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Contemplative nothingness

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I imagined being in a quiet land outside of the city and suburbs during the Covid-19 crisis. Jesus and I had our hands on each other’s shoulders while we looked at a statue in front of us. I heard a wind come and go, I smelled and tasted the earth, I tried to be present. As I delved deeper, I saw a gentle expression on the statue’s face. I saw a blanket of cloud and I got in touch with the movement of the wind.

Jesus spoke and seemed to say, “I see the wind, I see hope”. I looked around, and realised that I was truly in a land of solitude: an intimate oneness with Jesus and all of creation. I saw that the statue was of Mary, mother of Jesus, who stayed faithful in prayer and endured the pain of her son’s death.

In this solitude, I thought of the principles that guide our politicians during the pandemic. For example, the principle of solidarity expresses a desire to let go of self-interest, the principle of proportionality ensures taking the right measures, and the principle of reciprocity requires support for those who protect the public good.

I was hopeful because Jesus, who shared an intimacy with the Father, wanted me to share in that intimacy too. I was deeply touched by the image of being shoulder to shoulder with Jesus. He said, “I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father” (John 15: 15).

I viewed the statue as depressing in the beginning, an isolated figure surrounded by apparent nothingness. But as I joined with Jesus, I realised it was not a lonely figure after all. For it was Mary, who lived out of a deeper reality, whose hands were together in unity and peace.

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