Notes in random order.
Calixto R. Dahab Sr.
We met in a religious articles shop in Tagbilaran City, on Bohol Island (Philippines) on February 14th 2015,
on Valentine's Day,
the party of lovers.
I was undecided whether or not to buy a crucifix as a missionary, as a demanding symbol of my pastoral engagement.
For me, this it was a significant choice that I continued to postpone.
For a long time I considered the fact that I had to give an address to my religious faith through also visible and concrete acts;
even with all the difficulties of those who live in the world in solitude.
At the moment when I decided this purchase, at the cash desk,
the client in front of me, a neglected old man with a long white beard, took this crucifix between his fingers and asked me:
"Are you a priest?"
"No, I'm not", I replied.
"I was sure you were!" - he said, and added - Do you believe in dreams? Last night I dreamed of you...".
Tay Calixto sitting at the entrance to the GodFather cave, where he spent 13 years of eremitical life
Calixto R. Dahab Sr. is a mystical hermit, healer and Catholic spiritual teacher Filipino.
He lived alone for 21 years in 3 caves on Mount Eli,
on the island of Bohol, in the most miserable conditions of degradation.
"TEMPLE OF HUMAN SACRIFICE WITH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST".
Particularly devoted to the Holy Virgin Mary and totally consecrated to God the Son and God the Father,
expressing himself with the innocence of the child, he argues that in this place, with the exercise of prayer centered
on the "Credo" or "Symbol of the Apostles",
and some puerile devotional practices associated with the reading in all its parts of the "paradoxes" he wrote,
the Lord manifests himself in dream in the love of God the Father.
And he believes it in a form so fervent, to be crucified 3 times on the summit of this hill.
It is a controversial ascetic practice once widespread in the Philippines.
He was subjected to Holy Friday in 1975, 1985 and 1995.
It is a ritual that takes place every 10 years on this hill. The ascetic Calixto defines it in his writings:
Crucifixion does not inspire admiration, but above all blame and wonderment. People come to see out of curiosity.
This reality leads us to reflect on the spiritual meaning of those subjected to it,
in the awareness of meeting, like 2000 years ago, humiliation and derision,
in spiritual union with Christ crucified.
Tay Calixto, as his acquaintances affectionately call him,
he spent the first 3 years of eremitical life in the cave he named "PASSION LOVER CAVE".
He then spent the next 5 years in the "SACRIFICIAL CAVE" cave, and the remaining 13 years in the huge and characteristic cave "GODFATHER CAVE".
Later he lived for years sheltered of makeshift bivouacs on the summit of Mount Eli,
spending his days to pray and writing posters with which he carpeted
the places where he lived. The sentences given below constitute a minimal part of his writings.
The absurd parts I think are symbolism and paradoxes.
I got the idea that they are some sort of access code and
serve precisely to displace the barriers imposed with respect to rational and logic thinking,
which constitutes the prevailing limit erected by one's ego towards the transcendent dynamics of spiritual mystery.
1. PASSION LOVER CAVE
WELCOME TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD WIDE WEIRD WISH WILL
VISITORS AND WORSHIPERS
PILGRIMERS AND SUFFERERS
STRANGERS AND TRAVELLERS
SACRIFICERS AND ADVENTURERS
TRESPASSERS AND INTRUDERS
LEX DOMINE DEI
GODFATHER'S HOLY POLICY
SACRIFICIED BY: LEX DOMINE DEI
TO THOSE WHO ARE WILLINGLY INTERESTED TO BE OUR LADY OF NATIONS, OUR LADY OF LOURDES, OUR LADY OF FATIMA AND SERVANT NUN OF MARY
ALL OF OTHER CONGREGATIONAL LIFE OF GOD. JESUS SACRED HEART, MARY'S SACRED HEART.
TO ALL WHO HAVE A VISSION AND A MISSION IN THIS JUDGEMENT DAY OF GODFATHER AND OUR LORDE GOD JESUS CHRIST. URGING OF ALL HEAVENLY MINDED
LADIES TO ENTER THIS GOD CHOOSEN MISSIONARY LIFE TO ALL MEN.
TEMPLE OF HUMAN SACRIFICE WITH JESUS CHRIST AND HOLY GODFATHER.
IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF GOD'S HELP. JUST VISIT THIS PLACE AND OBSERVE ALL THE REQUIREMENT THAT GOD WISHES
YOUR AMBITION IN LIFE. ALL OF US ARE URGED TO PRAY AND MEDITATE TO GODFATHER ALMIGHTY. YOU MUST CONSECRATED TO GOD FOR YOUR
SALVATION OF SOUL... SPIRIT NAND LIFE.
YOU MUST ABEY THE COMMENDMENT THAT GOD OATH TO DO FOR YOUR LIFE.
EVERYONE OF US ALREADY JUDGE BY HIS WILL, AND PRESERVE YOUR ACTUAL DESTINY IN LIFE.
LEARN ALL THE TEACHING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. WORLD MINISTRY OF GOD.
TRUE SACRIFICER OF GOD
2. SACRIFICIAL CAVE
WORLD REDEMPTION, INTERNATIONAL SALVATION AND UNIVERSAL RESURRECTION. LEX DOMINE DEI DEUM TEMPLE OF GODFATHER AND THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST,
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN AND ON HEARTH ARE CALLING ALL DEVOTES OFF: OUR LADY OF FATIMA, OUR LADY SORROWS,
OUR LADY OF LOURDES, IMMACULATE HEARTH OF MARY, ALL THEYR LOVE AND DEVOTION THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS.
TO ALL VISTRAPIL SACRIFICIAL AND WORSHIPERS OF GODFATHER.
YOU ARE NOW IN THE SUMMIT OF PARADISE TO SACRIFICE ITS SURPRISE. ELSE WHERE HOLY LIVE ON THROUGH THE MOST SACRED
HEART OF JESUS, WE TRUST HIM WHEN DARK DOUBTS ASSAIL THEE,
TRUST HIM WHEN THE STRENGHT IS WAKE, TRUST HIM TO SIMPLY, HE IS EVER SEEMS THE HARDEST THING OF ALL CHRIST, TRUST HIM HE IS EVER FAITHFUL,
TRUST HIM FOR HIS WILL IS BEST. TRUST HIM FOR THE HEART OF JESUS THE PLACE TO REST! TRUST HIM THEN THROGH DOUBTS AND SUNSHINE
ALL THY CARES UPON HIM CAST. TILL THE STORM OF LIFE IS OVER AND THE TRUSTING DAYS ARE PAST.
"THE PROMISES OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS"
WHERE THERE IS LOVE THE HEART IS LIGHT,
WHERE THERE IS LOVE THE DAY IS BRIGHT,
WHERE THERE IS LOVE THE THERE IS A SONG TO HELP WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WRONG. -
WHERE THERE IS LOVE THE THERE IS A SMILE TO MAKE ALL THINGS SEEM MORE WOTH WHILE,
WHERE THERE IS LOVE THE THERE'S QUIET PEACE, A TRANGUIL PLACE WHERE TURMOILS CEASE---
"LOVE CHANGES DARKNESS INTO LIGHT AND MAKES THE HEART TAKE WINGLESS FLIGHT"...
OH BLEST ARE THEY WHO WALK IN LOVE, THEY ALSO WALK WITH GOD ABOVE--- AND WHEN MAN WALK WITH GOD AGAIN, THERE SHALL BE "PEACE ON EARTH"
FOR MEN. THERE'S A REASON FOR EVERY PAIN, THAT WE MUST BEAR. FOR EVERY BURDEN EVERY CARE. THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERY GRIEF
THAT BOWWS THE HEART.
FOR EVERY TEAR DROP THAT IS SHED. THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERY HURT, FOR EVERY PLIGHT, FOR EVERY LONELY PAIN-RACKED NIGHT,
THERE IS A REASON BUT IF WE TRUST GOD AS WE SHOULD, IT ALL WILL WORK OUT FOR OUR GOOD, HE KNOWS THE REASON.
LOVE THE PROMNISES OF GODFATHER.
3. GODFATHER CAVE
SPIRITUAL DOCTRINAL RENEWAL
SACRIFICED BY: LEX DOMINE DEI
"TEMPLE OF GODFATHER ALMIGHTY AND THE KINGDOM OF OUF LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THIS WORLD WIDE WEIRD WISH WILL"
YOU'RE ALL ENTERING NOW THE "KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE TEMPLE OF GODFATHER ALMIGHTY". WHERE JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED AND TRULY NAILED TO
REDEEM THE WORLD'S SINS. HE WAS BURIED IN SAN JOSE CAVE FOR THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS.
HE ROSE AGAIN AND HE WAS RESURRECTED BY HIS FATHER AND SETIED AND AT RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER.
JESUS WAS SOON TO DIE AND RETURN TO THE FATHER TO BELIEVERS, JESUS SEND HIS HOLY SPIRIT WITH ABOUNDANT SPIRITUAL BLESSING.
ALL THE WORDS HATRED AND SUFFERING ARE THE NRESULTS OF SIN ORIGINAL OR PERSONAL. TO RESTORE ALL THINGS TO LOVE AND ORDER OF JOY,
JESUS ATONED FOR SIN BY HIS DEATH AND WON THE GRACE.
THAT EFFECTS FORGIVENESS.
HIS WELLING LIFE IS THE BASIC SANCTITY OF CHRISTIANS.
TO BE DEVELOPED INTO AQUIRED SPLENDOR, AS HIS OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS SUFFERED THE PRICE OF PREPARING
FOR HIS COMING SO THE MEMBER OF HIS MYSTICAL BODY SUFFER IN ORDER TO CONTINUE HIS WORK OF RESTORING
ALL THINGS ALL ANGUIBH IS PERSONALIZED BECAUSE CONSECRATED TO CHRIST.
TROUGH CHRIST PRIEST HOOD EXERCISE IN HIS Church.
JESUS DID THE BEST TO REVEAL HIMSELF AS WORLD'S SAVIOR.
AND THEN SURRENDERED HIMSELF TO SUFFER AND DIE FOR ALL MEN. SACRIFICING AND NAILING IS A FIGURE OF THE SUFFERING CHRIST.
GOD MIRACOLOUS RECUE OF HIS PEOPLE. ALL OF US ARE WAITING THE LAST JUDGEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST AND GODFATHER
ALMIGHTY CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. ALL THE SAINTS,
PATRIARCHS, APOSTOLES AND DISCEPLES OF JESUS CHRIST.
"THANKGIVING FOR TRIUMPH OF CHRIST". (lU 6,36-42)
4. TOP ELI HILL
"TEMPLE OF GODFATHER AND THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST"
ANNOUNCEMENT: TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE NEW WORLD WHO BELIEVE AND LOVE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST OUR REDEEMER OF ALL CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN FAITH.
Our mind always calculates, quantifies everything, reasons with the meter, the scale and the barbed wire. It never stops making comparisons, measuring according to the parameters of compensation and trade.
Tay Calixto brings to light this attitude that is incompatible with the dialogue with the Absolute.
THE THRONE OF GOD ON EARTH
"Do not accumulate treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break and steal;
accumulate instead treasures in the sky, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves do not break in and do not steal.
Because where your treasure is, there will also be your heart". (Mt 6,19-21)
[...] and yet, despite the squalor of the place and all my skepticism and my disappointment,
on the summit of that mountain, after having performed the various practices that this ascetic during the morning
he suggested to me to do from time to time as if in a journey in stages,
(including repeat dozens of times the "Credo", collect a precise number of berries and flowers fallen from a tree
and read endlessly some of its absurd boards),
it happened that I lay down on a concrete shelf to rest,
while Tay Calixto had already moved away to lie down on a battered cot immersed in the vegetation,
not before asking me again to continue in the boring reading of his posters hanging in the wind.
While I was lying on my back on the cement with my eyes open, the sky suddenly its cleaved.
I saw it open up and roll up on itself in various flaps with a jerky progression,
according to a puerile and not credible dynamics,
like the sequences of an animation of poor quality,
that it left a gash in the sky from which a dazzling glow appeared.
From this glow a breath of air leaved that entered me strongly in my throat.
I felt a sense of panic and anguish, because I felt the lungs swell with this air
with a slightly irritating aroma and vaguely similar to mint.
At first it seemed to me to suffocate.
I thought I was the victim of a cruel fun made on my person.
I was afraid of bursting like a balloon into the hands of a cheerful and irresponsible boy.
When my body was completely filled with this air,
the breath stopped and I detached myself from the ground starting to float towards
the high as in the absence of gravity, abducted by that intense light.
The instant I understood that I was about to take part in a great revelation (the contemplation of the face of God Father),
with absolute amazement I realized that I had only made a dream like a spell that left me one
deep joy and inner consolation, but also the doubt about the real origin of this experience.
However, I had the distinct perception of having lived an event superior to human imagination:
a truly special and extraordinary dream.
Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
THE TRUE POOR
In one of the first meetings,
I allowed myself to take some pictures of Tay Calixto while he was talking to me about the Eucharistic mystery.
At each meeting he had always some prayer books he illustrate to me.
On this occasion, in addition to the books, perhaps annoyed by my distracted attitude,
he also added a mirror and handed them to me with great kindness.
I asked, amused, as I continued to take photographs: "What do I need the mirror for?".
"So you can admire yourself in the mirror when you pray and you do charitable works", he exclaimed, and went on with a stern voice:
"If you want to see a real poor person in need of God's help, look well yourself in the mirror while you pray!"
Vanity of vanities, says Qoèlet,
vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
Sacri Vultus D.N.Jesu Christi
I met for the last time Tay Calixto in September 2017.
I found it aged and very weakened.
His long white beard, to which he attributed an important spiritual significance and
gave him the characteristic appearance of the venerable sage,
badly shaved it, revealed the features of an old and simple farmer.
Sitting facing each other,
with a too absurd pretext
he got up from his chair
and he put himself behind me, imposing both his hands on my head, pausing in silence for some time in that position.
I had the impression that such an unusual and solemn gesture had the sense of transferring to me his spiritual charisma
to bless and give continuity to the mission he started.
"He who knows others is wise, he who knows himself is enlightened".
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching - L'antica cultura cinese)
At that time, in the years at the turn of 2005, after an experience in a Franciscan convent in Umbria and then in a diocesan seminary, I had resumed my previous work in the mountains at the cableways.
It was a seasonal occupation that offered no security of stability and doubly precarious,
because it worked in the few winter months, and only if enough snow fell to create a mantle thick enough to cover the ski slopes.
I was presiding in solitude a small intermediate chairlift station.
It was a work station rejected by all the other workers, because it was always in shadow and too isolated.
It was hard work, tiring and even risky when one had to climb high hanging from the rope to simulate rescue maneuvers.
On those occasions, for the break lunch, it happened to consume in hurry a plate of pasta between screwdrivers, big pincers and rolls of wire,
with the bottle of red wine stuck in the middle on the table.
At first it seemed to me a strange way to eat the meal with the table set like that, but I soon got used to it.
During periods of greatest influx and on holidays, entire days of frost had to be spent to assist the passengers,
or to shovel the snow that accumulated continuously on the platform if the rains were abundant.
Every morning, to get to my station, I had to walk uphill for about half an hour,
sinking to the hip if the season was particularly rich in snowfall,
or wearing crampons when the frost of the night had created ice.
Although it was a humble and tiring job, I was proud of this occupation, I especially liked the morning walk.
For some years I had a girlfriend of high economic and social class.
In the summer we spent our holidays a little in the mountains and a little in his villa with swimming pool on the Ligurian Riviera.
We lived far apart and used to visit each other occasionally. In moments of greater emotional transport, she had exclaimed:
"I want to tell you something. If one day you asked me to marry me, I would answer... YES! "
At the beginning of our relationship, on some occasions we prayed together the liturgy of the hours.
It had already happened that during the reading of the psalms in alternate choirs she laughed.
The last time we prayed together, she burst into uncontrollable laughter that prevented its continuation and left me deeply uncomfortable.
It can happen.
However, I contested the fact that in such circumstances one does not stay to sit and laugh endlessly on the open book in own hands:
one must get up and move away so as not to disturb those gathered in prayer,
but above all for that sense of deep respect towards the One to whom the hymns of praise are addressed.
That cold Sunday morning, as I walked through the snowy forest to get to the place of work,
I was once again considering to myself that at our age it was useless to waste more years, and instead decide to put up a house and family.
This marriage would have been in every respect a great opportunity for both.
At that point it seemed useless and harmful to continue to postpone,
also in respect of our feelings and to make full sense of our relationship.
I had therefore finally overcome any doubt.
Already sweetly I imagined the joy of asking her hand,
with the enthusiasm of the wedding preparations and how my life would have definitely changed for the better,
when an interference it inserted, overlying, in my mind.
It was not an external voice,
but of an inner voice, extremely clear and powerful but gentle, which I identified as a male voice.
This inner phrase it was overlapping predominant to my thoughts with similar words:
"It is noble to marry your girlfriend.
This decision makes you honor.
I read in your heart that your feeling is sincere and you are determined to bring her to the altar.
Today is Sunday. It is the day of the Lord, but you are busy in your work. Work is important; you can't neglect it.
Ask your bride for a courtesy.
Ask her to sanction this worthy intention, offering a candle to be lit in the house of the Lord,
so that I can witness this concrete act and bless your love for the purpose of union in marriage.
It is not necessary for you to ask her to participate in the Holy Mass.
Just ask her to come and see me during the day, when it will be possible and at the time that will be more convenient for her.
Invite her to enter a Church and light up a candle in suffrage to your intention.
Do not immediately reveal the reason for this gesture; so the surprise will be more beautiful and even more firm will be the spirit of your understanding
and of your blessed union".
Somewhat amazed and disconcerted by this fact,
without being able to find a rational explanation for this very particular phenomenon,
I continued up to my chairlift station.
(As the voice spoke to me, I was a little confused by emotion and I can't remember
if he has verbally said to offer a candle in vote "in the house of the Lord" , or "in My house" ...
that would mean that it was really Him who spoke).
Even in the doubt of having been the victim of an illusion, I felt that I had to trust what I had been told to do.
If by hypothesis, even the holy divine mercy from up there in the firmament had awkward for this my decision to take a wife,
perhaps there were good reasons that escaped to me!
I intuited that the Lord or someone for him (perhaps my Guardian Angel?),
he was commanding me to test my fiancée.
However, I was sure of his enthusiasm when in the future I will confided to her the reason for this small vote, as I had been told to do.
All I could do was obey.
I took off my gloves and typed the following message on my cell phone:
“Good Sunday and very sweet awakening, is here a beautiful and cold winter morning. I ask you a courtesy:
when you can, in the day, enter a Church for light 1 candle on offer for a my intention. Thank you”.
A few minutes later, I heard my cell phone ringing.
Finding myself in my workstation with all various equipment already in operation, I thought to record the conversation:
— Hi, Giancarlo, what happened to you? I received your message. I am shocked. What does it mean?
— It does not mean anything, honey. Do not worry. Today is Sunday, you know that I can not move.
It seemed like a nice thing if you could go to Church and light a candle for an intention that includes you too. Only this.
— Giancarlo, do you think I am all day doing nothing, sitting on the chair to scratch my tummy?
You know I'm preparing for exams at university, I have to study,
you understand it? To study. To study. To study. And then I have to help my mother with the housework.
In short, I have too many things to do. Today I do not go out of my house.
— I do not understand how you have got all this frenzy of studying. You are out course of ten years; but just today you can not find a minute,
in throughout the day, to leave the house? Come out for a moment, even to distract a bit ', you can not stay 24 hours locked inside the house to study!
— I do not like these your pretensions. Do you want to know what my friends say when I talk about you?
They ask me how I can stay with such a guy.
— I am pleased to hear their opinion. Send my tributes to the Ligurian aristocracy!
— Of course, they are right! I'm really falling down! With you I touched the bottom.
— How can you say that? You talk as if I have asked you to go and prostitute on the sidewalk!!!
In these years I have never asked you anything; never any favors. For once, I ask you a little courtesy today that is Sunday,
you refuse to come into the Church for a moment to light a candle for our intention!
— All right, sorry, sorry, stay calm. However I can not. I'm sorry. Today I do not go out of my house.
— Do not worry, I'm sorry for the huge trouble, I do not need any more from you!
— Go, go ... my dear! It's better if you go for your own way. My friends are right.
Closed the phone, with deep disappointment and bitterness, I sighed:
"Thank you, Lord for opening well my eyes on this person".
Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
Jesus I trust in you!
IN MEMORY OF FATHER PAOLO
I trust in you, Lord;
I remember with affection Father Paolo Bini, Friar Minor of Umbria.
He was my first spiritual director from 2001 to 2006.
Born in Battipaglia (Sa) on 23 August 1955, he took the habit of the Friars Minor in 1981 and made his first profession in September of the following year.
Friar Paul was ordained a priest on June 13, 1989.
Passed from this world to the Father, Sunday 15 April 2012.
I say: «You are my God,
My days are in your hands».
Among the many episodes to remember Father Paolo, perhaps for me the most significant, was that concerning the
choice of a precise address to be attributed to my vocation. At the time I had already spent 6 months in the San Francesco convent
in Stroncone in the province of Terni, of which Father Paolo was the superior. I had also had a couple of interviews with the Vicar
Provincial of Umbria (Father Francesco Cattadori) to become franciscan friar, who had invited me to participate in the vocational
course of the Friars Minor at the Porziuncola in Assisi. To me it all seemed logical and coherent this path of consecration.
