In these words of St Paul, fraternity is a call to goodness, to the life that is born from baptism, and this kinship in love allows us to see the other’s existence as a precious gift for us.

The grade
I was in the third year of high school and had an important physics oral exam coming up. I started studying hard knowing that I would be tested the following day (I was the only one in the whole class who didn’t have the end of term grade). Shortly afterwards, my little sister came to ask for help with her studies. At first I said no but then I was reminded of what St Paul tells us: rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. So I started studying with my sister. It took the whole afternoon for her to feel prepared so I hardly managed to open my physics book. The following day I went to school, with my heart racing but convinced that God would intervene somehow. The teacher came in and started testing my other classmates. At the end of the lesson I asked him why he hadn’t called me. He looked at his register and said: ‘But you’ve already got the grade, and it’s a good grade’. I knew very well that I had never been tested, so maybe he put it there because of something I had said.
(S.T. – Italy)

How to get through the day
A man in a wheelchair was begging near the supermarket trolleys. On my way out, I approached him and, after exchanging a few words with him, invited him to pick something from my shopping that he needed. He happily took some food and immediately started eating it. As I said goodbye to him, I experienced such a joy that it helped me face the challenges of a day that had got off to a difficult start. It made me realise that doing a concrete act of love is a good start to the day. I started doing this, overcoming many bad habits and surprising not only my husband, but especially the children who do not always appreciate what they have because they think everything is their due. One evening, hearing the news that an uncle was seriously ill left everyone in the family not knowing what to say until our eldest son, who goes to university, asked what we could do for him.  At that point our youngest daughter replied: ‘We have to do what mum does who puts love into everything she does. That will help us discover what uncle needs’. (L. D. F. – Hungary)

“Bipolarity”… I never knew that my dear schoolmate, Adele, had such a serious illness. It was her mother who explained it to me. After spending some time in hospital, on certain days, when her centre seemed unstable, she herself did not understand what was happening to her. The medicines had to find a balanced effect, and it took time. But it did not change my affection and esteem for her. I was amazed the day she asked me to pray the rosary. It seemed she had perfect concentration when she prayed. From then on, we started reading spiritual books or stories with a positive content. I had the impression that my friend understood everything more deeply than I did. When we discussed certain topics, I saw in her a boundless altruism. Together we joined a volunteering group for the poor. Adele got back her life, balance and courage. She knew more than anyone else how to be close to those in need. My experience with her made it clearer to me that a person is truly fulfilled through charity.
(P.A.M. – Italy)

Edited by Maria Grazia Berretta

(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year IX – no.1 May-June 2023)

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