Saint Bakhita, Apostle of Gratitude

Saint Bakhita, Apostle of Gratitude

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” — Romans 8:18.28-29 Every time I meditate on this letter from Saint Paul, I am so touched by the word “all” that I ask the Lord for the gift of faith and hope, so that I can really believe that all that happens in our life works for the good of our own life. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by events that we are unable to see the goodness of the divine project, at least at the beginning, when we are blinded by grief.  We can live for years trying...

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: Apostle of Womanhood

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: Apostle of Womanhood

Have you ever been pursued by a Saint that wants to be your friend? C. S. Lewis says “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” I had that same reaction when I found out that I was born on the feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, better known as Edith Stein. We have so much in common! I grew up in a family that encouraged me as a young girl to be anything that I wanted to be as an adult. I loved learning as a kid, was gifted with intelligence, and wanted to put it to use by seeking a doctorate in Microbiology, a field with few women. Edith Stein was also a very gifted scholar. She had a rough go in her access to education but eventually got a doctorate degree in Philosophy,...

Offertory: “You have changed my mourning into dancing”

Offertory: “You have changed my mourning into dancing”

A little more than two years ago, I was molded by a life-changing experience. “Brother pain” as St. Francis would say, came knocking at my door. I had recently undergone a routine surgery, that seemed to have gone well, but in reality my body was struggling to recover. During the post-surgery recovery, I received a rare email from a dear friend of mine from our college days. She shared with me about the very difficult time she was going through. Sarah had always been an example of solid faith and hope, and she is famous for her joy and sense of humor in every situation. Knowing this, I quickly understood the seriousness of her interior state when she wrote me and a few other friends asking us to pray for her. She shared how her faith risked crumbling in the midst...

Blessed technology!

Blessed technology!

It is 10:10 pm on May 21, a normal weekday like many others. After reciting Night Prayer I say goodnight to my sisters and I go to my bedroom. I start checking the various emails, messages and phone calls from the day, as well as ones from the past few days to which I have not yet replied. To my great surprise I notice an unusual message: a priest from Congo, who is pastor of a parish in Naples, forwards me a voice message from a woman I had never heard from. This may seem like something simple, but I ended up receiving an incredible and surprising gift: the message, in fact, was from a 41-year old woman named Patrizia, who has been suffering from ALS since she was eighteen. Because of her illness, she does not speak, walk or move. Yet she was able to “write” me...