Father Paolo, on the other hand, was clearly opposed for various reasons that I prefer not to refer to here.
He didn't even want me to participate in the vocational course. According to his expectations I should have followed the diocesan path.
To me it seemed a contradiction, finding myself already in a Franciscan monastery with a Franciscan spirtual father
and a vocation that I felt to be monastic-coenobitic.
I remember that between the two of us there were moments of particular tension just in the days preceding this course of the Friars Minor of Assisi,
to whom I finally participated with the reassurance on my part that I would have gone only to make a different experience that perhaps could have enriched me spiritually .
Some months later, when I had already entered the seminary, a person told me a secret.
He said that at the time of the vocational course in Assisi, Father Paul had spoken very badly of me to the Vicar Provincial of Umbria.
Becoming aware of this fact really made me smile, because although Father Paul may have spoken ill of me about it on that occasion, after,
when I came to being admitted to the seminary, it was he who introduced me to the Rector of the diocesan seminary of Terni,
exalting my presumed spiritual charisma so well, that at a certain point, to my amazement,
I turned completely instinctively to understand whether Saint Pio of Pietralcina or an angel of the Lord was depicted behind me,
of which Father Paolo was describing suitability for the consecrated life...
I collect a handful of snow. I feel a pleasant feeling. A moment later I feel an intense cold in my hands; I let the snowball fall to the ground.
This is the life!
We live of moments. Existence is made of moments that follow one another.
In the morning we are running; at night we are sleeping.
In the morning we are hungry; at night we are satisfied.
In the morning we are agitated; at night we are quiet.
In the morning we are in good health; at night we are sick.
In the morning we are great friends; the night we are adversaries.
In the morning we are generous; at night we are greedy.
In the morning we are benefactors; at night we are thieves.
In the morning we are consistent; at night we are inconsistent.
In the morning we are victims; the night we are executioners.
Our identity varies with changing circumstances.
The candle burns and slowly devours the wax.
Today we are adults, yesterday we were children, tomorrow we will be old ... but even since old people, we are always children.
We are not different than when we were children: for a moment we are laughing and the next moment we are in tears.
Existence is made of contradictions.
Whenever we are sure we are hungry, we find ourselves being satiated!
Whenever we are certain to feel cold, we find ourselves warm!
Whenever we are sure we are tired, we wake up refreshed!
Whenever we have the certainty of having found our balance, something happens that leads us to despair.
When it seems that the night never ends, is already a new day, and when it seems that the day never comes again it is night again.
Making sense of life is like trying to explain and make sense of every gust of wind ... and every cough.
We live in moments.
We live in contradictions.
Existence is a succession of partial realities.
Our attitudes vary as vary of the situations.
Everything has a beginning and everything has an end, the good deeds like evil deeds, the well-being like pain.
Everything is absorbed by nothing.
The day seems to us to possess the world, and the night we are again an easy prey of darkness.
What will become of us?
Will it be light or will it be darkness?
The true and the false, the justice and the injustice, the sanctity and the sin, the death and the life ...
they often intertwine and chase each other in a tangle of contradictions, of falseness, of nothingness.
What does it mean to be coherence? What is coherence? Where is the coherence?
The coherence is a comb drowned in the asphalt.
Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
THE PACT (autumn 1990)
* * *
Paolo was sick, his condition worsened and he was admitted to the clinic again.
He was not old, but that unkempt, grizzled beard he have, perhaps to cover the pockmarked face, gave him the look of the old filibuster.
He was instead an honest and respected sales representative in the field of sportswear. He was a loyal person. In particular, Paolo had a great virtue: he never failed to his word.
For no reason in the world, if he made a promise, he would never disregard it. He would do the impossible to keep it.
So he was very much appreciated in his work. Almost every day, around lunchtime,
he came to the shop where I worked as a technical consultant for mountaineering equipment.
For me, Paolo was an acquaintance, one of the many suppliers and customers who habitually frequented that department store; but for Benjo,
one of the company's owners, Paolo was a great friend; indeed, a brother! They looked alike: they looked like two good filibusters
disembarked from a vessel of fortune, and they always had some duty to administer and to discuss in the store, in the office, at the restaurant or at the bar ...
but wherever they were, however, always behind an unmissable bottle of that alcoholic beverage that in their jargon called it from time to time...
cold tea or light bulb!
I had noticed that at each toast they were talking to each other. With incomprehensible gestures, gestures of understanding were exchanged:
a handshake; a pat on the shoulder; a punch against punch or a simple gesture with the head. And down another glass of rum.
It seemed to be a very important subject that concerned only them. A sort of mysterious secret.
What they had to toast was not understood. When I tried to ask for explanations,
Benjo had responded with an unusual categorical attitude:
"It's our business!".
In the last weeks of work, Paolo had undergone blood tests.
Joking, he said that he would find traces of red blood cells in alcohol.
Instead, they diagnosed a liver tumor! It's a serious matter. So, after supper,
in the warm evenings of that summer, he strolled by the sea, absorbed in thought. He walked for a long time,
hoping to reactivate that fire of digestion that was now almost extinct and no longer metabolized the nourishment that ingested.
That year was 1990, the first yellow leaves fell from the trees on the driveway to the clinic created a soft carpet,
and with a little melancholy they remembered as a sigh, that even their cycle of life had already run out and consumed only in a couple of seasons.
I let Benjo go before of me in the room where Paolo was hospitalized;
I followed him a short distance with a certain discomfort. Paolo was there,
lying on white sheets: yellow as the leaves that covered the driveway in front of the clinic.
Like one of them, he too was slowly separating from his tree of life.
Since months I had organized a mountaineering expedition in the Himalayan region of Annapurna, in Nepal; whose goal was to reach the summit of Tilicho Peak alone, at 7,134 meters above sea level. I was busy in approaching trekking. I had prepared all the logistic material so that the realization of this enterprise would take place in alpine style, ie from beginning to end without the help of carriers, including the approach phase. To achieve this, I had to renounce to include everything in the backpack that was not essential for the successful outcome of the climb. And despite these rigid selection parameters, I carried on my back a huge and heavy backpack over thirty kilograms.
With my heavy burden, I had begun to walk the steep paths of lush vegetation of the first mountainous spurs north of the city of Pokhara, with the looming prospect of walking the hundred kilometers and more that still separated me from the slopes of my alpinistic goal.
In spite of the not really excellent hygienic-alimentary conditions found in these poor regions of our planet,
having almost no alternative, I decided to use the local cuisine, immediately remedying an abdominal discomfort.
I had refused to include the medicines in the list of material to be transported, not considering them essential, and now I was looking for a way to solve this nuisance.
In this regard, on the way, I noticed an old man holding a few lemons outside his hut in a basket; I approached, and a little gestured,
a little chewing some Nepali and English words I explained that I would like a hot lemonade.
A few minutes later, he came back out of the hut, handing me a glass containing a suspiciously brown liquid, and I could not help but imagine that lemon juice as he was draining like a detergent in his hands that now seemed clean to me!
- Courage - I thought - this wash either heals me permanently or kills me!
The next night I felt really bad as I do not remember I ever feel so bad.
I thought I was really going to die. Seized by despair, in the middle of the night,
I knocked several times on the doors of some foreign hikers, with whom I had exchanged a few words in the evening, to beg for help.
No one answered. A few moments later I heard one of them get up to close the door better with the bolt.
The following days, while continuing to walk even more slowly,
I was very weakened, both by the physical exertion for many days, and by the fact that I could not eat anything solid and substantial.
During the day, sometimes I queued behind some sherpa caravan that barefoot and with extraordinarily voluminous loads,
supported by a simple jute band over the head (the "naamlo"), crossed those regions,
to enter and climb up to reach the most remote Himalayan villages.
That morning, however, I was proceeding in solitude and walked serenely in the quiet of a pleasant path immersed in the forest.
I was thinking of my own business when I was interrupted and recalled by a voice.
It was a strong and incredibly clear voice that overwhelmed my thoughts.
It did not come from an external source and can therefore be perceived by the hearing organs,
but of a voice that seemed to directly touch the nerves and cells inside the brain.
This voice pronounced a very short sentence with a hermetic meaning and without an apparent logical sense.
I do not remember the exact words, but it was something like: "I'm Paolo. You have to tell Benjo what he knows."
I thought at that moment that it was a hallucination of hearing, perhaps due to the fact that I was in a weakened physical condition of undernourishment,
and in any case, I asked myself, why not communicate with the interested party? I also assumed that that message was at least incomplete:
What should I have to report to Benjo if he was already aware of something he knew, but of which I had nothing to do with it?
At the time, besides, I was not yet aware if Paolo had died or had managed to get a little healthy after my departure for Nepal,
and these considerations left me perplexed; I only promised myself to try not to forget this event.
Back in Italy, taken from the vicissitudes of life and work, I did not worry and had no opportunity to talk to Benjo about what had happened.
During my stay in Nepal, Paolo was dead; but knowing the deep friendship that existed between the two, to report to Benjo that absurd and senseless phrase associating it, with his best friend who had just passed away, it seemed to me a behavior of bad taste, almost a desecration. Paul was sacred to him. I was afraid that he would interpret my words as a joke to his condolences, especially in the context of a large store, including music, people, work and confusion, considering also the fact that he was my boss.
A few years passed, and one afternoon, on a return journey from a job, by car, the two of us alone,
there was talk of serious things. One wondered if with death ends everything or does ones continue to exist?
It was at that point that Benjo gave me a confidence, he said: "You know, Giancarlo, I do not believe in life after death.
After Paolo is dead, I do not believe it anymore.
Do you remember Paolo? We had made a deal: the first that die, sends a signal to the other!
For years, in front of every glass of rhum, this agreement was always renewed.
He was my best friend. We had sworn that the first of us who had crossed the border of death would communicate to each other:
a word or a simple signal.
I know him too well. He was too much honest.
If there was life after death he would have done the impossible to succeed in
communicate something to me and give faith to our commitment! It was too much of word; he would have found a way! ".
I was petrified. I said nothing: it was too late! Not only would he not believe me; but it would affect our friendship.
Among us we always joked, often silly and inappropriate!
I was sure he would have interpreted my words as an insult.
If I had told him that Paolo had kept faith with that agreement; who had communicated with me,
perhaps because he was immersed in a cloud of alcohol,
of smoking and worries about work, for the wife and daughters; he would have thought that I wanted to make fun of his confidences.
I should have spoken first and reported that sentence before Benjo revealed its meaning.
At that point it was better to keep quiet so as not to violate the innocence of that agreement to which Paolo Cesaroni has kept faith.
Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
November 15, 2015 - Cabawan Prison Mission - Bohol Philippines,
in collaboration with Sister Josephine and some seminarians of the Seminary
Diocesan Immaculate Heart of Mary in Taloto Tagbilaran City,
to bring moral comfort and basic necessities.
It was an a very emotional experience. In observing the eyes of the prisoners united to us in prayer,
I understood that they did not searched the comfort of material goods of first necessity,
but they ardently desired to be pervaded by the maternal warmth of faith.
They were expecting this immense spiritual light that dispels the darkness of sin,
and opens a glimmer of the luminous entrance to the kingdom of heaven.
Entrance of the prison
Transportation of basic necessities
An arm of the prison
The chapel of the prison
Hymn of praise to Jesus, Mary and the Holy Spirit with some of the 550 inmates
Thanks to Holy Mary
Diocesan Seminary "Immaculate Heart of Mary".
My mama is been flying up in the sky with the rainbow!
Dear mama, I just heard that you left without expecting me.
Today is a wonderful spring day.
You, can not see it.
Dear mama, I just heard that you left without expecting me.
Today is a wonderful spring day.
You, can not see it.
neither do, I can see it.
Dear Mom, I'll give to you some forest cyclamen and lilies that you like a lot.
Thanks for everything.
I love you.
Your son, Giancarlo.
Holy Mother, Priest of the maternal love
the world needs
of Maternal Love
Tonight, it is turned on
a new sparkling star of love
up there in the infinity.
My little flower feeled so cold and so sleepy.
He was tired.
He breathed with difficulty.
He could not keep his eyes open.
With his beautiful round face he looked for his mother's lap, my love,
and with infinite sweetness he nestled between my caresses.
He fell asleep like that, finally calm,
without suffering anymore,
no longer detach from me,
in a tender hug
of goodbye to life.
It has soared in flight
and he ascended into heaven
to enter the kingdom
of infinite love.
Love has re-find love.
"Who loved a lot,
will be accepted in the kingdom
of divine love"
Sogno dell'amore materno - 8 febbraio 2015 - Giancarlo M. A.
Holy Michael Arcangel
Not all souls are destined for the kingdom of heaven.
Eternal rest gives them, O Lord, and the perpetual light shine upon them, they rest in peace. Amen.
And the souls of the faithful departed, for the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
Emmaus dinner - Caravaggio
Look at the sky, the sea and the earth, every day it seems that they have just been created; yet they have existed for millions and millions of years.
It is as if every day new cleans the precedent of every impurity; even from the wickedness and suffering of the world.
Song of the Angels
If I fix my gaze between the reflections of a splendid sunset, I have the sensation of approaching God; I feel I've found it ...
I sense that God is there behind, just beyond that sunset.
When the young Bernadette Soubirou was questioned by the judges on the
because the Virgin Mother of God had chosen her to reveal herself, replied:
"If the Queen of heavenly grace had found a poorer and more ignorant of me she would have chosen her".
Lord, I pray you, so that every day may I receive your light.
You who have left the imprint of your mercy in every work of yours, make everything appear precious to my eyes as you have created it.
The best way to help yourself is to help others.
The best way to have mercy on oneself is to have mercy on our neighbor.
The best way to pray for oneself is to pray for the next one.
Miraculous Medal of S. Caterina Labouré:
"The eyes of Holy Virgo were turned towards the sky ...
and suddenly, I saw rings on his fingers in which precious stones were set,
one of the most beautiful of the others, some larger, others smaller, which produced the most beautiful rays of one another.
While I contemplated her, the Holy Virgo looked down at me and I heard a voice tell me:
"This globe represents the whole world and every soul in particular ...
They are the symbol of graces that I give on people who ask me ...
Stones that do not give off light are the symbol of graces that do not ask me".
Mother Good Advise
One afternoon, walking through the main avenue of a foreign city,
I ran into a guy who was shouting at the megaphone, while some of his collaborators was distributed leaflets to passers-by.
I did not understand. It seemed to be politics.
So I noticed that he kept a Bible open in his hands and did a lot of talking about Jesus.
I did not find his aggression and all the noise he was making edifying!
I walked away with a sense of inner malaise.
A little further, continuing the journey in a secondary road,
I saw in a corner a nun who silently lavished herself on a battered old man lying on the ground.
You will consider to myself that the dress of that nun, with a sweet voice, announced the Gospel in all the languages of the world!
by Giancarlo M. Altemani
The crucifixion - Louvre
San Francesco d'Assisi
Santa Faustina Kowalska
San Francesco d'Assisi
Visiting the Buddhist temple of Swayanbhunat in Kathmandu,
some very young children, acolytes of the monastery, dressed in the typical red habit, after confabulating among them,
one of them approached me, dropping at my feet a booklet written in Tibetan in which it appears
the image of Jesus healing the paralytic.
the good shepherd
San Francesco d'Assisi
One day, entering a church, I saw some brochures displayed on the notice board at the entrance.
One of these concerned the invitation of a religious congregation in search of vocations.
Intrigued and very interested in this appeal, I looked in the brochure for information on how to select candidates.
Among the various requisites, there was the possession of at least two university degrees obtained with the highest grade and an age not exceeding 24 years !!!
I thought: "These are not looking for human beings, but superheroes with super powers...!
If this is the criterion for the selection of the current clergy, today torn apart by appalling scandals,
my pride is to have hardly completed compulsory schooling in the differential class of difficult boys
with the simplified educational program ".
May the virtues of the little ones be blessed in the small daily works of faith for the wisdom of the good shepherd.
Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
the ox and the donkey watch over the Infant Jesus
Family for apostolic vocations
The future of the Church is based on vocations, and these come from religious families.
The "Monastery of Silence" mission
it is an invitation to the constitution of apostolic families for vocational discernment.
It consists in a norm of life founded on the continence vow of the body, of the word and of the thought,
to be it pronounced on the vertical axis of fidelity to the Gospel, to the Church and to the Bishop ...
CHINA: PASTORAL MISSION
Mail of Pope
to the Chinese Church.
Do you know the Gospel?
If you have not read it recently
Sito Web updated: |
8 January 2020
DeusVocat.com is the official WebSite of: "The strong reasons to believe".
Spiritual guide to mystery of the faith and vocational discernment.
By Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani.
In the night of March 17, 2010, Bishop Franco Gualdrini, to whom I lent some little service when I was a seminarian at the Home of Clergy in Terni (Italy), appeared to me in a dream. In this dream so vivid to remember every detail even after the awakening, the Bishop said, turning to me in an authoritative tone as if I were still one of his seminarians:
"We need someone who wears the cassock.
It would be useful that someone to wore it".
Urged by this singular event, in the following days I searched for information on the internet and learned that the death of Monsignor Franco
had occurred on March 22, a few days after this dream.
For a few years I believed that Monsignor Franco's message was an exhortation to resume at my age the studies I interrupted towards the priesthood. Then I realized! It's a public invitation from the Bishop, committed to vocations.
Among the various contacts with my spiritual father, the Reverend Professor Renzo Lavatori, I transcribe the most significant part of his email of February 26, 2014 in which he responds to some of my requests for clarification.
"[...] Finally, as to the dream you had on Bishop Mosignor Franco Gualdrini, you must give it importance but not be so conditioned as not to leave space for the lights that God wants to give you. If you want to do the website I think it is always good and may correspond to the dream. You will also here see the results that you will have. About the title Deus Vocatio, I tell you that it is not correct because it should be more precise in Latin and be formulated as follows: "Deus vocat" (God calls) in this way acquires a more direct and personal meaning. [...]
Very cordial greetings in the prayer union and I assure you that I am close to you at this particular moment for your choices.
God enlighten you and guide you. Don Renzo".
In these particular circumstances I found inspiration in drawing up this spiritual guide to the mystery of faith,
to be a help to those who wish to become aware of themselves, in relation to absolute values in the economy of eternal salvation.
Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
INTRODUCTION TO THE LOVE OF GOD
What is the spiritual path?
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
The spiritual journey is a pilgrimage in the sanctuary of life, aimed at knowing oneself in relation to the absolute truth in divine love. It is not a competition for those who jump higher; but a work of ascesism in the strengthening of faith.
It is almost impossible, in this walk, to understand the exact position in which we find ourselves;
because it is a journey made up in part by a succession of false peaks, contradictions and without destination:
without an arrival and without a departure. No one can know what evidence he will have to face in the course of existence.
At any moment of our life we can raise, or slip and fall. Those who believe they have understood everything did not understand anything.
Those who believe they have arrived must still departure.
Spirituality and not-spirituality, vocation and not-vocation, love and hate, forgiveness and revenge, noble nature and mean nature coexist in us in a sort of great inner conflict; similar to a whirl of ghosts and luminous reflections that chase and overlap each other. It is the dualism more or less present in every human being, which on the one side curses and on the other implores the intervention of divine mercy.
(See Rom 7,14-25)
I got the idea that just when everything gets entangle, tangled up and seems to be going wrong, at the worst situations,
behind our misfortunes there is Him who observes with divine mercy the broken spirit of our heart.
In this time we are in the test.
The mercy of the Lord is at every crossroads of our existence, where he seems to have abandoned us.
At each step everyone goes to meet their destiny; as blind people who grope in the dark in roads that no one knows.
This pilgrimage it can therefore be said to be concluded in the moment in which existence is finished.
We are used to say that...
"it is better to disassociate from evil because then, at the end of our years, we will get a good advantage".
It's not true. It's a deception. There is no any prize at stake; therefore there is no convenience for those looking for business
from which to gain advantage.
So, why take this path?
How can one love something that does not exist?
It is love for light in the universe immersed in darkness.
It is love for life in reason of death.
It is love for heat in opposed to what is icy.
It is love for a friendly smile between hostile looks.
It's love for a day of party after dry weeks of effort.
It's love for the snowflakes that whiten the landscape on Christmas Eve.
It's love for a lost puppy who finds his mama.
It is love for love.
If you believe in the existence of love, you also believe in the existence of the Principle of love.
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE TRUTH
What is it the morality?
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
To approach the natural moral conscience (which is not to be confused with the complex of traditions and customs), it is necessary to grasp the presuppositions of logic, starting, for example, from this question:
"Why do not bakers wear dark clothes?".
Answer: "Because the flour is white and stands out on dark clothes". It is a logical concept from which it derives a sensible, wise and judicious behaviour: for this reason the bakers wear clear garments.
Logic is synonymous with intelligence. What is logical and not senseless always finds its origin in a form of intelligence.
What is logical it is coherent, reasonable, truthful, just, sensible and... MORAL.
Illogical is tantamount to incoherent, unreasonable, false, wrong, senseless and... IMMORAL.
Logic proceed exactly from the physical principles: "Why we light the fire with dry wood?".
Logical answer: "Because dry wood burns better than damp wood!". Who says that green wood burns better than dry wood, supports a lie and is placed in the ambit of immorality: at the opposite of truth.
Every physical and ethical principle constitutes an element of truth which is similar to itself,
which produces a logical effect inherent to its specific characteristics: fire burns, fidelity is faithful, forgiveness forgives,
truth tells the truth, water wets and quenches... if the water does not wet and not quench thirst, that water is a lie.
