Covid 19
First appeared in December 2019 in China in the metropolis of Wuhan, the coronavirus 2019- COVID 19 then spread worldwide. This cousin of Sars, very contagious, is transmitted through the respiratory tract and has already caused several thousand deaths. 
In France, at the time this article was written, 7, 560 people died of the virus, including 2, 028 in the retirement nursing homes and hundreds of thousands of infections since March 1.

In confinement, Michel Cartaterguy, the Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Niamey, shares some thoughts of hope in these difficult times.

The International Missionary House (MIM) commonly known as the 150 Lyon is no exception to the rule of confinement. All members of the community are confined to the house but even more confined each in their rooms as monks in their cells or rather as Chartreux since we have nothing in common: no Mass, no prayer, no relaxation, no meals. We used to say "we are not monks» to excuse our absences from community activities, we will now have to find other formulations to justify our failures.

3 of the 15 confreres are in total isolation for 14 days. Their state of health is not dangerous, they are well followed by the doctors and accompanied by the prayer of each one.

It is a unique experience that I do unintentionally as Jesus did when he was pushed into the wilderness by the Spirit. Nor had he chosen the trying situation in which he found himself.

"After forty days and forty nights, Jesus was hungry." The first days of solitude were easy and pleasant to me but I did not wait until my fortieth to be hungry: hunger for freedom, hunger for an exit, hunger to meet others, hunger to walk in the open air in the spring sun... I thought freedom belonged to me. The daily aridity of confinement teaches me that it is not my responsibility. It is with this all-dressed deprivation that I join my brother Luigi more frequently, captive in the desert of the Sahel for several months and I feel with him how the inner prayer can lighten the expectation of liberation.

In the desert, Jesus was taken to a very high mountain. Entering the monastic solitude I did not make it to a mountain. Everything was in my mountaineer's bag: the late work to finish, the smartphone to maintain the link with the world, the internet to keep me connected, the television to distract me and many other reserves that day by day show their uselessness because I learn that time is not to furnish but to inhabit it by going down to the source of the Word of the One who goes up to the ordeal freely counting only on the will.

At the beginning of the holy week, I compare my room to the ark of Noah made to escape the plague.  God said to him, "I will make my covenant with you and you will enter the ark." The peak of evil in Noah's time lasted forty days. This morning, while each of us was receiving a small branch, I saw the dove return to Noah with a small olive branch in its beak. The dove had thus found the land where solidarity, brotherhood, justice, respect for creation are lived... It carries the Easter message, that everyone now hopes another world is to be invented. What the dove has seen I also see in these people who give themselves without counting to others to heal, nourish, accompany, lead starting with my brothers and sisters who are very close to me. I raise my prayer of praise for each of them...

Noah had waited for God to say to him, "Get out of the ark." I wait patiently and joyfully knowing that he will not forget to open the door of my ark in due course.

April 5, 2020, Palm Sunday.

Michel Cartatéguy.