Every day, there are more and more “refugees” in the streets of Aleppo. Thousands of families have lost their homes due to the bombing, and they have no place to go … They crowd in the squares or on the sidewalks, and even on the boulevards of the avenues … Can these be called “shelter”? Armed with tents, plastic and cardboard, they try to defend themselves from the cold and the rain of this cruel winter which is still on its last legs.
It was one of those nights of freezing temperatures when a mother lost two of her young sons. They died because of the cold … What comfort will this woman find? What ‘speech’ can ease her pain, or what ‘political tactics’ can justify such suffering?
Every day we hear happenings such as this, and our hearts are overwhelmed in the face of so much pain that remains unanswered. It is neither easy to understand, nor easy to offer comfort. And the apparent triumph of injustice is overwhelming. Thus our questions cry out to heaven: “Why do the innocent have to pay? How is this poor woman guilty for failing to keep her children warm in order to spare them from death? …Why does not God do something?! “.
We want God to intervene. But we forget that we precisely have worked in order to depart from Him. We excluded Him from the social life and from politics because we thought we do not need Him. We removed Him from schools and from public offices considering Him as a threat against freedom, against respect for differences. We succeeded in removing Him from our society, and we sought to confine Him within the four walls of the church.
But now we demand that He intervene …
We imperiously want Him to end the war, and to suppress hunger and injustice. But we do not want Him to be involved in our personal lives …
God does not work that way. He gifted the human being with one of the most sublime and mysterious gifts: freedom. And He really knows how to respect it! He does not subject us by force, but draws us gently; and even if we do not seek Him, He manages to find us “accidentally”. He waits for our free and personal “yes” to follow Him, and He gifts us with the pledge of heaven as if it were our merit. This is our God …
War is something monstrous, atrocious, inhuman … However, it is nothing other the outcome when selfishness begins to be at the forefront of our lives. So somehow I am also responsible for it, because I cooperated more or less with my evil deeds and sins.
We do not cease to pray earnestly to God that this war may be over. But we also accompany our prayers with a firm purpose of doing away with the vices that have invaded and subjected our hearts. Because only in this way, will we let God intervene in our history and in the history of the nations.
Is not this Easter a good time to start?
Sister María de Guadalupe Rodrigo
Aleppo, March 24, 2013 – Palm Sunday