The principles express absolutely the concept of truth, of fidelity, of coherence, of loyalty and of alliance:
The principle of love is faithful to love.
The principle of truth is faithful to the truth.
The principle of forgiveness is faithful to forgiveness.
The principle of fidelity is faithful to faithfulness.
So, what is logic?
Logic is truth, and truth is complementary to morality. Logic and moral are not an opinion; but incontrovertible concepts in relation to each other, because they are strictly related to the truth. What is logical leads to the truth. How illogical is it determines chaos and error. In the language of logic, the opposite of truth is error. The opposite of logic is error. The opposite of morality is... the error.
On every occasion, Jesus announces the moral principles set out in the Gospel with methods based on logic:
"Who, among you, to the son who asks him for a bread will give a stone, or if he asks for a fish, will he give a serpent?" (Mt 7,9-10).
Immoral is a mother who slaps the crying son because he is hungry; but even more wretched is that mother who comforts him with sweetness, putting a sponge soaked in vinegar between her lips. What is immoral always approaches the most illogical and madness situations. Maternal love, instead, proceeds within the sphere of logic and morality to pour good things into the world.
What is charity?
Charity is communion of mercy.
They are the visible and invisible works of love for the benefit of others without harming anyone.
It is a virtue of divine mercy, that is, the intelligence of the heart that surpasses any other form of intelligence,
because it is finalized to the good last and supreme: to bring souls to God.
In its visible form it means taking care of those who live next to us, and then of those who are distant,
without any form of speculation and without a precise unit of measurement;
but above all without abandoning the invisible and silent works of charity for the eternal salvation of souls (the prayer).
Cruelty is the opposite of charity.
Charity is a characteristic of morality.
Morality derives from ethical principles.
Ethical principles are the law of God and intelligence of the heart.
What is the difference between ethics and morals?
Ethics determines the objective characteristics of each ethical principle.
Morality is the subjective application of ethical principles.
The most effective method to teach the concepts at the origin of the natural moral conscience consists in the fairy tales and parables. Their pedagogical function is to place listeners in an imaginary world but very real in moral content, to arouse emotions and feelings that can help to distinguish the well from evil, the good from bad, the courage from dastardly, the pain from pleasure... the truth from error.
In nature everything tends to equilibrium: the boiling water cools, the wounds heal, the ice melts and becomes water again... and after the storm the serene returns. Everything is within the logic. Everything is oriented to finding peace, order and balance. Everything is aimed at the good. Everything returns to be truth. Everything thrives on reasonableness and not on irrationality. This indicates that the universe is governed by logic, truth, goodness and what is rational and not casual, immoral, sterile, irrational and chaotic. In creation, everything is placed in a natural way according to a precise logical and moral order, which generates life, love and prosperity, and sometimes composes suggestive events of tenderness and poetry; because every story has a moral!
The natural moral conscience then directs the creatures to equilibrium, peace and prosperity which is the opposite of madness, destruction and cruelty. Animated by this moral sensitivity, even the most ferocious beast, without knowing the Gospel and the table of the 10 commandments, by nature knows how to take care of own puppies: breastfeeds them with love and procures them good things, according to the logic of divine Providence which is expression of wisdom.
"From the greatness and goodness
of the creatures, reasoning,
one can know their author". (See Sap 13,5)
Regarding good and evil, beyond every culture and every ideological or religious belief, in the intimacy of its conscience,
every creature finds a moral law pertaining to its own species, logical and rational, universal and immutable,
that has not been her to gave herself and is the imprint of God's law.
It is an unequivocal indication that all creation finds its origin in a single and unique Maker.
God is the author of creation. He is the principle of all that exists, and the natural moral law is the instruction manual for
the correct use of the product. The moral conscience is similar to an indelible mark imprinted by the Creator on the articles he himself made.
is a reference to the natural moral law. In it, the design of creator wisdom is at the foundation of every moral principle:
"You will have no other God outside of me". It is the first commandment: a copyright; that is, a notice to protect the author rights on the whole creation that belongs to the holy Creator in exclusive. The infringement of the bond of these paternity rights constitutes an illegitimate use of the product.
"Performing morally good deeds,
man confirms, develops and consolidates in himself
the resemblance to God". (Veritatis splendor n.39)
Each species has its own inherent way of understanding and to act.
On the base on a precise moral order, the reptiles behave like reptiles,
according to the natural disposition assigned to them by the Creator,
because each living being was created to perform the functions that are proper to him.
The reptile must therefore perform the functions of the reptile.
The bees have to perform their own job.
The goat must perform the functions of the goat.
The dog the functions of the dog... and so on. The human being has the duty to behave according to the moral sensitivity that has been attributed to him by God. Therefore immorality is not the violation of a code, of a tradition or of a custom if the end is directed to the universal good; but it is inhuman behaviour that reduces the individual to lower levels than his own nature.
Morality is complementary to good: it produces good things without harming anyone.
Demonic, it is equivalent to acting outside of any ethical principle, with acts contrary to one's own and neighbor's interests; because the absolute evil is opposed to logic and to creation. There is no logic of evil. Every atrocity is immoral.
The highest expression of morality is the restitution of the good to the evil received.
For this reason it is used to say that the Lord can not want anyone's evil; because He is the inventor of morality.
He is ally with his own principles and he can not contradict himself to restore evil.
What is outside of God moral jurisdiction and escapes his law, acquires the characteristics of hell.
The hazel of immorality corresponds to:
Restitution of evil to the good received.
Research of the sore spot to add torment to the pain and get any satisfaction.
Lies, infidelity, cruelty, temptation and provocation lie at the origin of evil.
Immoral persons seek comparison in the context of abuse and immorality to induce on the path of evil;
but the Lord calls to himself sinners of good will, through his Spirit of mercy and Truth
(Baptism and Sacrament of deliverance from the bond of sin).
Christian moral theology is akin to the natural moral conscience; he identifies its peculiarities in relation to the kingdom of heaven for the eternal salvation of souls:
Jesus spreads the Truth where lies reigns.
Jesus spreads the Love where hatred reigns.
Jesus spreads the Forgiveness where revenge reigns.
Jesus spreads the Morality where immorality reigns,
to push away the souls from the darkness in reason of the kingdom of the skies.
It is not God in person to be within us, but the Law written by Him which springs up as spring water from ethical principles.
Through the action of ethical principles, God is present in the moral conscience of each individual with his invisible Church.
Respecting the law of God, albeit unknowingly even by those who believe themselves to be atheistic, approach us to the source of ethical principles.
The invisible Church present in the moral conscience of every human being it is moral theology.
Immoral is that which is far from the ethical principles of the Lord and therefore determines sin and distance from Him.
It is in God the origin of all physical and ethical principles.
If at this precise moment the universe exists it is because God himself sustains it through the action of physical and ethical principles.
There is no ethical principle of hatred, betrayal or lying...
Hatred is what is far from the ethical principle of Love.
Betrayal is what is far from the ethical principle of Fidelity.
The lie is what is far from the ethical principle of Truth.
Revenge is what is far from the ethical principle of Forgiveness.
Cruelty is what is far from the ethical principle of Mercy.
Egoism is what is far from the ethical principle of Generosity.
Dastardliness is what is far from the ethical principle of Courage.
Iniquity is what is far from the ethical principle of Justice.
Pride is what is far from the ethical principle of Humility.
Moral theology is not an opinion:
it is science of truth
with a weight and a measure.
Jesus is never immoral. Jesus is Truth. And what the Lord affirms is so moral,
that even when he command the wind and the sea to end the storm, the natural elements must adapt themselves to his Word in order
not to contradict the Truth that sustains everything: the Principle of all principles. It is the Truth that speaks. (See Mt 8,26).
Jesus teaches nothing new. He does not invent any religion. He penetrates into the depths of the heart and
enlightens with the universal wisdom of the good shepherd what was enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and immorality.
Every Christian, through the holy works of faith, could write in his own name a Gospel in the Gospel inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Teresa, John, Francis, Paul, Mary...
it's been imprinted by the holy Creator in the moral conscience of every human being. In this biological memory is the charism of our being
"sons of God". Reading the Gospel we bring to light words already written in our hearts. We discover a wealth of divine notions that already belong to us. They are the stamp of God on all creation. These infinitely existing words are the Holy Voice of the Creator.
The natural moral law is the wisdom of God.
ETERNAL SALVATION THEOLOGY
Why be believers?
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
Death is an exact science. No one escapes the science of death.
Everything is moving, even what seems to be still.
Everything deteriorates, even what seems to be stainless.
All that is more graceful and good, in time withers and become repellents. Even the rock, over the centuries it flakes and the iron ages,
puts the rust and dies.
Nothing survives the time. Like a candle that burns and is consumed, time flows and everything devours.
Time is a very corrosive acid.
Time is a slow explosion. It's a very slow but devastating explosion. Sweep away everything. In his passage remain only dust, skeletons and ruins.
Time flows like a river that pours its waters into the ocean of eternity.
Everything is wrapped and hidden behind the meek face of the flowing time. The definition "forever" does not exist.
Everything is oriented to indicate that we are just of passing through. Nothing is eternal.
Everything dissolves as in dreams; but slowly, in a much wider time frame. Matter it's therefore corruptible.
And yet, not everything is destined to corrupting and eroding itself over time... the wheel is spinning, but the fulcrum remains still!
Even marble gradually deteriorates; but the physical principles that govern the atoms and molecules of matter are incorruptible, immutable and infinitely existing elements. The physical and ethical principles present in creation are eternal. For example, the force of gravity or thermodynamics are incorruptible, immutable and infinitely existing physical principles. The concept of love and hate, of truth and lies, of forgiveness and punishment, of loyalty and betrayal... are incorruptible, immutable and infinitely existing ethical principles. They do not exist in the form of material elements; yet we perceive them as real entities. Loyalty exists because we have all experienced it. Forgiveness exists because we have all experienced it. We consider the principles, emotions and feelings as if they were made of matter, for the simple fact that we have experienced it. We all know very well what it is, because otherwise it would be impossible to prove its existence. Try someone to prove scientifically the existence of magnanimity, motherly love or compassion. Find me a molecule or an atom of forgiveness. Forgiveness does not exist as a material element, but exclusively as an ethical principle. One kilogram of maternal love, 6 liters of loyalty or 5 meters of justice... it is impossible to establish a precise unit of measure for the principles.
So, what category do they belong to?
They are projections of an immaterial reality on the material elements.
The principles give a logical order to all creation.
Without the order and strength of the principles, matter would be without control,
it would sink into itself and everything would dissolve into nothingness.
It's exactly the principles that fix the pivotal points of the firmament.
The material universe is a magnificent carpet woven on the imperceptible threads of the physical and ethical principles:
stainless ropes most resistant of steel's, coming from a reality inconceivable and unknown to us.
They represent a silent and invisible extension of a parallel reality.
They are an indication of eternity.
They embrace creation in all its cosmic manifestation.
They reflect an immense and boundless reality.
Ethical principles are what cannot be measured.
They do not bend and not break. They do not deteriorate and do not have an expiration date. They weigh nothing and have no volume, yet they extend simultaneously from one galaxy to another along throughout the universe: from one end of the creation to the other and beyond. They represent an evidential element in relation to the concept of existence of the eternity. They are the fulcrum around which matter rotates. They constitute the Spirit of the holy creation.
We can therefore begin to grasp the metaphysical concept of soul and holy Spirit, starting from the principles that govern the matter.
They subsist even without matter. Thus they express the concept of transcendence.
They open the horizon of human intellect to metaphysical realities.
Love, can last a moment and then vanish tragically into nothingness; but the concept of love is an incorruptible,
immutable and infinitely existing principle. How eternal it enters into some form in relation to the concept of Wisdom of Creation.
It is present as an architect from eternity, from the beginning, when the foundations of creation were planned.
The physical and ethical principles constitute the scaffolding of creation erected by the Architect: they are the law of God.
Nothing escapes this Law.
The joy of children playing in the waves of the sea
Who created the maternal affection and the innocence of children? Who taught them to laugh, to play and make mischief? Who created the emotions, feelings, sympathy, love, justice, gratitude, fidelity...? Who created the sense of duty and the spirit of sacrifice? Who created the imagination, dreams, ambitions and creativity? Who created the regret and hope? Who created the taste of pleasure and fun? Who created the hands so agile and performing to build and play the grand piano? Who painted insects with metallic and fluorescent colours? Who taught the flight to the swallows? Who has transmitted the sense of the danger even to the most insignificant insects and the ability to run away through wily and unusual trajectories? Who has infused in all the creatures: of earth, water and air the gift of existence? Who wrote the principles of physics and genetics? The flowers bloom, grow and take shape... but who has given shape, weight and size to everything that exists? Who decorated the wonders of nature? Who has perfumed fruit with delicious aromas? Who created the ability to perceive odours? Who has established the laws of nature? For which reason everything is on a human scale and it's favorable to him in this Earth?
No one is able to give a precise answer to these questions. The fact is that we give all, too much for granted!
To reply to an infinite number of questions that require a precise scientific explanation with evasive or philosophical formulas, leaves all questions open; indeed, it adds new ones. Each specific question requires an irrefutable answer. For everything there is a reason. For everything there is a measure. For everything there is a why... even to the nothing! The concept of randomness does not exist. Everything that exists has a precise reason to exist. Everything that happens is because it can happen. Everything that happens, comes from multiple causes that produce effects. Everything that happens occurs with an exact logic. If what it is happen was governed by chaos, it would be all nonsense, without principles and without a moral, in an illogical and irrational sequence of events as in the most absurd dreams.
No one can stop the waves of the sea
If we can accept the concept that an insignificant grain of sand consists of a logical and intelligent intertwining of 25 billion billions
of molecules, it should not be impossible to accept the idea that every wave of the sea that it shatters itself on the beach,
it produces on each single grain of sand a chain of effects for billions... of billions... of billions of logical and rational
reasons in continuous relation between them. Exactly how we can observe the external profile of a grain of sand without seeing
inside it the 25 billion billions of molecules of which it is constituted, in the same way one participate in every circumstance,
without being able to conceive the billions... of billions... of billions of reasons of which is it constituted.
It is like the traffic at peak hours of a boundless metropolis that seems to move in a disorderly and random form;
yet every single vehicle knows exactly where it must go and the reason for its journey.
An immense metropolis is always on the move, it does never have a moment of pause;
therefore the intertwining of reasons follow each other continuously producing effects particular,
in a concatenation logical, progressive, rational and perpetual, according to an order determined by universal causes.
God, the children understand Him,
when they play with the sand in the waves of the sea!
We delude ourselves to ride the waves of the sea and clasp our live in our hands;
in reality it is life that happen us and confines us in its circumstances.
When we are children we would like to be adults but we are children,
and when we are old we would like to go back children but we remain old, without mum and without dad.
We do not come to the world free to decide in which era to be born,
whether Europeans or Africans, male or female, high or low, with great virtues and talent or slob, in families of good social condition or in poverty, of good physical constitution or with malformations. We possess an extremely reduced view on our horizon. We can decide whether to buy a beer or a bottle of milk at the grocery counter, and this makes us believe that we ourselves determine our destiny. In reality are not us to looking for destiny: it is destiny to seeks us.
"Two sparrows do not sell themselves for a penny?
And yet not one of them will fall to the ground
without your Father wants it.
As for you, even the hairs of your head
they are all numbered "(Mt 10: 29-30).
Our existence is made of sea waves that break on the grains of sand. The waves of the sea push the sand where most he likes: they are the ways of the Lord. Each sea wave makes the grains of sand clash against each other; then he makes them move away and to approach again, and so they remain, sometimes in uncomfortable and difficult situations, waiting for the next wave. The grains of sand do not possess the power to perform moral or immoral actions. To roll is all they can do. People in flesh and blood are not grains of sand; but living organisms immensely more complex than an inert element such as sand or plaster statues. We human beings can realize good or bad works with our body, with our mind, with our lips and with our heart. We can decide whether to be virtuous or negligent, good or bad, honest or dishonest, faithful or traitors, moral or immoral. It is the human factor. In the universe everything proceeds according to the natural order of morality. Everything proceeds within the framework of divine pedagogy based on morality and immorality. Our free will leads us, from time to time, in one direction or another. The exercise of our aptitudes pushes us towards good or evil; towards the skies resplendent with eternal happiness or the chasms of the darkest depths.
The whole creation in the palm of a hand
All creation is made up of infinitely large and infinitely small elements.
What is infinitely small reflects in part what is infinitely large. How much does a grain of sand weigh?
Placed above the plate of a food scale does not weigh anything. Yet, if we could penetrate the infinitely small,
we could admire a grain of sand like a universe in the universe, where everything has a logic and right proportion.
The physical and moral universe is complementary to each other, and constitutes a material and spiritual set of visible and invisible elements. The soul, without the support of divine mercy, could sink inside it, swirling lost for the eternity.
We are universes in the universe.
It is the spiritual dimension of the elements that cannot be measured in its universal extension.
If a grain of sand is made up of billions of billions of molecules and reasons why that grain of sand is right to exist and possess a specific material identity bound to physical principles alone, I am too made up of billions of billions of molecules and billions of billions of reasons why I have reason to exist and possess my specific material identity bound to physical principles ...and ethical! In fact, unlike a grain of sand, I am aware of my existence, of rejoicing and suffering. Therefore my material existence is not the same as the grains of sand. In me, something transcendent is infused with respect to the inert material element.
The fruit can not exist without the tree.
If love, forgiveness, moral conscience and ethical principles do not belong to the
same nature as grains of sand and of the gypsum statues, it means that in humans there is infused something
unusual and different compared to what is exclusively material, that cannot be weighed and measured,
and can be traced back to spiritual origins.
If we go into this reality of the elements, the boundary between what is material and immaterial,
real and unreal, physical and metaphysical,
becomes fluid and inconsistent as the formation and the dissolving of the clouds in the immensity of the sky. It is the nothingness that tries to understand everything. It is the partial that tries to grasp the absolute... If we could observe from above the universe in the dimensions of a hand, we would see a heart beating with love. The universe is alive. It is alive with emotions, it is alive with ambitions, it is alive with feelings, it is alive like breath. The universe is the infinite sanctuary of life.
"Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Ps 90,12).
Everything dissolves and regenerates moment by moment.
Look at the sky, the sea and the earth, every day it seems that they have just been created;
yet they exist since millions and millions of years.
It is as if every day new cleans the precedent of every impurity; even from the wickedness and suffering of the world.
Since ancient times, the creation gives us at every dawn, new wood to put in the fireplace and fresh bread to be placed on the table.
Every day we should thank divine providence for giving us life with the marvelous attributes of movement, sight, hearing, smell, voice, intelligence, touch, feelings, creativity... The work of the holy Creator is so all true that his existence appears incredible. He is not intrinsically in the grain of sand. He is above the matter and at the origin of the principles that determine the existence. It is like a fisherman holding the cane from the high of the skies. It is like the thunder that echoes throughout the valley. It is like the reflection of the sun shining on the sea waves. It is like the wind that simultaneously blows on all the branches of the trees and the blades of grass on the lawns.
Like every leaf that falls from the branch is carried by the wind, so every destiny has an his own specific trajectory determined
by the breath of life, blessed and established by the Lord's will. He is the principle of every principle. He is the Reason of every reason.
He is the Origin of every origin.
Not in order with the past but in the present. He is a source of present life in the creation from which existence flows like spring water.
He, by means of hosts of angelic creatures, is the domino effect of a single divine Word,
on the dynamics of everything that happens in the present instant, in the past instant and in the future instant,
until the light will be light and God will be God.
"As the sun illuminates the cedars at the same time
and every little flower as if this were
the only one on earth,
at the same way Our Lord
is particularly engaged with every soul
as if she were the only one to exist;
and, as in nature all seasons are regulated
in way to make bloom the most humble daisy
on the appointed day,
so such everything contributes
to the good of each soul".
(Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus)
Position itself at the light of morality
The ethical principles are the Ark of the new and of the old covenant between God, humanity and the whole universe.
They are the power of his word that supports everything.
They are resplendent rays of various colours, coming from the same astro of Truth.
God is the fixed point in creation where everything has a cycle; it is the fulcrum that everything holds and around which everything revolves.
"His splendor is like sunrise,
flashes of shine come from his hands:
there hides his power" (Ab 3,4).
Exposed to the splendor of these divine rays, our good or bad actions generate the spiritual echo of our existence.
What happens in the immediate instant, is placed in the spiritual eternity of the infinite firmament.
As a celestial universal tool, our soul is hung on the ropes of ethical principles.
Our actions echo, shaking the strings of this extraordinary cosmic instrument that generates resonances of love,
of hate, of pleasure, of torment, of happiness, of cruelty, of bliss, of desperation...
With our works we raise to heaven the essence of what our being is:
we pinch the invisible strings of ethical principles like an arpeggio; producing celestial harmonies or chords out of tune and scary.
No secret escapes the heart of the divine person.
The ethical and physical principles penetrate into the most remote abysses.
They enter the bowels of the caves, reach the peaks of the mountains,
climb aboard the submarines immersed in the depths of the oceans or on the spaceships in flight for unknown galaxies.
A perfect crime can escape earthly justice, but it can never escape divine justice.
The essence of our every single action reaches the heart of the holy Creator wherever we are.
He even interprets our most secret reasonings: holy or evil. Each of our acts leaves an indelible mark up there in the infinite firmament,
noted on the register of eternity. Every evil deed insults the divine dignity of the Lord.
Every good work gives glory to God.
