The new conversion

  • Italiano

What else can we add to the apparently hopeless debate on the wave of immigrants that arriving to Europe?  The recommendations of the Gospel, hence the entire cultural and spiritual tradition on which Europe rests seems to be clear. Nonetheless, there are declarations of war by Islamic extremists, as well as the worrying and  sometimes aggressive behaviour of the refugees.

Emotions provoked by so many pictures of frightened faces or people who died are silenced by the rational analysis of the behaviour of the other countries (perhaps closer to the respective motherlands of the refugees and also richer). The restlessness of the present and the fear of the future are increased by the memories of the past. Some people say that Christianity is facing a test. Other people have noted that Europe is neither Christian nor alive anymore, and what is happening is a prelude to its final decline. Torn apart by different opinions we feel lost. As if we were not tormented enough by our every-day issues!

Under such a pressure of news, we can also feel guilty. Everything assumes a different intensity. It is obvious that the media are responsible for feeding this impression. In fact, simultaneously in the world occur many other tragedies, not less painful, of which nobody talks at all. This anxiety and insecurity, that pull us out of our comfortable sphere of life, raise again questions that we probably suffocated many years ago. In truth, little depends on us. We are moving in our small circles of neighbours and dear people. Our lives do not change. It is only being increasingly wrapped into a kind of shadow that discourages us.

The only thing we can do, is not to yield to this media panic. Not to polarize discussions any further! Not to sow despair. This does not mean not to see or hear the news anymore, nor to be naive. We should, rather, take upon ourselves the weight of the need to think out of the box and overcome our prejudices. It is a difficult path, an unsafe one, yet necessary at present as it has never been before. It is essential for true Christianity. You can call it a conversion.

It does not take an effort, as it once happened, but rather perseverance and consistency that allow one to change polarisation. In sum: to transform fear into hope. The best laboratory for this process is prayer; intended as a space (and time) of a particularly arduous yet necessary work – if not meant to understand – at least to accept things going on around us.

First we have to fix our fears and emotions, then our relations with the others”; aware that we will meet different people, but also that we need to do so with much respect and love. This way alone we can understand the world better, realize that not everything can be understood nor rationalised; on the contrary, things can remain mysterious and indecipherable. Yet, with the power of interior consistency, we will be able to live this realit with serenity. And transmit it also to other people. At least a little bit, but with tenderness and patience – perhaps until a new conversion takes place…

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