Gospel lived: Jesus forsaken and joy

When in suffering, you recognize the face of Jesus abandoned on the Cross by his Father and, with all your limitations, accept it, then that suffering is transformed into joy. Life takes on another meaning; it improves, because it is lived with love.

Losing your father
I was already an adult when my father left home to have another family, yet the loss of your father always leaves you with a void that nothing can fill. Memories, words come back to me and I remember him. The saddest thing is when you don’t know who to share a joy or a success with. Now I’m married, we’re expecting a child, but that sense of being an orphan persists. My wife, on the other hand, resents her father who left the family when she and her little sister were little. For this reason, talking among ourselves about the father figure brings out our great diversity. But precisely because we know what love and its absence mean, we are committed to being sources of true love for our future children. This is one of the things that the parish community which we are joining emphasizes a lot: the nature of true love, the kind of love that overcomes self-centeredness and which is explained to us by Jesus, who with his life and death gave us the measure.
(PI – Switzerland)

My humorist friend
In my opinion, compared with the limited, deficient, sometimes tragic aspect that man finds in his fellow men, as well as in himself, humour is the new vision of life from God. For years I collaborated as a designer with Nino, a dear friend, on some of his comical publications. Everyone, absolutely everyone, stumbles as they walk. As for Nino, every time he stumbles, he stops to think about it for a moment and then starts laughing about it. Then he tells us and everyone smiles. If you think about it, this is the pattern of his humour. A humour that has become more and more refined over the years, without the grit of satire, yet penetrating; an amiable mockery not of people, but of the “old man” who is always lurking in everyone. Nino himself wrote about it a few years ago: “According to me, humour is an unexpected dimension, which in addition to the four traditional measures of a person: height, length, width and depth, reveals four anti-measures: shortness, lowness, narrowness and superficiality”.
(Vittorio – Italy)

Irina and Ecumenism
I am Orthodox, born in Russia, and married to an Anglican priest. There were never any theological difficulties between my husband and I; he loved the Orthodox Church very much. As time went on, we discovered how much we also have in common with the Catholic Church. My husband directed an Ecumenical Centre in Rome, to which he dedicated all his energy. After his death, I taught Russian at the Gregorian University for five years. Then I returned to England, and took on the role of President of an Ecumenical Centre in Oxford. In my book entitled “The path of unity” I speak about my husband and about the contacts I had with important personalities of different Churches who appreciated our ecumenical work. Of course, there is still a lot to do for unity to be achieved, but there is no lack of prophetic spirits who work for this aim. They are a minority, it is true, but they exist and they are the great strength of the Church. Even if it saddens me to see that there are still many prejudices to overcome, we must continue to work and hope, because the commandment of Christ is “that all be one”. For me the Church is already one.

Compiled by Lorenzo Russo


(Taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, Year VII, no.4, July-August 2021)

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