Like any true father, He is happy when the sons remember Him and give him some nice satisfaction.
"The Lord looks from heaven,
he sees all men.
From the place of his habitation he looks
on all the inhabitants of the earth (Ps 33,13-14).
Our actions, holy, blessed, mediocre or cursed, write the novel of our existence on this book.
They are the story of our life. The redemption inscribes our name to the Chapter of the Holy Works of Forgiveness.
Through our conversion, prayer, Baptism and the sacrament of forgiveness, for the God's mercy, the pages of our sins are torn and destroyed.
In the presence of the Tribunal of Divine Mercy,
the book of our existence is opened to the luminous chapter of redemption for the holy love of the Lord...
or of eternal damnation for obstinacy to walk the paths of evil.
He punishes and uses mercy,
goes back again from the Great Perdition
and nothing escapes at his hand" (Tb 13,2).
The material universe is the visible face of an invisible reality.
It is the face of the coin that we can all see.
The spiritual universe is the other side of the same coin that we can not see in the current condition.
It is here that hides the deception for those without faith who have trust only in the events of this world.
We can continue to think that everything ends and dissolves into nothingness, including the essence of our actions,
as human bodies that born and human bodies that die without a why, without a reason, without a moral.
We can believe that a silent and hidden life of authentic spiritual asceticism is a useless and unproductive sacrifice.
It is about choosing whether to be skeptical or believer. The mystery of faith is contained precisely in the freedom do not to believe that, on the opposite side of visible material existence, is hidden the invisible universe in the same coin. It is a free decision: no one can impose faith; but equally no one can silence the voice of the divine heart that invites us to unite with his heart. It is the freedom to not guest the love.
"At you, who listen prayer,
every mortal will come" (Ps 65,2).
Faith in divine love proceeds in its earthly essence from an upsetting and incontrovertible scientific truth: death.
No one can escape from birth and death. Our life hanging by an hair and our days are all counted, one by one. We are all condemned to death.
The Lord says: "Walk while you have light, so that darkness doesn't overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he is going".
Our life is a cathedral of sand and salt exposed to the wind and the sea waves. We are clouds traveling towards unknown horizons. We are seagulls flying losting on a boundless ocean. We are doves on a slipper adrift in the waves of the sea. We are confetti shoots of love, thrown to the wind by divine hands. It is a time assigned by Providence to increase the patrimony of the holy virtues, not to dispel it; for all existence is a navigation path to lead the soul into a safe haven.
Faith is not only a gift, ia also an exercise of holy virtues. It is rare that people far from the grace of faith can improve; in the aging process they can only exacerbate and worsen. Preparing for the big journey without a return is therefore a very important choice, because we are all destined to age and die. Salvation must therefore be pursued in the perspective of eternal life; for not to be surprised at the time when the burglar, invisible and ruthless, arrives to take away everything.
Only faith defeats death.
The more we build our security on the comfort and the whims of the world, greater is the difficulty to finding the grace of the Lord. Not because He does not grant it; but because we move away from him. Well-being produces its certainties and its caresses. The search for the faith in divine mercy and the search for material security manifest as two inversely proportional opposing forces: where one increases, the other decreases and vice versa.
A futile and goliardic existence, in some cases it is the last cigarette offered to the condemned before the execution of capital;
but for the holy mercy of Jesus redeemer of the souls, it could be transformed into an instrument of salvation if thrown into the spiritual amphora of unfulfilled desires as a sacrifice of love for Love.
Therefore, the farther away we are from faith in divine mercy, the more it makes sense to approach; even if in reality it is often difficult because it is an exercise that involves several renounces, some small sacrifices, does not belong to us and mortifies us in our pride. But it is precisely then that one of our small gesture of openness towards the divine love that calls, can be useful to open a glimmer of our distracted heart in the light of holy Truth: it is when losting ourself in the darkness that we need to find a light source; it is when we are far from the Love that we most need his love.
The Lord manifests himself to those who seek him.
The eschatological truths of faith, can finally be summarized in two popular proverbs that applied to divine judgment help us to understand the practical meaning of the whole economy of eternal salvation:
1) "Better late than never" (
The good thief... Lk 23,39-43 ).
2) "Rather of nothing it is better few"
(It is better 1 little floret and 1 prayer, rather than being coherent to nothing).
Following these two wise counsels is perhaps the most immediate method for not hear being told,
"You, have not sought me!", and starting our luminous path towards ultimate destiny of eternal mercy...
bathed in the shining light of divine love that it is renewed moment after a moment.
"Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared
for you from the foundation of the world." (Mt 25,34).
THE PRESUPPOSEDS OF THE SUPERNATURAL FAITH
What is faith?
Don Renzo Lavatori - Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
There is something in the world that is ending and something that will never end. Faith in divine love is a choice between what is eternal and how transitory it is. It manifests itself progressively in three forms:
"The faith, in the eyes of those without faith,
1) for inspiration-intuition (the sensitive experience);
2) for logical deduction (the intelligence);
3) for love (the heart).
At the first stage it is STUPOR and AMMIRATION for the wonders of creation and for how in the universe everything is placed
in a logical way in the exact position, according to a precise measure well calibrated holding itself in a delicate game of
levers and opposing forces. In this stage, the individual is at the innocent search for the meaning of life and in his own inner
self begins to wonder if it really is possible that all that exists may have taken shape from fortuitous and random events.
This phase concerns the sphere of intuition, emotions, feelings, art and poetry.
It is an initial and informal approach to faith and its mystery, sometimes understood as an indefinite mysticism and searching for sensational.
At the second stage is added the RATIONAL CHOICE between the immortal and the impermanent: (eternity and death).
This phase is characterized by inner combat, on the one side with the desire to follow God's law and respond adequately to his love,
on the other side to face the reality of human passions that emerge to satisfy the law of the Ego.
It is the phase dictated by reasoning that relates to God and creation, and theoretically accepts the concept of
eternal salvation transcending material existence; but in a form not totally complete, because it reduces a boundless reality,
timeless and in some ways inconceivable, transferring it all in the rational plan of the ideologies and social rules.
At this stage, the believer is incapable of taking flight because it does not give space to divine love.
He perceives it by deduction; but it is still too tied to the noises of the world, to the problems of the environment,
to the cult of dialogue and solidarity, to the propaganda of peace, to humanitarian action in the various sectors of assistance.
All good things, that however can lead the believer to the idolatry of these relative goals, identified by him as absolute values of the Gospel message, sometimes trivializing the ascetic and spiritual path to which the soul must instead undergo to respond worthily to the love of God.
It is a fire that rarely raises the flames of love to the holy Creator,
to extinguish itself in the torrent of the waters of the world. It belongs to the sphere of spiritual discernment.
At the third stage, the highest, is FAITH FOR LOVE. It is the fullness of faith because it springs from the heart without any personal gain.
It means serving the Lord and responding to his love without any kind of interest; therefore it is not to be confused with the loyalty of those who expect a salary.
The supernatural faith is not to join in prospect of winning a prize. True loves are not a gamble.
The faithful spouse is the one who feels it as his precise duty: in good and bad, in fortune or in misery, without regrets.
True covenants are consolidated in self-sacrifice and sometimes in defeats.
The honest wife is that who marries her husband for love; not for the wealth of its heritage.
The fidelity of those who expect a salary is not reliable, always has many limits, many doubts,
rethinks and above all is fragile and corruptible; easy to pass on the side of those offering a higher salary.
It is the false loyalty of the money changer: "Today this financial product offers more guarantees and tomorrow it will be seen!".
The fidelity is not on the market. The fidelity is far from any form of speculation.
The fidelity is priceless; you can not sell it or buy. The sacrifice of love of a mother for children is priceless.
The love of children for parents is priceless. "Our Father, who art in heaven...",
indicates exactly the type of relationship that exists between the holy Creator and human beings.
It is a choice between joining the Lord for love or interest.
In its highest forms, the fullness of faith manifests itself in extreme situations, where sometimes there is all to lose and nothing to gain.
This is the fidelity of Abraham and the holy Virgin Mary. It is a fidelity that scandalizes the skeptics:
Abraham ready to make a gesture totally immoral and contrary to his own interest (to kill his one and beloved son in sacrifice to God),
and the Blessed Virgin who accepts shame, guilt and dangerous consequences of an illegitimate pregnancy.
There is no advantage. There is no convenience. There is no speculation. There is no interest. There is no self-love.
It does not come in handy. There is only an immense love and a lot of self-sacrifice in being faithful and united to the Lord
in a relationship of total symbiosis in good and bad fate... until death. It is the fidelity of martyrdom.
This is the science of faith in divine love.
looks like a deception generated by the human mind;
but an existence based on materialism
it is devil's deception towards whom
he is not worthy to enter in God kingdom".
REFLECTIONS ON FAITH IN DIVINE LOVE
Job Crucified beside Jesus
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
The book of Job is useful for understanding the meaning of faith in divine mercy. Illustrates a lucky existence and an unfortunate full of suffering in opposition to each other. The story develops in the form of a close relationship on the border between faith and not-faith.
Job is an irreproachable man of proven religious faith. At a certain point in his fortunate and serene existence, a whole series of adversities and illnesses occur that will lead him to the complete ruin and solitude. Despite everything, he does not betray and does not renounce the love for God Father.
Friends and acquaintances will attribute to the origin of his sins the cause of all his misfortunes:
"After all, you deserve it. You must have done something wrong!".
This is the gross conception that interprets the misfortunes as
the consequence of mysterious guilt to expiate in this world.
Instead, Job has always led his life with exemplary innocence...
"Blessed is the man who is tried by God:
the Lord hurts and heals".
"The Lord corrects those who love,
This story teaches that all the experiences of life, generous and adverse, serve to bring us closer to God.
It is in the bad fate that the real nature of our being appear. Fidelity is put to the test and emerges in unfavorable situations of existence. In suffering, injustice and illness we can experience our human frailty.
as a father reproves his beloved son" (Pro 3,12).
The pedagogical severity of the father is in particular directed to his closest children. Therefore, the Lord, to the most intimate devotees
often speaks through the weight of his cross; which predisposes to acquire a contrite and heartbroken spirit of the heart, helps approach
to worthily the mystery of faith and to understand the true meaning of life: God is the very reason of living this our existence.
It is not the created in reason of our life, but it is our life in reason of created:
we are flowers in the garden of the Lord. It is not the flowers that govern the garden.
The Lord, therefore, in some circumstances withdraws his hand from his favorite children to subject them to very severe trials:
some he call them to a greater devotion; others to expiate the sins of the world by celebrating the passion of Jesus crucified.
Job, even unworthily, expresses the highest meaning of faith in the atonement of the sins of the world for the redemption of souls.
It transforms the "suffering for oneself" into a Eucharistic and universal sacrifice as a ransom for many.
It is the holy suffering of the innocent.
Each of us, in responding with faith to the vocational call to suffering in spiritual union to
divinity of Christ redeemer and not as a curse,
can becomes similar him for the sinners redemption at the benefit of many souls.
"In sanctifying one's suffering
you are no longer you who live in your body,
but it is Christ who lives in you renewing his passion.
Despite your unworthiness,
Jesus wants you close to him Crucified".
Only in the proof
we can reveal our faith.
Job, reminds human beings that we are fragile creatures of God. He demonstrate a faithfulness at whole test: even if stripped of everything, vilified, abandoned and in sickness, he faces all the harassment of existence without betraying and without resign in love for the love; with the full awareness that the divine love does not inflame our heart, without first having planted some thorns in the flesh and having removed something from the plate of our ambitions and comforts. According to the divine merits, faith in holy mercy is the greatest of the virtues.
GUIDE TO THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH
The Principle of faith
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
"There came a man, sent from God,
whose name was John.
He, came as a witness,
to bear witness to the light,
because everyone to believed through him.
He was not the light,
but it had to bear witness to the light" (Jn 1,6-8).
We, distinguish things because one it's different from the other one: black is different from white, soft is different from rigid,
heat is different from cold, truth is different from lying...
If the truth were identical to the lie, what would be the difference between truth and falsehood?
If a good tree produces the same fruits as a bad tree, what is the difference between the good tree and the bad tree?
If those who are mild behave and think the same way as those who are arrogant,
what is the difference between those who are mild and those who are arrogant?
If those who have faith behave and think in the same way as those who are without faith,
what is the difference between those who have faith and those who are without faith?
The Lord asks the faithful to shine in order to recognize and distinguish them from those who have no faith.
He does not ask to shine in the light of the talent, doctrine and science.
He does not ask to shine in the light of a high social position, of the good reputation and the titles of respect.
He does not ask, the Lord, to shine under the ignited spotlight of success, power, elegance, fortune and riches.
That is light that does not belong to him.
The Lord asks the faithful to shine in the reflections of his light.
Shine in simplicity and patience.
Shine in magnanimity and benevolence.
To shine among the reflections of a burning candle in the fervor of prayer;
to shine in the tiny penances and in the small gestures of altruism.
The Lord asks the faithful to shine in persecution, injustice, defeat and failure.
He asks to burn with the flame of the brightest love when we have lost hope and we are in despair, in sickness, in abandonment and in agony.
When everything is against us, the Lord asks us to shine, not of our light;
but of his light reflected in the most intimate sacrifice of our faith,
and be thus being able to recognize and distinguish us from those without faith.
"It is in God the light spring of faith,
at his light we shine with light".
COMMENT OF THE AUTHOR:
The sense and the vicissitudes of life, in relation to the spiritual dynamics, the more I examine them, the less I understand them;
because it seems apparently that everything happens in a random and senseless order of the events governed by chaos.
The more I engage to find the way of light, and the more situations that affect my existence for to drag me into the darkness.
But at the same time, the more I forward tenaciously in the dizzying labyrinth of faith in divine mercy,
the greater the awareness that at Saint Creator does not escape anything: everything is placed under the control
and administration of his law.
This happens because the faith logic is determined in order of the virtues of divine love,
which sometimes does not coincide with the logic of the world.
It is the paradox of human nature bound to the divine nature that proceeds with different expectations and ambitions.
If we bring our existence closer to the virtues and the holy works of love,
human dynamics also, God willing, will shine in the reflections of the same holy love.
"Make shine your light before men,
that they may see your good works,
to glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5,16).
VOCATION: TO LOVE AND SERVE THE LORD
What is the supernatural vocation?
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
Every individual is by nature and by vocation a religious being.
He finds the most authentic happiness in communion with God.
It comes from God and returns to God (see CCC 44-45).
The Church expresses in the diversity and multiplicity of vocations the gifts of the merciful Love that calls,
freely distributed according to divine plan. Religious life is therefore a response to the call of divine love.
This is the proper meaning of the word vocation which means "to call".
Jesus, in the Gospel, calls to himself those who will later become his disciples:
"You, did not the one to choose me,
but I have chosen you and constituted you
why you go and bear fruit
and your fruit remains" (Jn 15,16).
At the origin of every call there is therefore the Lord who chooses and invites to respond to his Love, according to the times and methods established by him. It is therefore necessary to prepare one's heart for a journey of maturation dedicated to vocational discernment. As a first step of this journey, in order to fully understand the real nature of the supernatural vocation, it is necessary to define the concept of aptitude.
I heard the Lord's voice, he said:
What is the aptitude?
The aptitude is the characteristic for which an individual is more inclined, for example, to devote himself to music, science, drawing,
literature or sports...
If an acrobat has chosen to exercise this activity, there is no certainty that he was personally called by the Lord to be a witness of his love.
In fact, here we are not yet in the field of divine faith, but in that of aptitudes and talent, for which a subject is more inclined, according to the inspiration infused by Providence, to practice certain activities rather than others.
What is the vocation?
The supernatural vocation is a response of love to the divine Love call.
It is aimed at establishing an intimate relationship of consecration and spousal union with holy love.
It is placed above aptitudes and potentially involves each human being independently of his own talent;
so even the astronomer, the athlete, the worker, the acrobat, the foolish or delinquent,
in the depths of one's heart can be reached by the divine love that calls.
The discovery of oneself in divine love
The vocational call is often characterized by a vague sense of loss and inner emptiness in finding oneself immersed in the dynamics of an incomplete existence. Those who feel they belong to the kingdom of heaven can not be totally happy among the noises of the world. It means to feel God's grace in an inappropriate condition to what the Lord requires. It is the divine love that arouses love in the heart; it is up to each soul to know how to welcome and respond adequately. The invitation of holy love does not happen in a casual and generic form; but individual and very personal. Divine love calls to its service by name, surname, date of birth and address. This is a proposed service with different tasks and difficulties. We are not all the same. To each one, the divine love, entrusts different missions and requires different services. To the mediocre ones requires mediocre love trials. To the crazy ones it requires love trials crazy. To the great ones it requires great works. To the little ones, holy love asks for small works. They are the bright daily works of the faith. They consist in being witness to the divine grace.
The call of God
Now, the rather frequent situation is the following: "I do not feel the love of God, rather I feel disinterest and torment in my daily life,
which creates to me strong doubts about the existence of the Creator itself!".
If the grace of faith is not felt, the problem is not the existence of the holy Creator;
the problem is one's own distracted existence and far from faith.
This torment is in part due to doubt.
Doubt is the denial of faith.
The greater the doubt; greater is the torment of the soul. Skepticism is what fuels doubt: it is an inextricable labyrinth that leads to nothing; for this reason it produces bewilderment. Doubt is a noise in the heart that does not allow to clearly hear the melodies of divine love.
The more an individual is distant from religious faith, the more insecurity creeps into his heart. In fact, for those not inclined to the life of prayer, the vocational journey will be more tormented. On the other hand, inclined people benefit from it; since already routed and not afflicted by doubt.
Doubt is inherent in human nature. Sometimes it is accepted as the conquest of an emancipated mentality. The doubt can also be strengthened by the ironic comments of the acquaintances.
What Satan says: "Since you are not a saint,
you must abstain from holy things because they do not suit you".
What Jesus says: "It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Indeed,
I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners". (Mt 9,12-13).
The pursuit of holiness is never a contradiction.
It is better to be inconsistent and inconstant in occasionally witnessing the holy works of faith, rather than being irreducibly coherent in the aridity of skepticism. In these cases it is necessary to have the courage to set against the false coherence towards nothingness, a flexible and transgressive attitude towards the whole. This does not mean being inconsistent, but it is the search for Truth. In fact, it is never the gleam of our even though faint devotion to place itself in contradiction in the light of truth; but it is sin that make us accomplices of evil. Therefore, our holy works of faith are not a contradiction and do not stand in opposition to our most intimate and elevated identity. And these sparks of divine grace are very useful to direct our whole being towards the unique and elevated objective: the search for the love of God.
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
Then I said, "Here I am, send me!" (Is 6,8).
Doubt is a toad in the shoe.
Doubt is therefore among the most insidious obstacles to overcome. The more the doubt prevails, fed by the personal vicissitudes, the more the spiritual conscience is weakened and a state of suffering is determined. The more we are tied to the noises of the world, the more the doubt is strengthened; for doubt is rooted in this mud. If are not root out its roots, the plant will continue to grow and strengthen.
Human vicissitudes are real tentacles that twine around the ankles and drag the soul into the abysses of life among the most ardent passions. When faith in divine love is accompanied by an unmotivated internal conflict, it means that our existence is absorbed in the daily reality of human vicissitudes.
"No one, having put his hand to the plow,
and then it looking back,
is fit for God's kingdom" (Lk 9,62).
Sir, what should I do to be worthy to enter your kingdom?
The supernatural vocation, more than a gift, is realized on the practical side as a conquest. It is a peak more difficult to conquer than to lose; just as it is easier to slide down than to climb upwards. It is therefore not a work of waiting. It is not a question of having patience to receive the grace of the Lord; it is we who must act to receive the divine fruit. One must climb itself with devotion, on the tree of the holy virtues punctuated by the times of prayer; maturing the awareness of having been chosen by the Lord to be witnesses of his love; not as an object of special divine predilection, but as humble petals of flower scattered at his feet. Grace manifests itself in the daily works of faith: these are the petals of flowers to offer to the Lord.
It is a conquest that opens the heart and the mind at flashes of clear spiritual light and brief moments of devotional sweetness. They are visits generally wrapped in a wrap of tears and thorns; so that no one can glory in it self-love, but only to better love and serve the Lord. In fact, the difficult situations of existence feed a humble and contrite heart, and this predisposes us to receive the holy consolations of the Holy Spirit.
"Brother, know that sometimes the divine graces
they are given to you not only for you,
but also for others.
There are, therefore, good reasons to fear that,
if you hide what you have received
for everyone's benefit,
you be found guilty to having
hidden your talent". (See ff LegM XIII 1227)
The principle of love
The answer to one's own supernatural vocation is therefore given by not ask yourself too many problems and too many questions.
The vocational path has the characteristic of not being immediately understandable and acceptable.
One must not try to understand everything.
It would be like trying to understand and make sense of love.
To grasp in its essence the mystery of divine love,
it is necessary to start from the assumption that love is not an algorithm and cannot be understood,
and if it can not be understood it can not be explained.
It is like trying to rationalize what is inaccessible, inconceivable and absurd.
It is like claim to enclose the boundless horizons in a box set or to penetrate the mystery of divine mercy.
The flames burn with love if they are fed by love;
otherwise they weaken.
Above all, do not tie to the trouble of seeking the answers to the various doubts about own vocational call.
In the instant in which a problem or a question arises, in essence one dictates to God his own conditions based on skepticism,
and the grace of divine love moves away. Our skepticism is a foreign subject that interposes itself between the sons and the Father,
to dictate its conditions to the love of the Father.
