Editorial: Finding Direction in a World Turned Upside-Down

“Love, hope, fear, faith — these make humanity. These are its sign and note and character.”

These words by the American poet Robert Browning were written long before anyone had ever heard of the word “coronavirus”. But they seem to sum up these days (of hope and fear), and offer us a challenge – how to live them well (with love and faith).

Adamah was born in a world where people were materially rich but time poor.  In just a few short weeks that formula has been reversed. Forced closures of workplaces mean millions now have time on their hands and no real guide as to how to use it. While the financial guarantees of just a month ago have been replaced by uncertainty and anxiety about the future.

These circumstances have shaped the offering Adamah proposes for you this month. 

Click on the links and you will be introduced to Barbara, a high school teacher, struck down by Covid-19 in the epicentre of the plague – Bergamo in northern Italy. Her moving testimony of life with the virus on your streets, in your home and in your body is well worth reading. 

If you enjoy the skill of the wordsmith, read Irish writer Miriam O’Callaghan’s hymn to wounded Italy – truly a crown of beauty twisted out of the thorns of suffering.

In times of enforced confinement the desire to get out, to explore, and to  meet new people is thwarted. But not if you have developed the habit of reading. Martin Ketterer invites you to find nourishment in a classic 20th century novel and revisit Brideshead.  

With more time on your hands why not check out the longer reads this month? These include a wide-ranging interview with Justice Vincent Da Gaetano, Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, who offers unique insights into the life of this institution which is so often cited but little understood, together with profound reflections on respecting freedom of conscience.

Then there’s an analysis by Joseph Evans of the recent Synod on the Amazon in the Catholic Church, which produced much heat but little light among commentators, because, as he points out, they asked the wrong questions about the event’s purpose. Even in virus lockdown, the future of this region affects us all and challenges us to consider our attitude to the environment.

We recognise too that it’s good to have a quick read while you wait for the kettle to boil – so check out Mary McGinty’s guide to down-sizing when the kids fly the nest, or Ronnie Convery’s quick guide to surviving the pandemic by growing inside while external growth is thwarted.

So, sit down, switch off the TV and the social media feed and step onto Adamah’s good soil. There’s something for everyone …It’s a hackneyed phrase, but we think on this occasion it may just be true.  

Like what you’ve read? Consider supporting the work of Adamah by making a donation and help us keep exploring life’s big (and not so big) issues!

Ronnie Convery is a journalist and broadcaster who has written for a variety of publications in the UK and Italy. Currently he divides his time between directing communications at the Archdiocese of Glasgow and serving as Italian Honorary Consul in the city. He has a long background in print and TV, a strong presence on social media and recently penned a book entitled Reclaiming the Piazza (about creating space for dialogue to overcome division). Ronnie is Associate Editor of Adamah.

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