Montag, 30.03.2020 05:55 Uhr

You can always be a poet: the case of Fr. Paul Han

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 15.03.2020, 12:12 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Kunst, Kultur und Musik +++ Bericht 3565x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The global Covid-19 epidemic that has hit Italy, in particular Milan’s region, has abruptly changed the ways of life, human relationships, the way to work. Reduced mobility and safety measures have put a halt to public events, conferences and many of the “social” activities that belong to daily life and work. The emergency linked to Covid-19 now involves all European countries.

France has ordered the closure of non-essential commercial activities, while Spain has also approved restrictive measures on travel similar to that of Italy. "We have to change our everyday lives — not gradually, but right now," German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday in an appeal to the people of Germany. Father Fr. Paul Han, SVD, a Chinese priest wrote the following poem concerning COVID19. Father Fr. Han writes two blogs, one since 2010 and the other since 2011. He uses them to “express my thoughts about life, faith and religion”, and also as a forum for people to discuss whatever topics they choose.

Hello, novel coronavirus!   Facing the invisible but mysterious you,/ though speechless and lost I am,/ by simply saying "hello,"/ hope can break the deafening silence and hostility/ caused by the fear of you./   Although you’ve been in the world long ago,/ and the world is also relying on you/ for existence, survival, and growth,/ eyes shielded by all kinds of magnificent things,/

never do we bother to look at you, until/ a large number of seemingly healthy us/ collapsed in homes, companies, hospitals,/ and even stopped breathing forever,/ as you’d occupied their respiratory tracts/ and both of their lung leaves…/   Even though we still can't see what you look like,/ let alone knowing what triggered your temper,/ we’ve felt your hot emotions and powerful act,/

along with the impartial attitude towards/ identity, status, race, religion, color,/ as well as the disdain for all customs and borders,/ and sheer contempt for such an arrogant slogan:/ “man can conquer nature!” /  History won’t forget this fiction-like fact:/ at the turn of the 3rd decade of the 21st century,/ the world closely connected by 5G networks,/ people long used to consuming and traveling freely,/ facing a seemingly familiar but uninvited intruder,/ suddenly lost once proud of efficiency and speed,/ manifesting the dinosaurs’ helplessness and fear/ 65 million years ago when they saw a comet.../   Hello, novel coronavirus!/ No more do I want to be afraid of you,/

nor do I expect to chase you away from human sphere,/ but wish to listen carefully to your account, especially:/ who first broke your well-structured house,/ how they disturbed your restful sleep,/ so that you have to fight back in anger?/   Hello, novel coronavirus!/ Let me also sow this seed of hope in prayer:/ in an atmosphere of humility and reflection,/ with openness to dialogue and conversion,/ quarantined on the same "Princess" cruise ship,/ will we acquire better consciousness and wisdom,/ transformed into beings newer and higher,/ able to offer mutual love and support,/ living also in harmony with you/ --no separation nor killing each other!/

(by Fr. Paul Han, SVD: studied Church History and Mission Theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, has been working at Hebei Faith Press, Jinde Charities Foundation in China in the areas of media evangelization and social services over the years; teaching Church History at Hebei Major Catholic Seminary; from time to time, leading various communities’ spiritual formation activities.)  

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