A Spirited Tomorrow
Last week, I received a letter from my eleven-year-old niece in Perth. In the midst of family news, she wrote, ‘The quarantine is really stressing me out. I am nervous.’ She went on to express her fears, especially about not seeing family. I can’t say that won’t happen as I can’t get over to visit. This is the family I cared for last year. And I too am nervous for their future, as I imagine many of you are for your children’s future. The pandemic has some way to go and we do not know what the future will bring. But we do know what we need to do now: encourage our children to go into tomorrow with hope and resilience.
So, what am I going to say to my niece? Firstly, that I too am concerned. This is a difficult time and many people are working together to make things as safe as possible for her. In fact, many are doing amazing things helping other people and finding ways of being connected. I will tell her how much I appreciate her letter since I haven’t been able to visit. In other words, I’ll invite her to be one of those people who make an effort to connect in new and different ways. Then over the coming months, I will try to tell her of the people in our family’s history, who did good and positive things in difficult situations. I will tell her of her great grandfather, who had a brutal alcoholic father and became committed to peace and non-violence. I will tell her that challenges are often hard and frightening but they are also opportunities for new life and growth. After his Death and Resurrection, Jesus gave us his Spirit, not to give us warm, fuzzy feelings, but to inspire and lead us in the hard and difficult places of life making them places of new growth.
As people in the past grew and were transformed in testing times, so our children will do so in the fallout of this pandemic. And it is for us to model the hope and resilience they will need. When we do not know what to say to them or do for them, let us pray to the Holy Spirit for the wisdom and guidance we needed. And may this Spirit lead them into their tomorrow.
Holy Spirit, you know how deeply I desire the fullness of life for my child/ren. Send me your love and wisdom that I may guide them and lave so they have the courage for face whatever challenges come their way. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb