05/13/2020, 16.48
SRI LANKA
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Catholic student: Pandemic brings both joy and sadness

by Melani Manel Perera

Before the lockdown, Chrismali could only talk with her family over the phone. The home coming caused by the coronavirus helped heal the heartache of a lonely life. Without God’s grace everything is useless and worthless. Every change in life has great value, during this crisis too.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – For Chrismali Peter, a 23-year-old Catholic student, forced family holidays due to the coronavirus outbreak is a source of both sadness and joy, sadness for the suffering the pandemic has brought and joy for the time spent with loved ones.

The young woman hails from Bandarawela (Diocese of Badulla). She is a student in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Sri Jayewardenapura University in Colombo. She is also a faculty coordinator of the university’s Catholic Student Movement.

Chrismali is grateful to Jesus that she can be close to her loved ones and pray with them at this time of difficulty. "I live 200 km from home, and when I'm not at university I work for a company in the capital. It is therefore difficult for me to visit my family,” she told AsiaNews.

Before the lockdown, the young university student could only communicate with her family by phone; physical and human contact with them helped her heal the heartache caused by loneliness in Colombo.

For the young Catholic woman, her mother is the person who keeps the family going and united. “She is the first to wake up, cooks for all of us, brings us together in prayer, and gets us to read the Holy Scriptures. She has also helped us accept this moment of crisis.”

For Chrismali, faith in God has helped her and her family overcome initial fears, such as running out of food during the confinement period.

“As Psalm 91 reads: ‘You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shade of the Almighty.’ The Lord is my refuge and my fortress; without His grace everything is useless and worthless.”

“What I am going through is a sudden change,” Chrismali said. “But I think that every change in our life has great value; you just need to have a vision of your future. There is no need to complain or see this crisis as torture.“

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