Official statement from the Shalom Catholic Community
United by the Life in Christ
“And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Rm 5:3-4.
Dear bothers of the Shalom Catholic Community,
Praised be Our Lord Jesus Christ – Forever may He be praised!
We are all undergoing a very challenging moment throughout the whole world with the pandemic of the COVID-19 Virus. We want to stay united and filled with hope, in the knowledge that Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrected Who passed through the Cross, knows how to make good out all our tribulations. Since the incarnation of the Verb, no man should ever feel alone. Let us, therefore make the most out of the constant presence of our God who assumed onto himself all of our pains. When this ordeal passes, we will celebrate together the new time in our lives which God will have inaugurated.
It is with this spirt of hope and serenity that we should face this pandemic. This is also a moment for prudence which requires us to make good and attentive discernments to know how to take appropriate actions.
As a church, we should be aware of the orientations being given by the Bishop of your diocese. Each of these statement should be used to direct our pastoral actions so that our people may be able to live this challenging time the best way possible.
In this moment it is essential that we join forces to reduce the spread of the virus, we manifest our commitment to the orientations given by civil authorities of each country where the Community is currently present at.
Through our Charism, God created us to be prayerful people and we are united with the whole of humanity who suffers. We are impelled and therefore called to charitable intercession. This situation may bring out your limits, but the Lord grants us a grace which is capable of changing history: INTERCESSION.
As we read in the book of Wisdom “She gave him the victory, so that he might learn that godliness is more powerful than anything else.” (Wis 10:12c). Prayer moves the compassionate heart of God, and that is the part that will not be taken from us (ref Lk 10:42). Therefore, may this be an extraordinary moment of prayer and intercession, consuming our time before the One who has always loved us.
We reiterate, the invitation for us to remain even deeper in prayer, and as a sign of this, may we participate together in the intercession campaign claiming mercy upon all of humanity.
In this moment, the compassion of Jesus’ heart should make our hearts and our prayers focus on families and especially those who are directly affected by this illness, as well as the health professionals who are risking their lives in order to help of those who are suffering.
As well as intercession, may we be reminded that unity is one of the core pillars of our Charism, and it will help us, to together, live and overcome this challenge. May we be united and in communion with our local and general authorities, who will accompany us during this time. The local and general government of the community will be working tirelessly to provide the appropriate orientations which our community life will require at the moment. Our official social media platforms will act as important sources of communication during this extraordinary time.
Additionally, through internet connections we will find new ways to remain united even when we are unable to come together in person. May we use creativity when thinking of ways to maintain our effective and affective communion with our cell brothers, our prayer groups and our services.
Evangelisation is another core pillar of our Charism which cannot be obstructed during this time. In fact, the Resurrected Jesus made Himself present amongst His disciples even when their doors were closed due to fear (ref Jn 20:19). We believe that there are no closed doors which Our Lord cannot pass through. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us with creativity so that we are able to continue evangelising. Impelled by charity, we want to be an evangelising force through the use of the technology at our disposal which also enables us to follow the sanitary requirements of this time. With Parrhesia , LET US EVANGELISE! We need to be present in the lives of those who are suffering so that we may console them.
Finally, let us turn our hearts to the one who is omnipotent in intercession:
“We fly to thy protection, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen”
St. Joseph, pray and provide for us!
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle!
SHALOM CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
Translation: Gabriela Gois