We must not offer own collaboration to those who pursue the aim of erecting a wall between sons and the love of own father.
God himself provides to give the answers that he considers necessary
to dispel our doubts, in the times and to the exact measure established by Him.
It is necessary to mature one's trust in the invitation of our Father, renouncing the presumptuous and insolent attitude of
dictating conditions to his Love. The answer to an a doubt generates new knots and perplexities.
If divine grace responds to an our doubt, our skepticism generates another million doubts.
This happens because we are not incarnated in the faith and love, but in doubt and sin.
We are prisoners to our nothingness and we seek convincing answers that give meaning to this great nothingness (which is own ego).
In the supernatural vocation there is nothing to explain because there is nothing to understand.
It is the claim to understand the love that prevents to love.
At the moment when no problems or doubts are raised about the gift of vocation, they have already been overcome.
In the instant in which no question is asked, has already been answered at the nothing and everything has already been achieved.
(See from the diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, 1760-1761) - "My daughter, I want to teach you about the spiritual struggle.
Never trust in yourself, but entrust yourself completely to My will. Do not inquire with curiosity about the roads through which I lead you.
When boredom and discouragement knock at your heart, run away from yourself and hide in my heart, do not be afraid of the struggle, courage alone often frightens temptations that do not dare to attack us, always fight with the profound conviction that, I am beside you.
Ponder My sorrowful Passion as if it had been undertaken exclusively for you. I am not deluding you with peace and consolations; but prepare yourself for great battles. You are currently on the scene where you are observed by the earth and all sky; fight like a brave fighter! With prayer and suffering you will save more souls than a missionary who is dedicated to teaching and preaching. "My daughter, help Me save souls".
The Creator is brighter than the sun. It is a light that warm but does not burn the skin.
It's a hug that does not suffocate. The more one exposes oneself to his rays, the greater is the effect of his love on our person.
Being possessed by the love of God means approaching Him. The possession is all a matter of distances between very close subjects who embrace,
breathe and belong, or very far away who do not know each other.
The love of God is the vocation: what gives a truly complete meaning to the existence.
Vocation is the meaning of life; that is, the reason we exist.
Only love makes perfect what is imperfect.
To grasp God's love it is essential to perceive the eternity in the immediate instant as a gift of divine mercy.
Without effort, without haste, simply stopping in a liturgical condition of listening, observation, prayer and ecclesial silence...
like angels fallen from heaven. Forgetting every pleasure and every disappointment. Clearing the mind from any finish line,
from any ambition of judge the world; from the fears, from the worries, from the uncertainty towards the future
and from the disappointments of the past time. The fasting of the word, the silence of the mind and the silence of the ego,
open the heart to dialogue with the absolute. The present is absence of time. Eternity is to be grasped now.
You can "only" prepare your soul to welcome the love of the Lord. When I say "only", I do not mean "merely";
the "only" includes the "whole"... all that you can do to answer to His holy love. The reason for your vocation is that you are like that,
and He wants you like that. This is the principle of love.
(From the diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, 13-14) - "During that time I began to look for a convent, but at whatever door I knocked, I met a clear refusal. The pain gripped my heart and I said to the Lord Jesus: «Help me. Do not leave me alone». I finally knocked on our door. When the Mother Superior, the current General Sister Michaela, came to meet me, after a brief interview she told me to go to the Landlord and ask him if he would welcome me. I knew immediately that I had to ask the Lord Jesus.
I went happily to the chapel and asked Jesus: «Master of this house, are you willing to accept me? One of the sisters from here sent me to you with this question». Immediately I heard this voice: «I welcome you; you're in my heart». When I returned from the chapel, the Mother Superior asked me first of all: «Well, did the Lord accept you?» «Yes,» I replied. And her: «If the Lord has accepted you, I will accept you also». Thus it was that I was admitted to the convent".
ANGELUS (for vocational discernment)
The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary;
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made flesh:
And dwelt among us.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ,
Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning
is now, and ever shall be
world without end. Amen.
THE ANGLE OF PRAYER
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
Every religious family should have a niche or a chapel in which to gather in prayer with simplicity. It may consist in a small offertory with crucifix, flowers, sacred images and of own deceased loved ones, Bible, breviary, liturgical calendar, ambo, rosary, candles, incense, holy water, diffusers for sacred background music, musical instruments.
The liturgical prayer, after meditation, can be introduced by a touch of bell. A burning candle is a votive sign.
Wearing a liturgical dress for the divine office is a sign of respect and helps to create the most appropriate context for the hymn of praise to be elevated to God.
EXERCISE of the HOLY VIRTUES
All supernatural vocations (if cultivated with perseverance) are authentic,
precisely because each individual is by nature a religious being;
but it may be necessary to strengthen one's spiritual identity through the daily exercise of the holy virtues.
Below is a list of suggestions and spiritual activities in random order to be performed without anxiety,
useful for the sanctification of hearts and to take the first steps in vocational discernment.
No unit of measure is deliberately indicated, since we refer to the ordinary rite prescribed by the Holy Catholic Church, following the vertical axis that passes through the Bishop, the Supreme Pontiff and Jesus himself.
If on this journey you are not accompanied by a true spiritual father, it is advisable not to put too much salt in a little water. And if you don't feel strong enough to jump high, serenely lower the bar of some notch: it's better to start with little, given to the heart of Jesus, with joy and sincerity of feelings.
How to eliminate doubt in faith?
With the exercise of the spiritual discipline and of the holy virtues, turned at loving and serving the Lord and the Church in devout works of holiness and prayer.
With some small floret... some little renunciation to be offered to vow in the heart of Jesus.
With the Gospel reading.
Going to the Church... to visit the Lord, even for a simple sign of the cross with holy water.
Participating in Holy Mass; even just as observers and listeners (with respect and without crossing your legs).
Approaching with devotion at the Sacraments.
Avoiding to torment own soul with dark and acrimonious reasonings.
Avoiding bad habits and mundanity.
Avoiding bad company (they prevent to experiment with the love of God: it is like having the claim to take off with a large stone tied to the ankle).
Looking for a good spiritual father.
Joining good companies; for example through readings edifying on the lives and spiritual experiences of the saints.
To keeping oneself in fear of divine judgment and in the compunction of the heart, especially in the successes and fortunate moments of life.
Listening to the Word and waiting to give time to the seed of faith in the divine love of growing, becoming a tree and bearing fruit.
By entrusting one's heart and devoutly fixing one's mind on a holy soul, towards which one feels particularly bound and in unity of the Spirit.
Maturing the most intimate awareness that religious faith is not just for people of high moral values.
The Lord also calls the delinquents, the most hardened sinners and the idiots of every species (referring to myself),
without exceptions or extenuating circumstances, to bear witness to his love.
Consecrating ourselves to the Lord in the mission. By becoming missionaries in the holy works of charity within the social context in which we live, according to the divine pedagogy of the holy virtues: being a family for those without families. It is not always necessary to move thousands of kilometers away to consecrate themselves to divine mercy in the mission.
By becoming missionaries for apostolic vocations in the family. Constituting the religious mission within the walls of the house. The future of the Church is based on vocations, and vocations come from religious families.
By the continence vow of the body, of the word and of the thought; pronounced on the vertical axis of fidelity to the Gospel, to the Church and to the Bishop, as the source of apostolic life.
Wearing a religious dress.
Bringing a ray of light to those who live in darkness.
"You, did not the one to choose me,
but I have chosen you and constituted you
why you go and bear fruit
and your fruit remains;
because everything you ask of the Father
in my name, I grant it to you" (Jn 15,16).
THE SACRAMENT OF THE TRUTH
What is baptism?
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
Every tree produces its fruits. All that is the fruit of truth and morality is a child of truth and morality. All that is the fruit of the lie and immorality is a child of the devil. The Sacrament of Baptism purifies the conceived fruit, from the sin originated from the lying and from the immorality of the parents, or from the lying and immorality originated by the parents of the parents, or from the lying and immorality originated by the parents of the parents of the parents, generation to generation, for all mankind up to Adam and Eve, created to participate in the love of God but fallen into darkness about the temptation of the devil.
Holy Baptism is necessary, because Truth can not coexist in the fruit of lie and immorality.
The children are not directly responsible for the faults of the progenitors;
therefore Baptism cleanses the fruit from the stains of those who originally generated.
The Sacrament of Truth interrupts the chain of deception by erasing original sin and predisposes the individual to the forgiveness of present sins.
Purifying from the sin originated by others (contract and not committed), Baptism allows us to welcome the Holy Spirit, the light of truth and divine wisdom.
Having received the baptism of purification, one is no longer a stranger in a foreign land of the ancient sin; but brothers in faith, children of God, reunited in the truth and in the morality of divine love that proceeds from the Holy Spirit. In this way, the baptismal sacrament imprints the character of Christian in the soul, with the presentation to the heavenly Father of the purified fruit.
"Here, in the guilt I was generated,
in the sin my mother conceived me.
But you want the sincerity of the heart
and intimately you teaches me the wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop and I will be cleansed;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow" (Ps 50,7-9).
WHAT IS THE CONFIRMATION?
The sacred Confirmation is the entrustment to the Lord of the ripe fruit: a sacramental seal imprinted in the soul through the chrismal anointing. It is an indelible mark, effused out by the Holy Spirit, which makes Christians adults in the faith and in the merciful love of the Lord. Every confirmed Christian can find strength by recalling this sacrament in prayer, in the path of holiness and in martyrdom.
THE HOLY TEMPLE OF HUMAN SACRIFICE
How is the Eucharist celebrated?
(Personal reflections of charismatic-experiential nature)
Jesus gives himself with such a holy and divine love, to offer in an immense sacrifice of charity, his own flesh and blood to the faithful.
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist consists in four elements joined together in a unique and indivisible living body:
1) the bread elevated "in potency" of spiritual holiness;
2) the wine elevated "in potency" of spiritual holiness;
3) the priest's hands;
4) the state of grace of the faithful.
If one of these 4 elements is missing, the Sacrament is not effective. The definition "in potency"
means that the Sacrament is predisposed to the Eucharistic event: Jesus is present with his mystical body in potency of spiritual holiness.
The sacramental event is completed in the instant of consummation with the concomitant physical embrace of the 4 elements.
What is arranged in potency of spiritual holiness is physically accomplished in the Sacrament.
The priest dip a corner of the holy host consecrated,
in the chalice of the wine consecrated (supported by an acolyte),
and hands it to the faithful in state of grace, uttering the following words: "This is the Body and Blood of Christ".
The faithful devoutly receives the holy bread from the hands of him who acts on behalf of Jesus.
The bread and wine consecrated, acquire the sacramental Species of the
Body and Blood of Christ in the instant of consummation on the part of the faithful in state of grace.
To obtain the state of grace it is necessary to be Christians and to love and to faithfully serve the Lord and his
Church with moral works of holiness and prayer.
We approach the Holy Blessed Sacrament with infinite sense of modesty, sincerity of the heart and profound charity.
What happens to those who approach the holy Eucharist without having a right to it?
Nothing happens. If the faithful are not in a state of grace, the elements predisposed "in potency" of spiritual holiness lose their sacramental properties. It means ingesting the equivalent of wine and flour. It's a missed hug.
Eucharistic adoration constitutes the spiritual exercise among the most ascetic of the Catholic faith, aimed at achieving the state of grace to better accommodate this Sacrament. Without theatrical manipulations and hypnotic settings, but with modesty and decorum, it can be complementary to prayer and meditation, even more, adding the chalice and consecrated wine.
"Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and the Blood,
the Soul and the Divinity of Your beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world".
Concepts of contemplative Eucharistic asceticism
The holy Eucharist, in its most mystical expression, is the Temple of the human sacrifice of Jesus.
Faced with this sacrament we are intimately connected face to face with the true Body and true Blood of Christ;
therefore it is necessary to approach with the most absolute sincerity. If doubts or inner conflicts should arise,
it is better to confide it with love to Jesus himself in the intimacy of our heart, for example with similar words:
"Jesus, source of Truth and mercy, it is difficult for me to believe that you are truly present in Eucharistic sacrament, but
I wish to serve you faithfully according to your will, you support me in my spiritual journey towards
the fullness of your love in the search for Truth.
Teach me to love you".
It is necessary to develop the awareness that the Eucharistic mystery cannot be understood,
because if you understand it it is no longer a mystery. Unbelief must therefore be accepted as an integral part of faith,
as a testimony to human inadequacy to grasp the absolute transcendence of this extraordinary spiritual event,
without any fear of confiding to the Lord one's own limits and uncertainties.
By engaging, instead, in the search for the state of grace, avoiding reasoning about the Eucharistic mystery.
Mystery is the reflection of an inconceivable and
impenetrable reality. What is sacred is also mysterious, since it is not fully accessible to the dynamics of the human mind.
It is not necessary to delude oneself that it is true by trying to believe in something that is rationally impossible to understand;
because it means to deceive oneself, and when one is dishonest with oneself, everything becomes more difficult.
To love the Lord is not a sacrament, but a grace of the Christian faith strengthened by the Eucharist:
"You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind". To obtain this state of grace it is necessary to serve the Lord and the holy Church, adhering faithfully to the principal notions of Catholic doctrine.
The greatest enemy of contemplative asceticism is the fascination of illusion, generated by the tortuous reasoning in the perspective of a gratifying final result. Illusions swell reality. Illusions are produced by games of prestige. Illusions are a deception: they create suggestions by deforming reality. One can not arrive at Truth by following the path of illusion and simulation. Christian ascetic feeds on truth; not of illusions. Asceticism and illusion can not exist together; as truth and simulation can not exist together in the same consecrated bread.
To love and serve the heart of Jesus and Mary should not be an illusion, but a certainty on which to base one's daily journey of faith,
often dry and ordinary, without going further our imagination; especially when it seems that everything must happen but nothing happens.
In spiritual matters it is when rationally nothing one expected, that everything can happens.
The holy Temple of human sacrifice is an inexplicable challenge for the rational intellect.
The Father knows the doubts and uncertainties of his children. We introduces ourselves naked at his feet: without masks and without veils.
We rely on the heart of Jesus without compromise, according to the charisma of the most authentic sincerity.
It is our secret. The secret of sincerity with Jesus: the ingress of paradise.
"Lord, in your hands I entrust my spirit".
"For a few years I believed that
Monsignor Franco's message was
turned to me. Then I realized!
It's a public invitation from the
Bishop, committed to vocations".
1923 - 2010 †
Former Rector of the Almo Collegio Capranica
Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese
Canon at the Papal Basilica
of Santa Maria Maggiore
6. NOTIONS OF SPIRITUAL PEDAGOGY
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
These are some of the questions I have asked myself as a believer, and by divine inspiration I have try to given logical-charismatic answers.
What is creation?
Creation is an holy fantasy game created by three infinitely existing children in Trinitarian union,
made up of the same divine substance.
All that exists in the whole universe is part of this game created from nothing and thrown in the timeless from divine hands
for the glory of God and of which God himself,
in His most intimate, inaccessible and transcendent essence of Holy Trinity,
holds the idea and all copyrights of His property.
What is it the existence?
Existence is an extraordinary opportunity for our soul.
It is a portion of the garden of God that at the instant of conception is assigned to each single individual on loan for free use,
on concession and for the exact period of time established by the Owner of the garden. This garden can be grown well or grown badly.
Why do we exist?
Because we have received a most precious gift: for the mercy of God
we have been called to earthly existence in this time in view of eternal life.
Existence is not only a gift that subsists moment by moment until death. Existence is a school.
It's teaches many things. Existence sometimes subjects us to very hard examinations on any subject:
they are all exercises to increase the holy virtues, and spiritual missions aimed at experiencing the presence of God on our existence;
universal proof of love and faith in His divine mercy.
This is our time!
It is the time that God
has assigned to each of us
for write with the story of his
own existence a Gospel in the Gospel,
and to read in the works of our faith
the words of the Gospel.
What is it the death?
Death hides behind every instant of life.
It is the passage of the soul from a material-temporary reality to unknown, unexplored and inconceivable ultimate truth.
It is a highly spiritual process of delivery to God of the
Spirit with the inexorable detachment from material existence and from our loved ones.
Nothing is more concrete and real than death. Arrives as the last sea wave that violently bursts on the our existence and takes
everything away: money, the house, the affections, the friends, the body, the sight, the hearing, the voice,
the sense of smell, ambitions, desires and everything that we own.
The mystery of death is complementary to the mystery of life.
It is a solitary journey without return for unknown places.
Here the real life begins, where the atheist thinks it's over.
What happens after death?
This is the most ambiguous of the mysteries of faith. Mystery is the reflection of an eternal, boundless and impenetrable reality.
Divine faith without its mystery can not exist: it would be a scientific fact; that is,
intelligence of the world but not intelligence of divine mercy.
In fact, the logic of faith does not consist in finding a perfect way to convince the unbelievers.
Therefore the kingdom of heaven is a concept that is anything but incontrovertible.
The mystery of faith is useful to the Grower to sift the good wheat and clean
it from the useless and harmful chaff to the larder of his kingdom.
The skeptic and the hypocrite do not have to believe, otherwise faith would make no sense.
If even the irreducible skeptics and the hypocrites without faith had be given the certainty of an existence after death,
cunning would be prevailing over Love, the lie over Truth and the sin over divine Mercy.
Therefore the mystery of faith must remain unaltered.
For no reason will ever be unveiled in all its fullness at this time. Satan is cunning and deceiving; but the holy Creator,
in all his holiness and wisdom, is infinitely more cunning and more deceiving than it. Only to the little innocents
the Lord reveals some truths of his mystery; to make his kingdom even more unlikely
to those who is without faith and trust in the illusions of this world.
"I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have kept these things hidden
to the wise and smart and you have revealed them
to the little ones" (Mt 11,25).
If it were allowed us to attend in all the splendor to a single manifestation of the celestial dynamics, there would be to go crazy with joy!
What is the mystery of the faith?
The mystery of the faith it is a perfect filter, functional to the economy of eternal salvation to select
the souls worthy of accessing the Kingdom of heaven and excluding others.
"Blessed are those who, despite yet have not seen, will believe!"
What is it the paradise?
It is a shining kingdom at the opposite of nothing, the place of infinite love. It means to go up into the sky to the quiet pastures with
the serenity of not having lost the way, and the consolation of the son celebrated in family. In this wonder,
everything arouses amazement. The landscapes are of a mystical and suave splendor. The farthest places are at your fingertips.
Everything is incorruptible and shines with its own light with enchanting sparkling reflections wrapped in sweet melodies.
The colors shine so intense and delicious that they are enjoyed with the sight and even with the palate:
it is light of love that feeds, quenches and penetrates the soul with an indescribable joy! One live in a state of fullness of harmonious feelings.
Everything is realized in the present instant, even the past and the future are incorporated; because in heaven the soul is a part of the whole.
The past and the future merge together in the present instant.
It is the annulment of opposites and contraries that confers a state of grace and eternity to all that has virtue and
reason for existing in this luminous dimension of Truth and Love. To deserve such a great good,
we have to make us in everything similar to Love and Truth.
In paradise can one drinking Coca-Cola?
Certainly yes, and it is more sweet and much more fizzy than this one here below!
Among many religions, why I should be Catholic?
Because religion is not just made of words, and the Catholic faith is not the religion of printed paper;
but it is above all the religion of universal love. It is not the religion of law and sin,
but is the religion of forgiveness, of eternal life and of absolute truth.
Every religious doctrine is founded on its precursor which is its principle.
The Catholic religion has its roots in the apostolic tradition and in Jesus himself,
resurrected and living, which manifests itself through creation and through the action of the Sacraments in this instant, now!
In the observation that the universe exists with all its wonders, the Catholic believer identifies a strong clue on the existence
of a Principle of every principle; of a Reason of every reason; of an Origin of every origin.
Not of an origin in relation to the past, but a current origin,
a source of life in creation from which ethical and physical principles flow like spring water.
Creation does not proceed and does not sustain from itself. If truth exists it is because the principle of truth exists. If forgiveness exists it is because the principle of forgiveness exists. If love exists it is because the principle of love exists. Love can not exist without the principle of love.
It is not about a religion built on the basis of the interpretation of books.
The faith of many religious doctrines arises from the thought of dead persons, which, however recent, date back to the past.
Books do not fly. They are wingless.
It is a choice between what is alive and what is dead; between what flies and what is inert on the ground;
between what feeds and quenches, and food only illustrated in photography;
between who is risen and invite us to enter in his kingdom,
and who abandons the individual to himself and his destiny.
"Do not seek eternal life among the dead".
What is the Catholic faith for?
It serves to lead souls to God, on the way that climbs towards the kingdom of heaven.
Who is God?
God is a Person. It is not a source of energy. It is not an association. It is not a strange entity that dwells within us. It is not own ego.
God is the infinite Person endowed with divine attributes who manifests himself in the name of the Father, of the Son and in the fire of Truth of the Holy Spirit; therefore it is Triune and One in the divine personal identity.
God is the principle of every principle on which everything supported itself and is founded; therefore he is "FATHER" of creation.
Jesus invites us to turn to the holy Creator with the following words:
"Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name.
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen".
What is it the Holy Trinity?
The Holy Trinity is the highest and most inaccessible concept in the hierarchy of all Truths and all the mysteries of faith.
