Like an anchor takes hold of the seabed, guaranteeing sailors’ safety, hope holds us firm to God and strengthens our faith.
High school French class – and the teacher wasn’t coming. We were two classes together that didn’t know each other, and the waiting grew uneasy. At this point, overcoming any fear of being judged or laughed at, I took the initiative to share a few sheets of poems in French with my classmates, a language I am quite fluent in. Then I began to write the ‘Our Father’ on the blackboard, once again in French. Meanwhile, the others began to copy the text. I had just finished writing when the teacher came in and, seeing the students silently at work, was surprised and almost moved. As a result, she gave an A (the highest grade) to the entire class.
A son’s suicide
Luca was 19 years old and far too sensitive. He found it hard to accept the evil that seems to prevail in the world at times. When he committed suicide, the only thing that brought comfort and hope to our family was anchoring ourselves in God and the support of the community. As a couple, we found ourselves on a higher level in our relationship. Our other son, Enrico, reacted by making himself useful to others and now works in a community for young misfits. Of course, as time went by, we continued to feel Luca’s absence, but one fact gave us strength. A friend of ours told us about a young man suffering from cancer. Fed up with everything, he refused chemotherapy and preferred to let himself die. Our friend told him about Luca, who had attended the same institute as he had, and how his tragic death had ‘woken up’ many people to be more sensitive to others. That young man, in the end, agreed to resume treatment. This episode made us realize that life goes on. It inspired us to be strong and to sow hope in all those we meet.
My real ambition
After working for years in a successful music group, as my family grew, I took a job in a cultural agency that organized concerts. But with the raging pandemic, many things changed for me: few contracts, few shows. With an increasingly uncertain future, I wondered how I could get by. Then I got a phone call from someone I had met because he had helped me load and unload instruments. He asked how things were going for me and if I needed work, since the supermarket where he worked was short staff. I accepted. So I went from dealing with philharmonic orchestras to pointing out to disoriented elderly ladies which shelf to find eggs or vinegar… The great lesson of the pandemic was precisely this: love comes through small, silent gestures, not deafening proclamations. In my youth my real ambition was to become rich… now I am rich on another level. I have discovered a truer and more beautiful dimension of humanity.
M., Czech Republic
Edited by Lorenzo Russo.
Excerpted from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VII, no. 4, July–August 2021.