, by analogy, is seen.”

Read also – Basel: “What allows me to walk?"

The cooking workshops and online games "mobilized" our homes, so that once again, in our dwelling place, an evidence was manifested: we can discover "here and now" the joy of living and the experience of being a community, even within the paradox of not being able to meet up physically.

We concluded with the presentation of A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, in which the author recounts the human experience of grief in the face of death. What can sustain the human heart when it experiences the deepest sadness into its core? Not an image of Christ, but Christ who is real and present. This is the promise of our friendship - to recognize, in our companionship, that "He is here."

Paula, Santiago, Chile