For the human intellect may be more familiar the Trinitarian perception on which to reflect and meditate,
imagining three simple children wearing
cassock of 9, 7 and 5 years old (respectively in the role of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit),
in a desert of white dust (which represents the absolute emptiness from which everything originates and takes shape),
illuminated by a dazzling glow, gathered one in front of the other in intimacy of the impenetrable mystery of the most holy Trinitarian transcendence.
Most Holy Trinity you are the origin of love, truth, forgiveness, faith and every good. Without you nothing can exist.
Who is it the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, who proceeds as divine whiff from God the Father and God the Son.
How one can remove the habit of blasphemy?
Replacing each blasphemy with the following statement:
"I refuse to blaspheme".
If the imprecations and harsh thoughts come to the mind in recurrent form without control,
remember what St. Teresa of Avila suggested to her sisters: "Do not mind the imagination any more than you do not give
importance to a crazy unbalanced woman you meet on the street and leave it to its obstinacy, which only the Lord can take away from it".
Blasphemies can be impulsive or intellectual in nature. Those of impulsive nature are imprecations;
while the blasphemies of an intellectual nature are the attitudes that actually place other gods on the throne of His Majesty the Almighty.
This amounts to removing from our heart the King of kings by placing it at lower levels, thus violating the first commandment:
"I am the Lord, your God. You will have no other God than me".
Among the most odious blasphemies is the exploitation of Christ the Lord by charlatans and hustlers to increase their business,
or to increase one's ego with pastoral animations exuberant of protagonism and without any sense of the sacred in which it transpires
the total absence of the fear of God.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven, worthy of praise and glory over the centuries.
Blessed your holy name.
Holy Father and merciful, have mercy on me.
Infuse your peace in my heart,
teach me to love you and help me to do your will.
"A habit one can wins with a contrary habit" (Imitation of Christ I-21.9).
What is it the soul?
The soul is a particle of divine love in relation to the absolute Truth, endowed with consciousness and awareness of being,
of existing, of rejoicing in the bliss of merciful love or suffering in the curse of abandonment.
The soul is an immaterial, incorruptible and infinitely existing element.
It belongs to the spiritual dimension.
How heavy is the soul?
To weigh the soul is like one pretend to weigh the fragrance of an aroma. The soul, in a conception understandable to the rational intellect, can be vaguely compared to a thread of smoke that flows from an incense stick. How heavy is a wire of smoke?
How can the soul sink into hell?
The soul, aggravated by cruelty, by pride and lies, remains trapped in matter. It becomes garbage. At the moment of passing away he is unable to rise to heaven to unite with the love of God and falls into the material element; it disperses in it. It is a metaphysical principle like gravity. What was originally conceived as a divine particle be corrupted: the spiritual patrimony entrusted to the individual to be increased is instead dissipated. For every soul, the holy Creator predisposes everything so that it can rise to Truth and Love. Therefore, we can not be swallowed up in the bowels of hell because we could not do better; but because obstinately one claim to do worse! The damned soul, with the exercise of immorality, has itself deprived of everything and becomes participant of almost nothing.
God's mercy reaches everywhere; but not in hell.
What is it the hell?
Hell is that which is distant from the mercy and from the Law of God.
It is a terrifying timeless black hole and without the government of any physical and ethical principle, in which the perception of the own existence and of suffering remains unchanged, in a state of anguish necessity, of paralysis, pain and sidereal loneliness.
In hell there is nothing. In hell nothing happens. In hell there is no a before and there is no an after. In creation, everything corresponds to an exact measure of space and time. For the mercy of the holy Creator, everything has a limit and a measure. In the abyss of hell there is no limit and no measure at the pain and despair; there is no remedy and there is no forgiveness.
(Of the eternity of the penalties - by St. Alphonsus M. de Liguori, Eternal Highs, pp. 38-40: "Consider how in hell there is no end: all the pains are suffered, and all are eternal. So that a hundred years will pass away of those pains, a thousand years will pass away, and then hell begins; a hundred million years will pass, and the hell will not be over.
My brother, be careful, Think that if you have sometimes already deserved hell, to thanks God that he did not send you:
everything you do to escape from an eternity of pain is little, it is nothing. Give yourself to God and say to him: «Lord, here I am:
I want to do everything you want from me. Maria, help me».").
Dell'eternità delle pene...
Who is the devil?
The devil is not a person but an entity: spirit created decayed to a lower nature,
which on a human level manifests itself prevalently in the demonic possession and evocation.
The realm of devil is in the world, and hell is the terrifying destination of damned souls. The purpose of the devil is to spread evil to take away souls from God.
The demon is not one but they are many. It is the accuser and the victim. They create discord. It feed temptations. It put traps. It provoke, to disorients, separates and divides. They are never what apparently appears. Always use a mask.
In his presence the truth is a great fraud and lies is truth; therefore he particularly hate Jesus and the Church: light of truth and love.
The instrument to scandalize and annihilate the devil is to love and serve the Lord in prayer and with moral works.
These evil entities come into action for two reasons:
1. Because one lead a life away from what is good and right.
2. Because the holy Creator permits it.
He sometimes uses these entities to strengthen the virtues of the faithful and put them to the test.
Therefore the fear of God must always prevail over the fear of Satan.
And yet, the fear of God is a feeling generated by the non-experience of his love.
"Find refuge in the Lord without fear of Satan, but fear the uncertainty of forgiveness. The rejection of God's forgiveness is the terror to be feared".
Does Purgatory exist?
The purgatory it is the antechamber of Paradise, a narrow and ill-lit place, populated by many souls awaiting the last judgment.
The souls of purgatory, even in affliction, are so cheer up that they have not rushed to hell,
that they purgatory call it paradise, as they consider it a valid alternative of entry
THE ENTRANCE OF PARADISE - (dream - The strange Heaven).
What is it the Church?
The Church is institution and charism. It is the good mother of the faithful and the holy bride of the Lord.
It is in the world, but it does not belong to the world. It is the reflection of God's love on earth.
We, approach the Church to be covered by the love of God.
Therefore, the function of the Church is to proclaim the kingdom of heaven by pouring out on the human beings the holy love of the Lord
and promoting the encounter between the divine Father and sons. With the Eucharistic celebration and the administration of the Sacraments,
the Church interprets the redeeming work in perspective of the eternal salvation of souls,
according to the special character of the love of the Holy Father poured out on the sons.
The Church is the mother of the faithful in the most natural sense of this word. Like every mother,
she must give her children good things, and promote, with the help of holy Providence,
all those spiritual activities useful for making the warmth of faith and the home be felt,
especially to the faithful who live in solitude and are without family.
The Church is predominantly a place of conversion and prayer "where the Spirit flourishes"; therefore it should always be open. Every closed Church is like a closed hospital: it does not welcome the sick. It is a hospital that does not save. It is an oil that does not grease. She is a mother who does not nurse the hungry children.
Why is the Church rich in a poor world?
Because the Church is the bride of the Lord; therefore the divine Providence nourish her as on the feast days
and dresses her in the most precious wedding dress, for the glory of the holy Creator.
Wealth too can have its own message of truth to be communicated to human beings, when it is well administered in the context of pastoral exercise.
The patrimony of the Church is a measure of the Lord's attentions to his bride,
and in this perspective can be interpreted as a sign in favor of his credibility;
without forgetting that St. Francis of Assisi defined money as "the dung of the devil".
There, where much money and much wellness is accumulated, the devil is always present.
Anyone who wants to know where the devil is at this moment, must do nothing but observe where his dung accumulates.
Eschatological poverty, lived in the perspective of eternal salvation, is a characteristic of mendicant,
contemplative and eremitical religious orders.
True wealth is poverty in the eyes of the world; but the poverty of material goods without the richness of faith has little to teach and much to learn:
if it is the consequence of misfortunes it is not a guilt and it is not a merit.
It acquires attribute of virtue as an eschatological choice dictated by faith. To pronounce the vow of poverty in the name of Christ means to face the adversities of an austere existence, deprived of pride and of every comfort. It is a great test of fidelity and love. It expresses the very high concept of entrusting oneself totally to Him.
Those religious who in the name of Christ pronounce the vow of poverty and in the name of Christ live in well-being,
are a very bad preaching of the Gospel. In fact, don't have nothing own without make us lacking anything,
in legal terms is called "get around of the law".
This poverty is a shame!
Giving up an apple for a bigger apple is not a virtue.
It means to deceive: to pretend to be beggars without know the poverty.
It is an exercise in hypocrisy.
On the last day of retribution, they will have to account for how many souls, even because of this method of dissuasion,
have not found the way of Truth; for whoever wears a religious dress does not act in his own name,
but in the name of a universal participation in the Truth for the eternal salvation of souls.
Those who have pronounced the vow of poverty, they must lead an existence of piety and poverty, far from the logic of money and well-being;
according to the concept of renunciation of comfortable life in order to be in the world
a visible and luminous sign of holiness in divine love on the way of the Truth.
It is a choice between what return back comfortable for oneself and what is useful
to economy of eternal salvation for the good of many souls.
The Church does not need money but prayers and holy works.
Why does Jesus condemn the hypocrites and forgive sinners?
Because hypocrites base their whole existence on the false appearances, which are simulations of truth; but in the presence of
Truth they are scam and lie. The lie is the denial of the truth.
Is not possible relate to the Truth in the context of lying.
Those who work for the universal good and truth, belong to the same religion; albeit with different external forms.
Who belongs to the religion of lie, can not belong to the religion of truth. Who belongs to the kingdom of darkness, can not belong to the realm of light; therefore, when the Lord will judge the most intimate secrets of men, it will be difficult for false beautiful souls to enter the realm of absolute truth and eternal salvation. (See Mt 23,13-32).
What is it hypocrisy?
Hypocrisy is an objective manifestation of one or more contradictions that produce false and distorted behavior,
aimed at concealing the real nature of things. It is an ambiguous form of lying and immorality.
Ambiguous because it appears and manifests itself to the opposite of what it represents and of which it is constituted.
The hypocrites are the exact opposite of what they say and how they appear in appearance.
Hypocrisy is the mask of truth behind which is hide lie.
If God is perfect, why is the Church imperfect?
No bride is required her to be perfect and infallible; but of make herself to love by the groom and to be faithful to him. The holy love of the Lord for his bride makes the Church perfect for the divine needs of the kingdom of heaven. The Church appears imperfect to the eyes of those who do not love and do not seek the kingdom of heaven; therefore they emphasizes the evils of the Church.
If the system were perfect there would be no salvation nor forgiveness for those who are imperfect.
The love of God makes the Church perfect despite being imperfect.
The imperfection of the Church is complementary to the economy of eternal salvation;
it is a mitigating factor in the divine judgment for those who are imperfect, without love and without faith.
Being the imperfect Church, it is subject to being improved, being very careful not to make it worse!
The institutional charisma of the Church is not given by perfection but by holiness.
What is it the holiness?
Holiness is an intercourse of intimate and deep relationship with God. It is a reflection of divine love on earth; therefore the Church is holy and the saints are Church. The saints and the Church are mirrors oriented on the Truth and to divine Love: they reflect light of Truth and Love on the world.
Pride destroys sanctity. Even the care of one's reputation in the search for human consensus and the ambition to be judged irreproachable destroys sanctity.
"The saints travel with the lights off ... but they are lighthouses in the darkness, even a single light source illuminates the darkest nights".
Jesus is the prototype of holiness, as the highest expression of purity in love at the service of the heavenly Father. According to this prototype, holiness means to be one person in Christ; preserving each one the unrepeatable charisma of the unique and personal identity.
Through the work of intercession of the angels and holy souls it is possible to obtain graces and not lose the way on the path of faith.
Who are the Angels?
The Angels are spiritual creatures to the glory of God similar to rays of light, ordered according to a divine hierarchy, established to oversee and perform the will of the heavenly Father in the relationship between the universal dynamics and human activities, in relation to the absolute transcendence of God. The function of the angels is to give glory to God and to do his will.
What is it the Gospel?
The Gospel is the divine Revelation of Truth. It is an extraordinary universal teaching entrusted in custody to the
Magisterium of the Church. This appeal is addressed to all peoples and to all human beings, regardless of race,
sex and ideological beliefs.
God comes into contact with us through the actuality of the inspired word of the sacred Scriptures.
In the inspired Words of the Holy Scriptures we learn to know the heart of God in the present time.
The purpose of the Gospel is to announce the kingdom of heaven for the good of souls in the economy of eternal salvation.
What is it the evangelization?
"The in lovers are crazy of Love..." To evangelise means to announce with human pity the kingdom of heaven for the good of those we love.
It is a testimony of mercy and a pastoral work of information; not of persuasion!
Jesus does not pretend to convince the unbelievers; rather, it scandalizes or confuses them. That is, he drives them away.
In this way he separates the good wheat from the useless and harmful chaff for the pantry of his kingdom.
The truths of the faith destabilize the certainties of those who base their existence on materialism.
This causes defense reactions. The indignation of the non-believer can be considered the unit of measurement to understand the effectiveness of the pastoral message.
The missionary spirit of evangelization is determined in the first place by the witness of the good example in imitation of Christ,
then by announcing the truths of faith with humility and sincere respect for others religions.
The rest, God willing, comes from itself. Only the eternal Father, from the heavens, opens the heart and persuades
those he wants him.
As already mentioned, the Church is institution and charism.
If evangelizing means transmitting the charism of faith to guide souls to God, be blessed the holy pastoral work of proclaiming divine mercy in the world for the eternal salvation of souls.
Without forgetting that religious wars have never been complementary to the charisma of the pure of heart;
that is, of those who sincerely seek the kingdom of heaven. Throughout human history,
in order to make the interests of a power prevail institutional dogmatic over others and
impose their own monoculture judging it "superior", immense catastrophes have been caused.
Jesus did not set up his Church to perform this kind of functions.
In fact, the true charism of the Church of Christ is complementary to the pure of heart.
The pedagogy of conversion, in the eschatological perspective of eternal salvation,
is realized therefore in contexts of free and voluntary response of the individual;
so that the adhesion of souls to the love of God is authentic and never dictated by strategies of blackmail, terror or opportunism.
The testimony of the facts takes the name of "silent preaching of good example". It is possible to evangelize only in love.
"If the world hates you,
you know that it has hated me before it hated you.
If you were of the world,
the world would love what its own;
because instead you are not of the world,
but I chose you from the world,
therefore the world hates you" (Jn 15,18-19).
Who is the priest?
The priest is an instrument of salvation in the service of the Church of Christ.
More than the abstract science and doctrinal knowledge, the priest must possess a marked moral and spiritual sensitivity: science of the soul.
Next to the infinite holiness of the Lord, the priest is less than nothing: he is a spade soiled with mud in the hands of the goldsmith. The unworthiness of the tool does not prevent the goldsmith from using its spade to cultivate its own garden. The charisma of the soil with which the spade comes into contact must not emerge from the priest; but must springs forth the whole charisma of the goldsmith.
What is it the priesthood?
It expresses self-sacrifice in the sacramental exercise, as a binding choice of love and marital union with the Lord and the holy Church.
The priest's mission is to witness the truth, mercy, faith, forgiveness and the Word of God.
It is an apostolic and pastoral mission to bring God to men and souls to God.
The priest's function is not to find a solution to the problems of the world. But often it happens that through the pastoral mission, in an entirely involuntary form, he succeeds in solving the problems of the world. In announcing the kingdom of heaven, the priest, as a missionary of truth and love, also brings charity and social justice as gifts offered in abundance; since they are already included in the very high morality of the holy Gospel. The priest must not add anything else.
Why can not priests marry?
Because the Sacrament and the vocation to marriage (to union in only one flesh and one spirit with own wife),
is incompatible with the Sacrament and the vocation to the priesthood (to union in only one spirit with the Lord).
They are two distinct roads.
Unfortunately, we must renounce something to consecrate our existence to God; therefore it is a choice without compromise.
It is not possible to sail on two different vessels and be united in the good luck and in the bad luck.
The priest is already father of a large family: the Church it is the mother and the faithful are his children's.
Belong to 2 distinct families is immoral.
It would be like wooing 2 girlfriends.
Priesthood is not only a job, but an intimate relationship with God. He, asks to be loved and served by all the faithful;
but without compromise on the part of those who have been called to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice and be "the way, the truth and the life".
"No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other: you can not serve both God and Mammon". (Mt 6,24)
The married man can be a good shepherd (deacon), but not a priest. The Church needs martyrs, not a new class of employees. The Church above all needs women and men capable of realizing their vocation in the family, according to the example of the holy family of Nazareth. The vocations to the priesthood come from the religious families: "Set up your monastery within the walls of your house, use 1 corner as a chapel, be religious in the family, pray together the divine office, be a family for those without a family ... and your children will be priests!".
Why can not women be a priest?
Because the Lord has already given them the irrevocable priesthood of motherhood, to be exercised according to the model of the Holy Virgin Mary. Every woman is called to carry out this priesthood, pouring maternal love into the world.
The world needs maternal love.
The world needs maternal love.
The world needs maternal love.
There are functions that are purely specific to the female element and others to the male element.
In the history of humanity, women wrote countless pages of holiness by exercising the pastoral care of the family and the priesthood of maternal love. The charity of maternal love is the highest priestly knowledge. The woman who refuses this priesthood, for the Lord Jesus Christ is not suitable for other types of priesthood. The purpose of faith is not priestly ordination, but to be a testimony of God's love. Motherhood is its highest expression.
"Who loved a lot,
will be welcomed into the kingdom of divine love".
Most Holy Mother,
Priest of maternal love,
bless your children in faith
with your maternal blessing.
Is the Church machoist?
The Church is not biased. It has no prejudices. It is neither machismo nor feminist.
In the holy bride of the Lord there is no aptitude for these forms of iniquity.
Masculine hatred and feminist hatred grow on the same tree of prevarication,
whose fruits are not equality but loftiness and discrimination.
This tree should be eradicated with the same arguments with which racist activism is opposed.
God created man and woman equal and different: the man with the holy attributes of masculinity in its positive aspects
and the woman with the holy attributes of femininity;
so that they would complete each other in their own diversity. If he had wanted them with the same characteristics, he would have made them perfectly identical. The balance of this male-female relationship consists precisely in the divergence of attributes converging into an identical personal dignity.
What is Christian marriage?
It is the sacramental union of husband and wife in only one flesh and one spirit,
in the sharing of material goods and moral values, according to the pastoral care of the holy family of Nazareth.
Christian marriage is a bond of union in heaven and on earth, and of substantial fidelity pronounced in God's blessed love.
The Lord asks the bridegroom to provide with devotion to the material and spiritual needs of the family,
and to the bride asks to be loved by the bridegroom and be faithful to him.
Do not forget that in the face of the Lord a commitment taken at the altar that is not maintained it is worse than a commitment not taken.
If your relationship is not well tested, do not rush to get married. Make experience first.
Do not mix what is sacred with the profane.
What is infidelity?
Infidelity is an intimate relationship of complicity with subjects competing with the cause towards which one had explicitly committed oneself to share own destiny in good and bad times. Infidelity is not the escapade, the adventure or the short-lived crush; but it is a definitive turnaround, a radical rethinking, an irreversible change of attitude and of one's feelings in favor of the opposing party.
What is it divorce?
Divorce is one of the consequences of the spiritual and social crisis in the values of the Family, the State and the Faith.
It is the act of reciprocal or unilateral repudiation that determines the division of the sovereign family into two distinct sovereign families.
The ambiguous and traumatic context that characterizes divorce is a fertile ground for the devil.
In this very delicate phase there are all the ingredients he likes:
treason, jealousy, double play, revenge, economic speculation, deceit, blackmail, provocations,
victimization, plots and false accusations.
It is an open door on hell which in some cases causes reactions of particular despair, violence and immorality.
It is an open door on hell that must be closed as soon as possible following the path of the lesser evil starting from the assumption that,
in a couple relationship, it is humanly impossible to determine the merits and faults.
Only God reading in the depths of hearts can judge the parameters of a calibrated weight scale by the spouses themselves on very personal and very private balances. It is therefore immoral to have the claim to use another parameter of judgement to issue human verdicts that can only add immorality to immorality.
In principle, if a marriage is solid and works, the merits and faults are of both,
and if a marriage is fragile and does not work, the merits and faults are of both and they compensate each other;
because to be accomplices in love means to divide equally all merit and faults for better or for worse.
Therefore, divorce does not aim to do justice;
it serves to divide and separate. Sacramental marriage unites the destiny of two souls. Divorce divides them.
It is not a legal recourse tool.
On a legal level, it is a foreign nation against another foreign nation;
each with its own legitimate rights of freedom, of reciprocal economic independence and interests to be protected.
The concept of full independence between X family and Y family should therefore prevail,
subtracting the parties to eventual strategies of prevarication and speculation.
The family is a nest of swallows invented by children. Children, even unwanted ones, are a gift from God.
Mother nature and Father love teaches that parents must not only provide for feeding their children, but must also teach them to fly,
educate them, transmit them moral values,
protect them with the warmth of their bodies and with the strength of their love.
For every parent, to grow up own children is the meaning of life. Those without children cannot understand.
Fatherhood and motherhood, more than a duty, are a right for the joy of both parents and for the sake of minor children.
The identity of the child is based on the ties of kinship.
Deleting part of these bonds is equivalent to weakening in them identity.
Family relationships for the healthy balance of the child are like the spokes of a wheel:
to be balanced, the wheel needs all its rays.
Depriving the wheel of its spokes means weakening it and unbalancing it.
Exactly so it happens for the emotional balance of children, who are par excellence social creatures.
The children of the present time are the adults of tomorrow.
