The last community liturgy in which I participated, Ash Wednesday, preceded my detachment from the family and the oratory slightly with the aim of protecting my loved ones. It was a fast from affections, a Lent in Lent.
I brought few things with me: among them the Bible, the rosary and some books of Don Bosco. For a month I lived without the presence of the family, but with Jesus in my heart, the company of the daily Word, the morning Mass of Pope Francis, the guide of the spiritual director; I worked hard, studied Covid-19, prayed to God that He would give me His gaze in reading the events.
The following days saw us overwhelmed by events. The sick were taken from their families: there was no possibility of visits, no friendly faces or direct contacts, no sacramental comforts; only our mediation, but through personal protective equipment, with an artificial voice and a gaze separated by the visors.
At the end of the visit, we contacted the family members to give news, to support humanly: "Don't worry, you can't be here, but we don't leave them, we're with them".
After a month, the number of sick increased. Andrea, my husband, came to the COVID ward. A very tiring period began, but subjected to a sacred conjugal rhythm, marked by the Eucharist, by the meditation of the Word, by the Good morning with the Gospel, the Novena to Mary Help of Christians ...
Meanwhile, our children, now young adults, served as a fortress for their 94-year-old grandmother. The perception was that everyone was trying to do their job with docility and love. We were grateful.
I continued to pray that at least for Easter, the COVID patients who wished it could receive the Eucharist. With the help of the hospital chaplains, this was the case. A few days later our archbishop met us, giving us the mandate "ad Actum" of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, so that in this pandemic, the true Bread of Life would never be lacking for the most fragile.
Over the days we were able to send many patients home to their families. Their discharge has often been acts of mutual love, bathed in tears of joy and gratitude.
In this time "I have always thought of you my dear young people". Not for the lost activities: the Spirit was stirring up beautiful initiatives. I thought about it asking myself if we have prepared your luggage well for the journey, putting everything we need to face a path of losses that, sooner or later, reaches us in life.
I wish that together we seek the meaning of what we are experiencing and that our eyes be opened, so that they shall be filled with Salesian joy, and we may return towards Jerusalem with Jesus in our heart.