News from Portugal

 

This time of pandemic has come to impoverish freedom, to force us to a greater distance and to forced isolation, to limit our social contact and communication with others and, consequently, the meetings of the Diocesan Groups and the usual national meetings (Retreat (in March), National Meeting (in May) and National Assembly (in September).

Even in this isolation, we have been in contact with the Diocesan Coordinators, via email and phone, to convey our friendship and union with the different groups, the spirituality of prayer and the reading of the gospels. To cultivate this spirituality, we have published texts of interest to the elderly, by Pope Francisco, Cardinal D. José Tolentino and others.

Last October 1, to commemorate the international day of elderly and the Movements of Ascending Life, we gathered for a reflection on the book of D. José Tolentino "What is Loving a Country, the Power of Hope."

From this reflection, we highlight that the pandemic is a favorable time for us to be more human and more supportive, to search for the meaning of life and to ask ourselves what it will be like after the pandemic.

Answering this question it was highlighted that there are two axioms in the humanities: The first, Quarenteli's axiom, an important North American sociologist, who specializes in the study of disaster response, concludes that disasters generate more cooperation than conflict, people like never before, democratize social life and strengthen the common identity.

The second axiom, by Cyrulnik, a French neuropsychiatrist, says that the trauma caused by the pandemic is not reversible, but it is repairable as happens with metallic materials with resilience (an ability of the material to resist shocks without being broken) we humans once injured, we do not completely lose confidence in life, but we recover a lot and we move on to a new stage of life.

In summary, pandemics generate more cooperation than conflicts, bring people closer than ever and strengthen the common identity.

In order to deepen our spiritual life at Christmas time and overcome loneliness, we plan to meet next December 19th for a reflection on Advent.

We wish you a holy and happy Christmas and that in the new year of 2021 the pandemic will be overcome.

The President of Portuguese Ascending Life

Leonardo Antão