In God All is Love and Also Pain

In God All is Love and Also Pain

Way ahead of me in faith and in years, G. was a dear friend of mine who liked to make me happy taking me to visit some “magic” spot. Enchanted by the fascinating night view of the Island of St. Julius, in the middle of which rises the imposing monastery of the Benedictine nuns, I wasn’t listening to him anymore, taken up even more in my heart than in my eyes; I would have wanted to fly there, right away, forever…But he couldn’t have known it: it was still a “secret” between me and God. At a certain point, taking from the pocket of his jacket a little book, he began, as usual, to tell me deep, profound things, but almost instantly he finished: “It is still not time for you to read it. You couldn’t understand; it is for people who have suffered. You are still too...

Chosen by God

Chosen by God

“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” “You are my friends” (JN 15). Perhaps the desire has also come to you, sometimes, to be present together with the apostles, that evening in the upper room, to hear live these words of Jesus so full of affection, of confidence; words that a little later He would have signed with his blood. Certainly you are not one of the Twelve and perhaps you feel like only one of six billion men that live on the face of the earth. It shouldn’t be difficult for you to recognize yourself in the Walter Kostner’s (focolarino) funny cartoon about Gibi and Doppiaw, in which Gibi is designed totally anguished and repeating to himself: “It is tremendous to feel like one-six billionth of humanity!” When, however, Doppiaw calls him by...

Searching For Two Eyes That Can Be Our Mirrior

Searching For Two Eyes That Can Be Our Mirrior

More than 20 years have passed, but the quiet nights in which my parents read me fables have left more than a vivid memory in my imagination. They weren’t tapes, they weren’t cartoons, I was not alone with a computer that tried to attract my attention: with me there was someone who for love of me, spent his own time not just his own money. Easy to feel loved, as a child. As adults, something changes. They are rare, and they are precious the persons that know how to let themselves be loved this way. You need to seek them, these bursts of humanity, in unthinkable places…and then one can still hear someone humble and stupefied exclaiming: “My TV is my friend that is across from me at meals.” Word of young men of the Cenacle community who, after having risked to...

Remember That I Love You

Remember That I Love You

I remember that, when I was in high school, Saturday I would normally stop at the house of my sister who lived with her husband just a short way from my school; I knew that on Saturday she didn’t work and that there was always an extra plate of pasta for me. Her apartment, on the sixth floor of a huge building in one of Rome’s commercial zones, was small, noisy, and yet extremely welcoming…not in itself, but for the warmth that my sister and her husband knew how to radiate with their cordial simplicity. One day on entering the kitchen, I noticed that there was a hand-written note on the calendar with an appointment; with wonder, I saw that it wasn’t the shopping list, but an affectionate message that my brother-in-law had left for my sister in anticipation of...

A Father's Love

A Father's Love

 My father was always a religious man, perhaps in his own way, but sincerely devoted. Ever since I was a child, I remember his habit of giving me a kiss on the forehead always accompanied by these words, “The Lord bless you.” To tell you the truth, I never really understood the meaning of that gesture, but I accepted it as something that was part of him. However, a moment arrived when these words deeply penetrated my being giving me the certainty of what they meant. It happened exactly five years ago, the evening just before my father died from a bone tumor that had forced him to be bedridden for about one month. At the end, he had lost all interest in life, and I noticed him become ever more silent and absorbed in his own interior...