A disputed son entrusted in custody without a moral discipline to the most overbearing and possessive parent (only on the basis of material well-being),
risks being an insolent and violent adult in the family, but fragile in facing the difficulties of the world.
Educating children as little pharaohs by demonizing the other parent, can produce in them a serious affective and pedagogical
failure that makes them partly orphans. Today's adults are yesterday's children.
We should not be surprised if a little pharaoh, having grown up, behaves in the family with arrogance and loftiness.
Dynasty, housing and moral principles are the founding values in the attribution of a family identity to own children
(dynasty, home, education). A son who lives in the house of others and grows up educated by others,
according to the style and standard of living of that house, is a son lost and taken into adoption by other dynasties.
The expropriation of maternity or paternity manifests itself when the repudiated parent is prevented from freely giving himself and
taking care in autonomy of the educational needs of own children.
Those who to claim to have the disputed children only for themselves, exercising own exclusive power without giving any satisfaction
to the other parent, has at least the duty to take charge them according to the concept of adoption:
when the children are in the house of the father, they must be feeding by the paternal family;
when they are in the mother's house, they must be feeding by the maternal family.
In the couple's consensual relationships, giving the life to a human being is never a fault.
Before married and conceiving children, it would be advisable to define in the notarial office the main criteria in case of marriage failure. It is necessary to be aware, what situation a spouse can find himself on if things going wrong.
The pelican, which tearing his chest from itself
for feed his little ones with his own blood,
it is the Eucharistic symbol of self-sacrifice
for the love of his kids in a voluntary martyrdom.
(See 1 Kings 3,16-28)
(Cfr. The wisdom of King Solomon ).
Why is the Church against abortion?
Because the interruption of pregnancy is an inhumane practice; that is, it does not belong to mankind. All that is inhuman is not Christian.
Bringing a human creature to life is always a work of love.
Taking the life of an innocent human being is always a crime, regardless of its state of growth.
It is a crime not only for human justice, but above all for the divine justice that calls innocence into existence.
The sacrifice of children already conceived, because of the presumed welfare of the community, is something unheard of.
The sex it is sin?
Premise - sex and society
Sex belongs to the sphere of health and psychophysical balance.
The safeguard of public health is a fundamental right of every free citizen.
For those who have not made a precise choice of consecrated life, sexuality is a normal, lawful and natural activity.
The act itself is not in conflict with the natural moral law, as it pertains to the normal physiological functions of
every adult with a healthy physical constitution, therefore, if not associated with illicit behavior, it can not be a cause of sin.
Sex is a complex and delicate subject that affects public Health and the Judiciary in its illicit aspects.
Since it is not in conflict with the natural moral law does not involve the Church, which does not have any jurisdiction,
and in its pronouncing, it can cause serious damage to the health of citizens.
Anyone suffering damage to health has the right to take legal action.
And whoever produces damage to health has the duty to compensate the injured party.
Sex and Church
On the opposite side is the discourse for those who have been called to an apostolic walk of consecrated life,
and they has voluntarily dissociated himself from the laws of human nature to respond to the laws of divine nature:
"Those who join the Lord form with him only one spirit" (1Cor 6,17).
Who has freely accepted religious life as a voluntary choice, must become similar to the angels in holiness, innocence and modesty.
The religious are angels fallen from heaven called to gather in the Church.
Angels do not know sex. If they know him, they must forget it.
Those who speak of it mean that he know him, he reason on that and do not want to forget it.
Therefore, the religious, ALL, must abstain from practicing it in all its forms:
with the body, with the word and with the thought;
through the pastoral care of silence and the mute preaching of good example.
There are arguments on which the spiritual authorities have the duty to pronounce themselves and to set a good example, and other subjects on which they have the duty to set a good example without pronouncing.
This is one of them.
The Church has the binding duty not to pronounce itself on issues that are not suitable the holy bride of God in prayer at the foot of the altar.
What is it the sin?
Sin proceeds from the instinctive nature and from the weakness of the moral and spiritual conscience.
It is constituted by the exercise of immoral actions and situations, and therefore contrary to the law of the holy Creator.
The human being, unaware of the deep bond with God, is by nature inclined to evil and subject to error.
The law of divine judgment interprets the facts in relation to the reasoning of those who generated them and to the temperament.
Who, by temperament, is more prone to evil, will have greater merit in doing good. If at the bad deeds achieve good deeds, one has the conversion of evil to good.
The good intentions are better than the immoral intentions of those who are prone to evil; but if the good intentions result in evil deeds,
one has the conversion of good in evil and divine punishment will be harsher.
The opposite of sin is the communion of love with God in the morality of those who deserve eternal salvation.
In the pleased oneself of own's merits, sins of pride and vanity are committed.
In recognizing one's faults, one acquires merit. This is the natural logic from which the divine judgment proceeds:
Truth judges the lying,
but forgive the Truth.
Love judges cruelty,
but forgive Love.
Loyalty judges betrayal,
but forgive loyalty.
The Forgiveness judges revenge,
but forgive the Forgiveness.
Truth, Love, Fidelity and Forgiveness are divine attributes closely related to one another.
The word "Love" is here to be understood in the sense of universal benevolence, pity for suffering and generosity in taking care for others.
What is it the forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a grace that proceeds in communion of mercy with the Spirit of the Lord.
It is not a generous gesture of clemency in favor of those who receive it; but a holy work of fidelity to Holy Spirit.
It means choosing whether to repay the wrongs suffered with the currency coined by the Lord or with the currency coined by the devil. It is necessary to decide which religion to belong to. It is necessary to decide which credit institution to rely on to accumulate their savings in the sky. It is better to acquire treasures in divine currency; for forgiveness is worth more than revenge... and humility is worth more than honor. (See Prv 15,33).
Pride shout for vengeance, the communion of mercy with God established by Baptism, proclaims the law of forgiveness.
The essence of forgiveness is in the love of God towards those who forgive. God loves those who forgive.
Those who receive human forgiveness instead of vengeance, can them also merit and earn divine love:
1. through faith in God; (see Rm 4,3)
2. improving own behavior;
3. offering sincere apologies to the victim of the wrong;
4. making itself available to a reasonable repair of the damage.
Those who, for them obstinacy do not deserve to receive divine forgiveness, should be reproached.
If them obstinately claims the right of own fault, whoever they may be, they must be entrusted to the noose of the One who judges with justice,
without the mitigation of the revenge. It is a big challenge:
To winner the immorality with the Morality.
To winner the revenge with the Forgiveness.
To winner the lie with the Truth.
To winner the hate with the Love.
To winner the pettiness with the Magnanimity.
"God makes us worthy of his glory in the works of our faith, especially to those who is victim of afflictions and suffer unjustly. We are all now in the trial! Nothing can ever be charged to those who have renounced their pride and joined in communion of grace with the Holy Spirit of forgiveness, it expresses the highest concept of a holy covenant in divine justice".
Where charity does not arrive, forgiveness comes.
What is it the sacrament of forgiveness?
Every fault presupposes the exercise of an immoral situation: sin; and every sin presupposes a punishment by the law.
The judgment of sins quantifies with extreme precision and diligence the entity of any guilt according to gravity, distinguishing between mortal sin and venial sin.
This is the law of judgment.
The law of forgiveness is not related to the punishment of sins and does not respond to the law of judgment;
therefore it does not proceed in judgment.
It is not possible to contextualize the size and quantity of sins in the context of divine forgiveness.
The infinite mercy of forgiveness can not be delimited by elements external to the very principle of forgiveness.
Divine forgiveness is unconditional, does not investigate, does not blame, does not judge, does not verbalize,
is not curious to know, it makes no distinction between mortal sin and venial sin; because the Spirit of forgiveness,
aroused by the holy works of faith for the communion of mercy established by Baptism,
intervenes above the judgment of the law and looks away from the misery of our faults (see Rom 3,19-26).
The Sacrament of deliverance from the bond of sin is a well-sharpened blade. It is the perfect reparation to our sins.
Gives a clear separation between sin and the sinner. It is the clean cut of the rope that binds all sin to the sinner.
It is the dissociation between the cause and the consequences of guilt, through the blood of Jesus the Redeemer.
In his omnipotent mercy, God, knowing man incapable of repairing sin from himself, sent his Son Jesus:
"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" (1Jn 2,2).
This Sacrament proceeds, in its efficacy, according to the principle of forgiveness:
"As I, seek clemency to be freed from my sins, so I must lift up the heart in covenant with the Holy Spirit
and forgive those who have offended and damaged me" (See Mt 18,23-35).
(See Mt 18,23-35)
The sins of those who have the heart of stone can not be forgiven, if their refusal to forgive the suffered wrongs is irrevocable.
Asking the forgiveness, and repudiating the forgiveness, is the blasphemy against the spirit of forgiveness.
The instant of anger and the more or less long phase of resentment that can follow, if it does not exclude the possibility of future forgiveness,
does not offend forgiveness. To those who forgive, everything can be forgiven; but to whom in an irrevocable form does not know forgiveness
under any condition, neither now nor ever, will be minutely weighed every single sin on weight scale of divine bureaucracy under the law of
judgment: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive men their sins,
neither will your Father forgive your sins" (Mt 6,14-15).
Forgive for be forgiven.
Do not judge for not being judged.
Love God to be loved by God.
(From the diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, cfr.1146) - "I am the Lord. Write my words, my daughter. Write that, before coming as a just judge, I open the doors of my mercy: whoever does not want to go through them, will have to go through the door of my justice. Great joy brings me the souls that appeal to my mercy, I grant them graces that exceed their own desires. I can not punish even the greatest sinner when he resorts to my forgiveness, but I justify it thanks to my mercy that it is infinite and that remains incomprehensible to you".
What sense does it have, after so many centuries, to celebrate the Passion of Jesus,
while in today's world we are witnessing even worse injustices and suffering?
Because the salvific design of purification from our present sins is realized through the divine blood of Jesus the Redeemer.
It is a very current spiritual fact, that it concerns every human being in the present time and is reflected in the final destiny of each soul.
In the world, unfortunately, there are serious social injustices and people subjected to atrocious suffering;
but their agony may not pertain to the mystery of the paschal sacrifice in the economy of eternal salvation,
if this suffering was not sanctified by spiritual union with the crucified Christ.
It is therefore not correct to obscure the Passion of the Lord by superimposing on it the new suffering and social injustices of our time,
mixing in a generic and impersonal form the blood of the social event with the blood of the divine event. The social does not defeat death and without
Jesus the Redeemer sin remains pending forgiveness or awaiting judgment.
"They must be loved all for the love of Jesus, but Jesus must be loved for himself" (The Imitation of Christ II-8,22).
How is the sacrament of forgiveness celebrated?
The law of forgiveness it is not law of the judgment and does not proceed according to the logic of judgmen.
The priest is a rescue operator for the souls in relation to the rules of divine mercy: he spreads the pastoral care
of forgiveness and prayer in the world, invites to repent and surrender himself in the most holy mercy of God.
"Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say a word and I shall be healed".
The celebration of this sacrament is an intimate, exclusive and secret relationship between the heart of God (by the priest)
and the heart of the sinner.
It is exercised in purely liturgical ways in an eschatological perspective of salvation.
Its effectiveness is given by the sensitivity of the contrite heart of the sinner,
in relation to improving one's own conduct of life to unite in communion of divine grace with the Spirit of mercy of the holy heart of God.
"Improve your conduct and your actions
Only Forgiveness defeats sin.
Only Love defeats cruelty.
Only Truth defeats lies.
Only the Faith defeats death.
and I will make you dwell
in the temple of the Lord" (Jer 7,3).
How can we remedy sin?
By improving own life behavior,
celebrating the Sacrament of deliverance from the bond of sins, forgiving the wrongs suffered, with regret for own sins, with prayer,
with moral actions and with small renunciations in reparation for the sins committed;
without ever losing hope in divine mercy and without the presumption to be saved without merit.
The severity of the final judgment on our sins depends... if the divine Prefecture proceeds or does not proceed against us!
"God punishes those who sin with
the hope of forgiveness".
(See "Eternal Masses", S. Alfonso M. de Liguori)
Is the pursuit of fun and pleasure it is sin?
Enjoying a carefree existence honestly and simply can be good for those who have not been called to wear a religious dress; but without to be ribaldry in the pursuit of worldly pleasures and without forgetting every day to thank the Reason of one's own well-being: "Collect yourself in prayer and ask Holy Providence to enlighten your steps... Try to understand the divine pedagogy applied to you by who give you so much, asking you in return almost nothing".
What is it the little florets?
They are the small proofs of love that make great the faith in the divine mercy. They constitute the minute daily feats offered as gifts to the heart of Jesus and Mary. There is no weight scale or measure in the little florets. They are done without commerce.
The little florets can be made with the body, with the word and with the thought.
The great penitences are not florets and must always be considered with great suspicion. Religious faith should not lead to the stubborn search for unpleasant and extreme situations. Aggression against oneself is a manifestation of cruelty; therefore it is immoral. Self-injury is not a vocation to martyrdom; but an imbalance of the behavior that does not belong to the virtues of faith in divine love.
Existence itself gives its pains to each individual in the exact measure established by the holy Creator. According to the divine pedagogy, the Lord distributes his graces and his misfortunes, as he considers necessary. It is a very holy virtue to know how to accept these with faith and devotion. Who has true faith draws thanks from misfortunes.
Every day, the Lord entrusts each one with a new cross to carry: it can be a small and light cross, or large and heavy. If existence does not propose great adversity, let us thank divine providence and joyfully accept this grace; for everything happens in the exact measure established by the eternal Father. If, on the other hand, we cultivate the desire to have harsher and heavy crosses to carry, we can take care of the crosses of others in the pastoral mission of charity.
Why does evil exist?
For the fact that in this earthly existence, with all its worries and its expectations, we are just of passing. We are not the one to looking for destiny; it is destiny looking for us. Everything that happens is placed itself in order with the divine will.
It is the half-empty glass for those who complain about everything and have the perception that the world is falling apart... or half full for those who remember the Father Creator and thank him for the gift of existence for better or for worse.
The current time we are living now to this world is not the kingdom of heaven. Evil exists because good exists. Cruelty exists because love exists. Betrayal exists because the loyalty exist. The lie exists because the truth exists.
The pleasures of a moment and the sufferings that seem to have no end, are the two extremes of the sense and non-sense that accompanies the course of our whole existence until death. They are parts of one and only movement.
The lying is useful to the Lord to glorify who proceeds on the path of truth. Betrayal is useful to the Lord to glorify who proceeds on the path of fidelity. Evil is useful to the Lord to glorify who proceeds on the path of goodness.
We are olives in the oil mill. No fruit can escape the millstone of existence. Olives crushed under the weight of the stone must give good oil. We are in the sieve; pilgrims walking between darkness and light. In this time we can only make a little experience of both. Only in the realm of infinite love is it possible to live fully the union of the opposites and contraries in a state of sublime grace. In the day of the selection, each similar will join his similar: the sweet with the sweet; the salty with the salty; the bitter with the bitter; the love with the love; the torment with the torment; the lie with the lie; the truth with the truth; the betrayal with the betrayal; the fidelity with the fidelity; the revenge with the revenge; the forgiveness with the forgiveness; the evil with the evil; the good with the good.
"God is the Lord of the world and of history: he moves hearts and guides events according to his approval. But the paths of his providence often remain unknown to us. Only at the end when our imperfect knowledge ends and we will see God "to face to face", we will fully know the ways along which, even through the tragedies of evil and sin, God will have led his creation up to the repose of that definitive Sabbath, in view of which he created heaven and earth" (cf. CCC 269, 314).
Evil helps us to understand what good is. It is an invitation to prayer
and to have faith to deserve a greater good than evil.
"The sufferings of the present moment
are not comparable to the future glory that
must be revealed in us" (cf. Ro 8,18).
How do the adversities of existence, small or large, face each other?
Against all adversity, divine love offers us the weapons of the believer. They are the fasting and prayer in ecclesial silence.
With prayer in fasting and fasting in prayer, offered in sacrifice with modesty, innocence, without any ritual and without claiming anything,
the beatitudes of divine grace are distributed by the Lord according to his mercy.
"The divine graces have a price,
and the acts of sacrifice are all rewarded ".
Despair, a sense of panic, anguish and fear of the unknown are the unit of measure by which the absence of faith in divine mercy is determined.
The Lord strengthens the world and partakes of our afflictions, just as a parent suffers from the woes of own children.
It is necessary to rely on Him with trust; because everything is placed in the exact measure established by Him.
The Lord writes straight our destiny on the crooked lines of our vicissitudes, and whatever he allows happen to us,
he does it for the ultimate good: the salvation of our soul.
Who, in judging existence, sees the glass as half empty, will always live in anguish and dissatisfied with everything.
Adopting the model of apostolic
life with the exercise of holy virtues is the most effective remedy against all anguish and despair.
Why do not have to suicide?
Because no one can establish his own birth and his own death.
Life is a game to be taken seriously.
Nobody can marinate the school of existence, gift from God.
Many cases of suicide mature in the context of depression, demonic possession, effect of drugs, despair or wrongful induction to suicide as in the case of separate parents with disputed children.
These souls fallen into disgrace, should often be remembered as any other dear departed in our prayers, and entrusted with infinite piety to divine mercy.
What is it the miracles?
Miracles are extraordinary signs, suitable for all intelligences, which reveal some aspects of the mystery and are grounds for credibility in divine love. They possess an important theological function, in indicating that the world is not closed in itself and is neither isolated nor independent of its Creator. (Cf. Second Vatican Council).
A miracle is never immoral and always includes a message of love. Faced with the anomaly of the miraculous event, the laws of nature seem to seem to be bending to the law of the holy Creator; but there is nothing that bends, because everything happens and occurs under the control and the government of a single law: the Law of God. That which escapes from human reason does not escape the divine Reason. Here, the science of faith challenges the science of physics; according to the logic of absolute truth, from which the same physical principles find origin and nourishment.
How does the believer relate to scientific progress?
What the eternal Father created, in the light of the most extraordinary scientific discoveries
(if not in conflict with the Christian moral conscience), appears even more extraordinary in the eyes of faith;
testifying to how amazing and boundless the creation is in offering always new treasures and new resources.
The miracles of technological progress do not come from nothing. They are included in the same matter.
They could have been made millions of years ago as in millions of years to come: matter is always identical to itself;
but above all the patrimony of the principles that govern creation is eternal.
Every new invention is realized by the fact that it can be done.
Scientific discoveries bring to light what in theory it is possible to elaborate,
but it is hidden among the physical principles of the matter itself, which includes incredible properties and resources. Technology produces only what can be done, and it is almost nothing compared to the inviolate prodigies that could still be achieved.
The diseases that afflict humanity, however, highlight the limits of human knowledge.
For example, in the face of a common spinal cord injury, scientific progress is unable to find a remedy and the paralytics remain paralyzed.
Science is not able to grow even a single tooth or a hair; therefore the old ones remain toothless,
the bald are still without hair and the blind do not regain their sight.
Holy Providence, in all its ignorance, gives perfect eyes even to lizards, to frogs and at the myriads of fish that inhabit the oceans.
In all its ignorance, creation is more wise than any science in generating life.
It is as if this particular ignorance made fun of human wisdom.
It is written in fact: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and nullify the intelligence of the intelligent. God chose foolish things of the world to confound those who are wise, God chose what in the world is weak to confound the strong, God chose what in the world is ignoble and despised and what is nothing to reduce things to nothing, that no flesh can boast before God" (1Cor 1,27-29).
"The evolution of a civilization
it is not given by technological development,
but from the spiritual development".
Does humanity descend from apes?
Evolutionism is not a science; but a creed which states that the human being has generated itself from itself in a very slow process of adaptation to the environment. It is the negation of the holy and spiritual origins of humanity: an invitation to an empty self-satisfaction. It suggest the concept that creation is not perfect and the nothing can create something.
"Established in a state of holiness,
humanity was destined to be fully
«deified» by God in glory.
Seduced by the devil, wanted to become
«like God» before God" (see CCC 398).
Monkeys are wonderful creatures to respect in their natural environment. If they did not exist they should be invented.
Therefore, the Lord created them in his infinite wisdom. And he made them so perfect that they can not be confused with anything else;
because the monkeys are perfectly monkeys. Even the horses are perfectly horses, giraffes are perfectly giraffes,
the hens are perfectly hens and the eggs produced by the hens are perfectly eggs. A mother's milk is perfectly milk.
Fish are perfectly fishes.
The wood is perfectly wood and the trees are perfectly trees. The flowers are perfectly flowers.
The bees are perfectly bees. Honey is perfectly honey. Iron is perfectly iron and gold is perfectly gold.
The sun is perfectly sun. The earth is perfectly earth.
The sky is perfectly sky.
The water is perfectly water.
The fire is perfectly fire.
Even the colors are perfect. A perfect yellow is perfectly yellow. A perfect blue is perfectly blue.
The hominids, then disappeared in ancient times, were perfectly hominids,
and human beings are perfectly persons; that is, they possess certain characteristics that give them a perfect identity.
They can not be confused with anything else and they lack nothing to be perfect people.
There is no trace of their ancient or modern mutation that is leading them to become something else.
If this happened, the Creator should again invent mankind.
In creation, everything proceeds with a logic that conforms to the reason why creation is perfect; because every material element and every living organism corresponds perfectly to itself and each epoch is perfect at one's own time, according to the design of creator wisdom.
Who has faith in the holy Providence, fruit of divine intelligence, has only one Believe:
"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seat at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified, he has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the work to come. Amen".
