Colombia: "What is your conscience full of right now?”

New street demonstrations, the use of force and vandalism. The CL community in Colombia has issued a document to help address the social tensions.

In the past few days, we have witnessed the excessive use of force by members of the National Police and we have witnessed the reaction of indignant public opinion, which sometimes resulted in acts of vandalism and protests, recalling the national strike on November 21. The strength and momentum of these demonstrations seemed to have faded with the Christmas holidays and the beginning of the new calendar year. Then, the subsequent compulsory isolation caused social issues to take a back seat. But now, with the reopening of almost all economic sectors, reality is back in full force. In fact, the current social mobilization is resuming the demands of last November 21, fuelled by the growing inequality caused by the economic slump due to the threat of Covid, the recent massacres of young people, and the new decrees relating to the reform in hiring people earning less than the minimum wage.

These facts show that reality is stubborn, and they force us to reconsider the question posed during the strike on November 21: "How can we build without silencing our cry?” At that time, we said that "we need to walk with friends like these, with whom we can share our desire to turn them into a creativity capable of illuminating our society....” However, the experience of these months has shown us that being together, in physical or virtual form, can be reduced to a voluntary effort that does not necessarily support our humanity, nor build community, because it may not start from an original, and therefore true, gaze towards reality, leading us to affirm ourselves and to experience that "...all our initiatives made the dissatisfaction increase disproportionately.”

Now, what does a true gaze towards reality consist of? Who has experienced it? Who introduced it into history and can help us to have it? Jesus introduced this vision into the world, for whom everything is an event, something given; in other words, all of reality and he Himself originate from the Mystery, from the Father. Jesus conceived himself as the Son in every moment, filling his whole consciousness with this. In this sense, it is worth asking the question: why is Jesus’ way of living interesting for us? Precisely because it allows us to live reality with intensity, leading us to recognize that it is our friend, because it has a common source that sustains it: the Father.

This recognition gives a true gaze that, far from appeasing the desires of the heart, makes us involve ourselves in such a way that everything "takes on a unique density and intensity. Finally, you affirm the value of the moment, of relationship, work, reality, and circumstances and sufferings, your own and those of others.” It is a gaze that allows us to perceive reality without suspicion, resentment or fear. An example of this comes to us from a friend of the community who has lost her job and has a son whose state of health requires the permanent companionship of his mother, who in turn has some health problems; and in such circumstances she writes: "... I am grateful for this paternity which does not spare me the pain, but which uses these situations to constantly reaffirm that life is made by Him. In the midst of these difficulties, day after day, He makes miracles happen in my life, these are the moments for which it is worth living... I am grateful for this time in which I recognize that I am deeply loved by Him." This is the certainty and peace that comes from being attached to the Father and from recognizing life with an affection that generates us.

A gaze like this allows the world to recover all its attractive and surprising power; it allows "our relationships [to become] full of mercy and charity," starting from this original point which constitutes us (the Father); it gives birth to that fraternity, that social friendship to which Pope Francis invites us and which is so necessary in this post-pandemic period.

A new gaze like this makes it possible to live with intensity, to be involved in reality; but it also requires everyone to ask themselves: what is my consciousness full of at this moment? In this instant in which I am putting my life on the line facing economic needs, challenged by health conditions, or perceiving the drama of the fate of my loved ones.

A gaze like this asks us to work to verify first hand that "Every circumstance [including the current social, economic and political situation in our country] can carry the newness that Christ introduced into the world.”

Communion and Liberation Colombia