Provincial's Message

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I was fascinated by a small news clip in Madhyamam,a Malayalam daily. It reported that nearly 35 percent of antibiotics are left unsold in Kerala since the outbreak of Covid-19. Surprising indeed, especially since Kerala tops in the consumption of medicine in the country. Where have our illnesses gone? Some attribute it to the newly acquired habits of wearing a mask and the regular use of sanitizer and soap. They are probably right. The pandemic has taught us that healthy habits are more valuable than costly medicine. Good health is a divine gift,but good habits alone make it real. Good bodily health is inseparable from a healthy spiritual life. St. Ignatius in the Constitutions (#292) clearly asks every Jesuit to take care of one’s health for divine service. The Jesuit Conference of South Asia had issued a small booklet in 2007, “Document on Health”. Let me quote from it: “Our present system rewards ill health. If we are well we hesitate to spend on life-enhancing picnics, celebrations and fun times. When one is sick we do not hesitate to spend on extremely expensive hospital care, tests and treatment. We need to see that fun and joy are not frivolous wastes but deeply human needs that keep us in peak form for our mission.” I encourage all Jesuits to go through this document carefully. Stay healthy, stay safe – for mission.

Fr E P Mathew SJ
PROVINCIAL