Made available by the Vatican Publishing House last week, Communion and Hope was prepared by Cardinal Walter Kasper and Father George Augustin, a book with theological reflections from various authors on “witnessing the faith in times of coronavirus.”
“We must not let hope abandon us – optimism disappoints, but hope does not.” – Pope Francis
When it was made available in Italian last week, Communion and Hope included a preface written by Pope Francis that encourages everyone to rediscover solidarity amid the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read below the words of the Holy Father on how to not abandon hope during the pandemic, and what lessons we have learned from it.
“Like a sudden breaking storm, the coronavirus crisis has caught us all by surprise, abruptly changing on a global level our personal, public, family and working lives. This dramatic situation highlights the vulnerable nature of our human condition, limited as it is by time and contingency. It reminds us that we have forgotten or simply delayed attending to some of the key issues in life. It is making us evaluate what is really important and necessary, and what is of secondary or only superficial importance. The crisis has shown us that, especially in times of need, we depend on our solidarity with others. In a new way, it is inviting us to place our lives at the service of others. It should make us aware of global injustice and wake us up to the cry of the poor and of our gravely diseased planet. Easter brings us hope, trust and encouragement. It strengthens our sense of solidarity. It speaks to us of overcoming past rivalries so that we may see each other, above and beyond any differences, as members of one large family, where we bear each others’ burdens. I am grateful for the spontaneous acts of altruism and heroic dedication shown by carers, by doctors and priests. In these past weeks we have felt the strength which comes from faith. Many found the presence of the Lord wherever two or three gathered in His name during a time of painful Eucharistic fast. Livestreamed Masses were an emergency measure for which many were grateful, but virtual transmission is no substitute for the living presence of the Lord in the celebration of the Eucharist. The presence of the Risen Lord in His Word and through the celebration of the Eucharist will give us the strength we need to resolve the difficulties and challenges that we will face after the coronavirus crisis. Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the Lord will also accompany us in future through His word and through the breaking of bread in the Eucharist. And He will say to us: ‘Do not be afraid! For I have overcome death.'”