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Starting Again From Zero
When I was still quite small my father left us. My mother fell into a deep depression and began to drink. I was raised by my maternal grandmother. When my mother died, I was in my adolescence and I was harbouring inside of me a desire for revenge. Then, I met a girl who introduced me into her parish community. Through those people, little by little, I discovered God, inner peace and balance. When we got married, I was able to say that that community was my family. One day, at work, a man came and introduced himself as my father. I was desolate and feared my reaction. Despite the surprise, I welcomed him warmly and told him about the daughter that had been born, and invited him home. A week later he came over with his partner. My wife and I gave them a warm and festive welcome. More than grandparents, they felt like adopted children. Since then, family life changed and so did theirs. It was as if the past no longer existed; only the desire to start from zero existed.
P.P. – Serbia

The Caricature
A classmate had drawn a caricature of me, photocopied it and spread it around the school. I felt like beating him up! But then I decided to approach him and speak to him calmly. In fact, I invited him to my house, to do homework and go to see a film. When he asked me why I responded like that, I told him that I had learned to see Jesus in every neighbour, knowing that we all can make mistakes. Surprised, he wanted to know more. Now he’s also trying to put the words of the Gospel into practice.
Daniel – Brazil

The Humanity of Jesus
The first signs of my multiple-sclerosis go back to when my wife, Susi, was expecting our daughter, Tecla. I, who was always used to working and playing sport, now found myself realizing that it was more and more difficult to move, until I was completely immobile. And yet, from the onset of the illness, I felt the reawakening of a desire for values that were true. Many years have gone by since then. Being sick, seeing my legs no longer able to respond anymore, depending on others for everything, feeling pain, knowing humiliation, feeling different: I experienced all that. But my suffering helped me to understand the “humanity” of Jesus much more than before.
Renato – Italy

The Florist
It was a very cold night. An old flower-seller was trying to sell her flowers. She was wearing an old blanket and seemed resigned to watch the people go by with haste and indifference. I thought, if I were in her position, I’d enjoy something warm. But there was no coffee shop in sight. So I found a boy selling homemade sweets. I bought one for her. When she took it and thanked me, she didn’t say many words, but her eyes showed how moved she was. I went on my way with the feeling of her gaze still upon me.
Szidi – Romania

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