To IMCS and ICMICA members in Africa,
Greetings of peace
Maria Olive informed me about an e-newsletter. It is my pleasure to respond to her request for a contribution.
From my new residence, Charleroi, Belgium. I appreciate the many initiatives of your teams inviting members to commit themselves for a better life. Hoping for a better life, and committing oneself for it, is at the center of our faith. Jesus is the life. Jesus came to share in our life to open our eyes and our hearts to the glory of the resurrection , the fullness of his life. As baptised Christians, we remember St Paul’s words: «We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead to the glory o the Father, we too might live in newness of life (Rom 6:4).»
Our world is shaken in its both dimensions: nature and humankind. For the time being, covid-19 is generating lots of anxiety in the short term. But let us not forget the climate crisis that is pointing in the long term. Both are generating poverty, suffering and , many deaths. Many, around us, are crying and falling in despair…
Last week in Charleroi, we hold a community meeting – 12 members, average age 86 years ! We shared on our responsibility in climate change matters. They do not say «we are on the other side, no concern for us!», not at all. We are concerned about you, young people and about your future. If we – you – want to survive many of our habits have to change; we may not continue producing more and consuming more. We need another culture; we have to adapt our standing of life to other priorities.
On that way, the covid-19 crisis is a blessing. We see that, when we are personally concerned about our health, change is possible: emergency rules are promulgated and people obey. What is possible now in the short term should be possible to the long term. The covid-19 crisis prepares us for the climate change crisis.
My message is simple: you, young Africans, IMCS or ICMICA members, have to see the present crisis as a blessing to guide you into the future you will face. Take time to discern your way of life, your priorities, your commitment for changing our present society of profit, imposed by the market economy. Tremendous changes are necessary if you want to live a safe life for you, your family and your children.
Take the opportunity of the present time to adapt yourself, to testify that it is possible. Hope is the great message we have to proclaim. I see this as the committed Christian testimony, your committed testimony.
You surely know the parable of the colibri : though a small bird, it never cease to bring water in its beak to extinguish the fire that is burning. An invitation, to all of us, to drop our small contribution. Together, we can!
Peace be with you.
Rev. Father Etienne Triaille, SJ