Living the Gospel: practical help, a word shared, a smile

Every Christian has a “mission” in his or her community. It may be to create a united family, to educate young people, to engage in politics and work, to care for vulnerable people, to bring the light and wisdom of the Gospel to culture or to live a life consecrated to God for the service of others.

My husband and I have different ways of relaxing. I like sports and swimming but he likes to visit new places and museums. This year, as the holidays approached, I felt more than ever the need to rest and recover my strength, but a voice inside me kept telling me not to express and impose my preferences, but rather to adapt to what my husband would like. But he also tried to do the same with me. This meant that both of us were detached from our personal projects and this made our holidays more beautiful and restful than ever before.
(B.S. – USA)

Setting an example
A young migrant man who was trying to sell socks knocked on my door. We were talking and I was trying to get to know him a little when a neighbour of mine passed by. I knew this neighbour had a negative attitude towards migrants but, to my surprise, she invited him to come to her house too because she had something for him. The next day I heard that she had given him shoes and medicine, and she had also promised to provide further support. I really wouldn’t have expected that!
(C.V. – Italy)

Serving others
Our son suffered from depression. We couldn’t help him no matter how we tried and eventually he ran away. One summer afternoon he decided to end his own life. I felt a deep sense of guilt and thought I was being punished. However, slowly, with the support of the parish community, I began to pray and I made myself available to people in need. Sometimes, I offered practical help, a word shared or a smile. One day a mother came to me. She had lost a child just as I had. I told her how I was trying to fill that void by putting myself at the service of others. Although she was not a believer, she too found a certain serenity by doing the same.
(G.F. – Italy)

From enemy to sister
One of my nursing colleagues did everything possible to make my life difficult. Her actions made me suffer. One day, I went to work with a bouquet of flowers and offered them to her with a smile. I will never forget her expression of amazement. It was the beginning of a new phase in our relationship. Now we have become like sisters.
(Annamaria – Italy)

Edited by Chiara Favotti  

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