Our saints, our traveling companions

Our saints, our traveling companions
Our saints, our traveling companions

The saints, traveling companions – Archive

Two days before dying in a car accident, he wrote: “This life is not mine, which is evolving rhythmically by a regular breath that is not mine, enlivened by a peaceful day that is not mine”. In 1978, however, at the age of seventeen he had noted: «Lord, help me to have patience. Help me not to rush the times. But please, let me understand which is my way; help me to accept your will on me ». They are small flashes taken from the Diary of Sandra Sabattini, the girl, the “girlfriend” as everyone calls her, who died 22 years old in 1984 and was proclaimed blessed a week ago.

A few phrases that contain the formula of holiness condensed into a single ingredient: the courage to entrust oneself totally to the love of God, with the sole desire to do his will, renouncing oneself. A titanic undertaking, impossible with human strength alone but “disguised” as a simple recipe, as the climbers who climb eight thousand and seem to stroll on the hills do.

The secret of authentic witnesses to the Gospel lies precisely there, in the ability to present what is extraordinary as a daily, almost banal gesture. And each does it in his own way. On 23 October, Sister Lucia of the Immaculate, born Maria Ripamonti, who was raised to the honors of the altars, offered her serious illness to the Lord as a request for mercy for the sick she attended in the hospital.

“Apostle” of suffering, we have called her, and it is a perfect, beautiful slogan, which however does not convey the fatigue and therefore the greatness of her gift. The dirty hands, the bent back, the ingratitude of those who do not ask for anything and would like, in words at least, to be left alone. And who knows how many times under the weight of tiredness and rejection even those closest to the Lord will have felt their strength fail and then find comfort, and it is the greatness of the little ones, in those who know how to show the way to get out of the tunnel of anguish. It is the human who lets himself be guided by the Divine, it is the strength of those who accept to let themselves be emptied to be filled with greatness.

Too many times, in fact, in the official biographies, the saints and the blessed are presented as perfect people, without defects, who smile even in the face of the hardest trial, as if life slipped on them, without leaving marks or wounds. It’s not like that, it can’t be like that. On the other hand, it is more beautiful, or at least more authentic, to investigate the archives to capture the limits of who we now see as models. Giants of faith, yes, but close, reachable, who do not close themselves in a gilded cage but live in houses with doors always open.

In the Apostolic Exhortation “Rejoice and rejoice”The Pope uses a very effective image. “I like to see holiness in the patient people of God – he writes -: in the parents who raise their children with so much love, in the men and women who work to bring bread home, in the sick, in the elderly religious who continue to smile “. Attitudes of a cavalcade life would mean, traveled in fullness and not suffered, which grows and strengthens to the extent that it learns to think of others and matures in the harsh discipline of mercy.

An exemplary journey in the testimony of Giuseppe Ambrosoli, who will become blessed on November 21st. Doctor and missionary priest, he died of fatigue and disease in 1987 in Uganda after having saved all the sick people he was dedicated to in the Kalongo hospital from the civil war. “God is love and I am his servant for people who suffer” – he said.

The day before him, therefore on November 20, the Polish priest Giovanni Francesco Macha, martyr of the Nazi SS, will rise to the honors of the altars while on November 6 it will be the turn of Benedetto da Santa Colomba De Gramenet killed in hatred of the faith during the persecution of the 30’s in Spain.

Very different stories, it will be noted, how infinite is the imagination of the Spirit from which these “examples of Christian faith” have accepted to be guided. Without ever pretending to be the models to be reached, but always and only pointing to the Father and the Gospel. «The saint reminds you of Jesus because he walked the path of life as a Christian – the Pope said on April 7 -. The saints remind us that even in our life, even if weak and marked by sin, holiness can blossom. ”

In short – these are reflections of November 1, 2019 – of figures that lead us “to raise our eyes to the sky: not to forget the realities of the earth, but to face them with more courage, with more hope”. Men and women, young and old who accompany us day by day in the calendar of daily life. Starting today when we will remember them and celebrate them all on the feast of All Saints. Witnesses and prophets who like warm rays show us the sun. And they are travel companions, friends, strings to unite the earth to the sky, road signs to show us the only light that always stays on when we risk getting lost in the darkness of solitude.

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