Living for unity means contributing to it personally, on a daily basis, starting with relationships in the family, at work, certain that this transforms situations, creates communion, fraternity and solidarity.
A different logic
When I returned from Sunday Mass that morning I found the kitchen in complete chaos indicating that our son and his friends had been partying all night. It would have completely justifiable and serve as a lesson to leave everything it was so that it could be “seen” and we could then talk about it. However, the Gospel reading I had just listened to did not leave me in peace. It was about forgiveness. Forgive seventy times seven. As I began to clear up the kitchen, I felt a different kind of “justice” come to mind one based on a different kind of logic. It was as if the external disorder had to find space within me first. The anger and disappointment I felt towards our son gradually started to diminish. When our son woke up he asked me why I was so happy. Not registering a response, and after a period of silence, he began to open up. He had got into drugs and was asking for help. Later on we broke the news to his father. Like a seed, the Word began to germinate and as a result, our son’s situation and the whole family’s situation changed.
(M. J. – Norway)
A lesson from my daughter
As head of a large department in the company where I work, I have always been committed to helping employees to do their best, competently and with precision. But after a few years someone asked to be dismissed and others were complaining. What was wrong? I didn’t understand…One day my youngest daughter taught me a great lesson. I was helping her with her homework and as I was scrolling through her notebook I started pointing out all the teacher’s corrections. She started to cry saying: ‘Daddy, do you only see the mistakes? Don’t you see all the pages with top marks?” I realised I was making exactly the same mistake at work: only seeing others’ faults. It was a real light for me. I realised I needed to put on a different pair of glasses, ones that give love. It wasn’t easy. I secretly started counting the times I did manage, and each day the number increased. One day one of the staff asked me why I was so happy, and it came naturally to tell him about the lesson my daughter had taught me.
(J. G. – Portugal)
Because my husband was an alcoholic, there were no more parties, anniversaries or friendships. All this would have been bearable were it not for the violent outbursts. We were living on his pension (when we managed to stop him spending it) and on the cleaning work I did in the apartment building. At times it demanded great heroism to keep going like this. “Why don’t you leave him?” my relatives and even our children, who had left home because of him, used to say but he would have ended up on the street and it was this that held me back. He was the father of my children. In the days leading up to an operation he had to undergo, the absence of alcohol made him even more irritable. Nevertheless, he agreed to undergo a detoxification programme. It took a long time but he did start to make progress. It was like watching a child learn to walk. After a few years, he regained the will to live, to enjoy his family and even his first grandchild. We are nearing the end of our lives but I can say that were it not for my faith I would not have had the strength to stay with him.
(M. D. – Hungary)
Edited by Stefania Tanesini
(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VII, no.1, January-February 2021)