With the resurrection of Jesus, the Church celebrates eternal life by reason of death.
He is the visible manifestation of the invisible universe.
Who is at the sincere search for the truth in the love of God, pray the Christian Creed in every moment.
Taking care of animals is a waste?
Pets are not just a company, for many people without families (for example the elderly), these animals make up their own family.
The so-called "pet therapy", also adopted in some hospitals in the world, represents a particularly indicated medical sector for those
with problems of social integration, just like the lonely people, the disabled, the elderly or the children.
The waste is what is useless or harmful: the superfluous and the luxurious.
Some argue that with the money spent on feeding the pets, could be helped the undernourished children of the poorer countries.
It is an absurd equation. Owning pets does not exclude the possibility of make charity.
And not having pets is not denote a greater social commitment.
For the undernourished children of poor countries one could renounce everything, and in particular to every vice,
leisure, luxury, fun... you could renounce everything,
but we can not give up taking care of those who live next to us and share our daily life with us according to own life style.
However, too much attention to animals should not lead to the idolatry of the animals themselves; but not even the too much attention to the problems that afflict humanity must lead to the idolatry of social commitment, subtracting to God the devotion that only to the absolute good must be attributed.
Hunger in the world is not a charity problem; but it is a question of education in social discipline, honesty in the institutions and the desire to roll up the sleeves.
"Animals are creatures of God. He, surrounds them with his providential care. Animals, with their simple existence they bless him and make him glory. Men too must be kind to them. We will remember with what delicacy the saints, like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Fiorenzo or St. Philip Neri, treated the animals" (CCC 2416).
What is wisdom?
It is the ability to intuitively give the right value and the right order of importance to things, in a logical form applied to existence. It is given by experience and common sense. It is placed within the scope of truth and moral sensitivity.
Who are the prophets?
Holy mercy, of epoch to epoch and of population to population, launches its call. To this end he sends messengers to the world. The credibility of the messengers is not important, but is important the credibility of the message.
When the good shepherd whistles from afar, the faithful sheep listen and rush at him with trust. Who, from the words of the prophets, recognizes the whistle the Shepherd's friend, is worthy to access his pastures.
The Lord often entrusts his messages to little ones and to people of little or no credibility; so that the talent of divine wisdom can be highlighted by the voice of ignorance. It is light of God that shines in human naivety. It is the miracle of flowering in an arid desert of dust and stones.
In matters pertaining to Christian prophecy, imprisonment is a consecration of divine work. Priestly ordination is celebrated in the cathedral, prophetic ordination is fully manifested in imprisonment and in the persecution. Prophets are blades of grass trampled by hooves in a field of flowers (flowers are the Words of God).
What is prayer?
Prayer is spiritual discipline: work of charity, of praise, of redemption and of salvation. It is also a very important social work to fight demon's kingdom in the world.
Prayer is a kite of love that flies to the heart of the Lord.
Kites do not fly alone; they need children!
If you see a kite flying, at the opposite end of the line there is always a child's heart!
Every softly whispered prayer puts the shivers: it caresses the heart of the Lord.
The prayer of charity in favor of others is the most generous.
The prayer of supplication and of penitence is the most painful.
The prayer of praise to God is the highest.
Thanksgiving prayer is the most intimate.
Praying for others
it is the most beautiful gesture of charity.
Gift a prayer!
To pray for those who do not pray
it is the most useful gift.
What is the use of praying?
It serves for the salvation of souls.
A life of prayer, in a world distant from the values of faith, it is not socially useless and sterile?
If a life of prayer were useless and did not have a logical sense, even death would be meaningless,
because only prayer can give a spiritual meaning to death. If death were meaningless, even life would not make sense.
If life were meaningless, even the past, the present and the future would be meaningless.
Then, according to this philosophy, everything would be meaningless; but morality cannot be meaningless,
because morality is the spice of life. There is no life without morals, just as a lifeless morality cannot exist.
So if morality is the meaning of life, life cannot be meaningless.
If life has a logical sense, even birth and death acquire a specific logical sense as fundamental elements organically united with life.
If death has a logical sense, even a life of prayer has a logical sense, since it is closely linked to the highly spiritual process of death.
Therefore, the prevailing social function of consecrated life is to pray also for those who do not pray
and continue to believe that death is meaningless.
Can prayers be stolen?
Those who have difficulty praying can become a thief or a prayer hunter. Listening to the faithful in prayer is a way of praying.
Stealing prayers is not a sin!
It is more important the social works of charity or the prayer?
The values of social commitment can integrate but not replace the spiritual values of faith.
The social works of charity, sometimes constitute an alibi and a flash of light in the eyes of the unbelievers;
because they insinuate the illusion of gaining the kingdom of heaven as a reward,
without improving their own conduct of life in relation to divine mercy.
The wolf disguises himself as a lamb to mislead those who do not pray and is without faith.
Fake works of faith must not be confused with true faith and prayer.
Whoever also contributed to solving the social problems of the whole world,
without having brought to God a single soul, his enormous action of solidarity
(noted in the register of eternity in view of eternal salvation)
would have served no one and nothing.
"Whoever has a single spark of true charity would certainly feel how full earthly things they are filled with emptiness"
(The Imitation of Christ I-15.14).
In the same instant in which the soul will leave this body there will be no more social ideologies behind which to hide a heart rebellious to God, nor people to help or governments that can come to our aid:
"The matter must be solved between you and God!", St. Alphonsus said.
One evening, the Child Jesus went to Saint Faustina Kowalska and told her:
"The true greatness of a soul is in loving God and in humility" (from diary, 427).
The murderer crucified at the side of Jesus, without a single work of charity,
but imploring the Lord with humility and devotion, obtains the glory of eternal salvation an instant before the last breath.
The supplication to the divine forgiveness as an act of restitution of the soul to God before the final judgment,
for us who we are inconstant and fickle Christians, is a shield of divine mercy.
In prayer we find a soft pillow on which to lean the head in the hour of the eternal rest, and two sturdy wings to raise the soul in heaven.
"In anguish I cried to the Lord,
the Lord replied to me,
and he rescued me" (Sl 117,5).
Nobody can give the eternal salvation from itself; it is comes only from God, like the harvest of the fields,
blessed in its shoots by the rains and the sun.
To those who in the world have sown the charity of forgiveness and the mercy of eternal salvation,
the Lord will return forgiveness and eternal salvation.
Whoever has covered of love and petals of flower the feet of the Lord, will be welcomed in the love
of eternal life among chaste kisses, divine caresses and flower petals.
"Not from the Orient, not from the West,
not from the desert, not from the mountains
but from God the judgment comes:
it is he who breaks down one and raises the other"
M I S S I O N
Rule for apostolic families
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
This rule deals with the principles that should govern the life of fraternity according to the concept of apostolic family.
The ultimate goal is to consistently route to the consecrated life with the balance and measure of the good family man, sanctifying this path, according to the ordinary rite proposed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Among the prevailing peculiarities of this norm of life, there is therefore the introduction of the continence vow of the body, of speech and of thought; pronounced on the vertical axis of fidelity to the Gospel, to the holy Church and to the Bishop.
Introduction to the standard of life
To establish an apostolic family united by faith in divine love, they serve some premises. These premises are:
The intervention of the grace of God the Father. (Supernatural vocation)
The availability of religious to live according to a model of apostolic life.
(Affirmative answer to the Love that calls)
A place or a structure where to implement this unity of purpose. (Mission)
The pivotal element that allows to delineate this "unity of purpose" in a clear and concrete way is the Rule or norm of life of the apostolic family.
What does it mean to have a rule?
The rule is an agreement between the parties towards which a group of people,
united by an univocal spirit of sharing on the same values, finds harmony and mutual understanding.
In our case it represents a form of orientation that serves above all to direct the apostolic family towards a style of life based on the truths of the Gospel. Consistency with the principles proclaimed by the Rule, which must conform to the principles of the Holy Gospel, represents the indispensable element of adherence to the Lord and to the style of life he himself proclaimed.
The rule and the hours of the fraternity are therefore realized to put God in the first place and thus respond adequately to the first commandment: "You will have no other God outside of me". When the goal of placing the Lord at the center of our heart and our life has been achieved, everything has already been done! Everything else is extra. Everything comes later. Everything else could also not be useful or do not interest!
It is not a saint the one who cultivates so many commitments, works hard and doing much for the world; but it is holy who manages to put God at the center of his existence; because that message of charity and love will infallibly pour into the world and bring other souls to God. This goal can be achieved through the tools proposed by a good rule or norm of life, in which the love for the infinite love of God is placed at the center of daily life.
The Word of the Lord be with us always:
in our mind,
on our lips,
and in our heart.
FOR THE VOCAZIONAL DISCERNMENT
MONASTERY OF SILENCE
"Where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am among them" (Mt 18:20).
Make us worthy, O Lord, to receive the holy gifts of your holy Spirit;
so that we may be witness to your
immense love in the world and to raise to you the essence of our nothingness.
The Lord calls when he wants.
He calls or can call anyone, at any age.
In fact, call the boy, the adult or the elderly.
From dawn to sunset of life He can always call.
For him there are no time limits;
it is always the right time when he calls.
Be faithful to the Bishop,
The purpose of this rule is:
To follow the doctrine of the Gospel, placing the Lord at the center of the consecrated life.
To be family reunite in Jesus Christ.
To serving at His feet with holy works and prayers for edification and the final good of souls.
Offer welcome and spiritual guidance to those who are going through difficult times,
and to those who are engaged in an apostolic path for vocational discernment.
To experience divine love and pour it into the world.
This is the commitment on which the charism of consecrated life is founded, renouncing human affairs in favor of the events of the Spirit,
first with the witness of the facts (life lived in faith), then with the proclamation of the word.
2. The charism of consecrated life
The religious are angels fallen from heaven called to gather in the Church.
The citizens of heaven belong to the same heavenly homeland and complement each other, one in the other, in divine love.
The angels are transparent and silent; therefore it is difficult to perceive its presence. They are empty souls of self; NOT full of themselves.
The empty souls of themselves speak of God with their hidden and silent life.
In fact the works of God are manifested through the language of prayer and with the graces of divine mercy, in those who carry within themselves the space due to receive them.
The souls full of themselves are a damnation for those engaged in the delicate introspective connection with the divine love.
Every religious should realize the emptiness within himself,
in order to better receive divine grace and live joyfully the fullness of consecrated life, together with the confreres or the sisters.
3. Entry and training
The possibility of accessing a first phase dedicated to vocational discernment should be allowed to any brother or sister (in separate structures).
Pedagogical overview on the journey of consecration.
The vocational path in the different pedagogical phases, has different steps and different purposes according to age.
It could be divided as follows:
Up to 25 years = YOUTH ROUTE
From 26 to 40 years = ADULTS ROUTE
Over 41 = ELDERLY PATH
The so-called "Fields of the Word", aimed at vocational animation, should them in large part leave room for the
"Fields of Silence" o "Silence together" with the following slogan:
"Let it to do Him!"
The vocational work of divine mercy can be perceived above all in silence.
Subdivision of supernatural vocations:
Vocation to the diocesan pastoral care
Vocation to the conventual pastoral care
Vocation to itinerant pastoral care
In the distinct cases, the possibilities of integration remain bound to the ability to adapt to religious life with a
positive and benevolent spirit. After an adequate period of vocational discernment, aimed at the maturation of a conscious choice,
the brother or sister may be routed in the right direction.
Those who have expressed a desire to approach this type of experience, after ascertaining in the previous contacts on the real attitude,
may spend an initial period of
discernment of the duration of 6 months as Guest, of which the first 15 days of pre-entry will be lived in a state of observation
and listening. During this period, the Guest candidate will have time to test himself and deepen the real nature of his vocation.
Above the candidate's curriculum and personal data, direct knowledge will be useful to understand if there are the requisites of authentic suitability for the consecrated life.
Therefore, the formation of the novitiate will mainly have to be carried out by sharing the ordinary reality in the individual religious families. The required attitude is given by the ability to adapt to the rule that defines the spiritual and behavioral norms of religious life, founded:
on the prayer marked by the times of the fraternity
on sacred art and work
on the mission
on the continence of the body, of speech and of thought
on the vertical axis of fidelity to the Gospel, to the Church and to the Bishop.
In the consecrated life there is a time to pray, a time to study, a time to work and a time to listen to silence.
Work is exercise and discipline of the body.
Study is exercise and discipline of the mind.
Prayer is the exercise and spiritual discipline of the soul.
Prayer, study, work and custody of silence are the main daily activities of consecrated life.
4. The custody of silence
The journey on the path of divine love, for some, is made in great part of words; for others it is made largely of silences.
Religion is not made up of words alone; but it consists largely of silences.
Silence is holy.
Silence does not blaspheme!
Silence is chaste in speaking and does not offend anyone.
Silence does not tell lies.
Silence is neither defiant nor vain.
Silence is not a prevaricator and does not impose one's own ideas.
What does silence represent for consecrated life?
Silence speaks to us; but in order to perceive its harmonies and understand what silence says, it is necessary to listen to its voice with the same attention with which one listens to those who pronounce words.
What does silence say?
Silence speaks all the languages of the world. He says that on the path of divine love, before the voice of the word, the voice of silence must emerge, which is one of the various forms of prayer.
The custody of silence is one of the charisms of consecrated life; aimed at contact with holy mercy. The monastery is not a place of socialization between human beings; but of socialization with the Lord, where everything is prayer, and all that is opposed to prayer is to be avoided.
The need to live immersed in the noise, it does not suit to the chores of the soul. The brother who in ecclesial silence and in solitude together is not able to find a healthy balance, may possibly devote himself to works and visible missions that lead him to have contact with the outside world, renouncing those invisible and silent of the soul.
5. The "vows of silence" pronounced on the vertical axis of fidelity
The path of consecration is not an exercise in submission, but in asceticism; that is, of elevation to the fullness of faith in divine love.
The "vows of the silence" pronounced on the vertical axis of fidelity to the Gospel, to the Church and to the Bishop,
constitute the source of apostolic life and a binding commitment of adherence to divine love.
They are the 3 characteristic knots of the consecrated life to offer in sacrifice to God on the way of spiritual perfection.
If presented at the altar, they are a marriage.
They are exercised by:
the continence of the body,
the continence of the word,
the continence of thought.
They represent a fruitful pedagogical and spiritual exercise on the path of faith in divine love, aimed at elevating the body,
speech and thought to the noblest values; rejecting any form of activity, expression or reasoning contrary to the holy teachings of the Gospel.
They confer peace, balance, harmony and serenity to those who offer these "vows of the silence" in sacrifice and for the love of the Lord with a simple and glad spirit.
Silence is what does not offend anyone. It consists in a moral use of one's own body, one's own hands, one's own eyes, one's own voice and thoughts:
silence of the body
silence of the word
silence of thought.
What does "vertical fidelity axis" mean?
Fidelity should be applied in the following order:
1) Gospel (Jesus)
2) Church (Supreme Pontiff)
3) Diocese (Bishop)
Bishop, Church and Gospel must be aligned on the same vertical axis.
In this way transversal trajectories can not be traced, so the faithful are oriented in the right direction of travel.
The lowest step of this axis to which fidelity is given is the Bishop. There are no intermediate steps between one and zero. The superior of the greatest religious order is an insignificant figure in terms of the divine hierarchy.
Each member can find the monastery in himself. Pronouncing these vows does not imply the necessary belonging to a religious order,
and anyone can apply them with profit.
The vows presented at the altar are a marriage.
how Jesus is faithful to the Father.
"I no longer call you servant, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friend, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
TIME OF FRATERNITY
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. I command these things to you: that all of you may love ones another. " (Jn 15,15-17).
6. The prayer, scanned by the times of fraternity
The monastery is a place where time stops, where man finds refuge, comfort and balance especially in prayer:
Prayer of charity
Prayer of supplication and penance
Prayer of praise
The "together prayer" must be placed at the center of the life of fraternity, according to the doctrine of the Holy Gospel.
The inner peace and the joy of the heart that come from the Spirit of the Lord, are the idyll of the consecrated life. To feel the grace of the Lord, in the expression of a profound feeling of interior consolation, is always the testimony of a splendid gift of the holy mercy.
Simplicity and measure in prayer hours, with wide spaces of breath, represents the most appropriate model
of life for every religious family; in respect of the liturgical divine office prescribed by the Roman Apostolic Church,
to example according to the following schedule:
6:30 - AWAKENING
6:50 - OFFICE OF READINGS and MEDITATION (in cloistered)
7,45 - HOLY MASS and MORNING PRAISE (in Church)
8.00 - BREAKFAST
8.30 - MISSION, STUDY OR WORK
12:00 - ANGELUS and MIDDLE TIME (in Church)
12.30 - LUNCH
13.30 - SILENCE
15.30 - MISSION, STUDY OR WORK
18.30 - MEDITATION AND VESPERS (in Church)
19.00 - DINNER
20.30* - COMPLINE AND PRAYERS OF THE NIGHT (in cloistered)
21.00 - SILENCE
3.30** - NIGHT OFFICE/LECTIO DIVINA/HOLY ROSARY (in Church - OPTIONAL)
* One day a week, in rotation, Compline, the orations of the night, the lectio divina and the holy Rosary are in Church.
** For those who wish to stick to the oldest monastic tradition of the "uncertain time" (OPTIONAL). The OFFICE OF READING can be integrated within it.
On Sundays and on holidays the Liturgy of the Hours is individual. Work is replaced by pastoral care.
At each prayer appointment, 10 minutes before (about), are for meditation. (The deeper meditation takes place in the no-man's land: on the border between waking and sleep, when attention is temporarily absent).
Praise to the Holy Virgin:
Thanksgiving in the morning is the Hail Holy Queen or Regina Coeli (Latin chant)
Thanksgiving midday is the Angelus (Mean Time to Follow)
Thanksgiving in the evening is the Magnificat (as from the liturgical office)
Punctuality is the cornerstone of community life and respect for others.
The timetable is the backbone of the religious family.
If we make appointments with His Majesty, which is the center of the life of fraternity,
and then we do not present ourselves on time for these appointments, it means at first to be incorrect with the Almighty King of our heart.
Therefore, if punctuality is absent, the sense of sharing the Mission together is lost.
The times of a religious house, albeit with a certain elasticity, serve to give order, to avoid chaos and above all disinterest;
they must therefore be respected with commitment, trying to do, the own best. Waiting is an exhausting job. Those who do not respect the timetable have no respect for others. Do not be punctual, it means being incorrect towards those who are. It is not a gesture of charity to wait for those who are often late. The gesture of charity consists in being punctual. When we are punctual, the gesture of charity has already been done! Charity done... martyrdom begins! It is up to those who are always late to make a gesture of charity towards those waiting!
The confreres and the sisters who in the course of the day meet for the various activities, have right to begin at the expiration of the appointments, according to pedagogy, so that the latecomers are not rewarded. If an individual is never punctual, it means that he is not involved and cultivates other interests; therefore it is useless and harmful to wait for it, because the disinterestedness will spread by contagion like an epidemic in the whole religious family, and soon everyone will find it legitimate to devote himself to his own affairs. So, who has many commitments and many occupations, must have charity do not to pour it on the next, especially when you hold a relevant position and you have the duty to set a good example.
7. Holy art and work, blessed by prayer
The work and the exercise of music and the arts constitutes the practical and dynamic element of the life of fraternity. These works should be carried out with a glad spirit and without breathlessness. Above all realized according to the inspiration and individual skills; trying not to excel and not to appear, renouncing the competition and the goals to be achieved. Avoiding all those dynamics that lead to confronting those who are better and those who are less good; between those who produce more and those who produce less.
In a religious community there will be those who work more and those who work less, those who pray more and those who pray less, those who are more oriented for manual things and those for didactic or contemplative. All are well, provided there is mutual respect, without antagonism.
The importance of sacred art.
There are different ways of praying. Sacred art is one of the various forms of prayer.
Art is what falls within the charism of creativity. Every form of sacred art favors the elevation of the soul more than any reasoning about God. This happens because the charism of art overrides the patterns of rationality.
Sacred art proceeds beyond the bounds of reasoning. Touch the strings of the soul directly: it makes them vibrate with tender harmony like in a sweet arpeggio.
In particular, music can direct our soul to the Lord, more than at language made up of words alone is allowed.
This explains the importance of music in the liturgy. A mixture of music and prayer,
opens infinite horizons on the truths of the divine mystery.
8. The rite of spoliation and religious dressing
There can not be a religious dressing before there has been a spoliation. There can not be an entry into the religious community, unless there has been an exit from human affairs before. Admission to the consecrated life entails leaving the world and renouncing one's ego, for live the apostolic journey of consecration not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. It is therefore necessary to leave away old habits to clothe oneself of a new life on the path of divine love. When entering the monastery, one do not arrive with a baggage of merits, but to offer your life to God.
The cassock is the angelic habit of the inhabitants of the sky. It is a symbol of fidelity.
His charisma spills over the wearer and dedicates his life to following the Lord. It constitutes "visual prayer" addressed to the divine mercy to be reflected on the world; as meaningful outward sign and mute preaching of the kingdom of heaven. The testimony of faith passes through the religious habit. It is dressed of prayer who wearer. It is a sign of belonging and of spiritual discipline. Testify of being a lover of the Lord. He declares love and total belonging to him. In that instant, you, are no longer there. The religious habit acts on behalf of Jesus... and you are no longer you; because his Holy Spirit acts in you.
Wearing a religious dress is particularly useful in the delicate novitiate phase; just as the greenhouse is useful for the cultivation of the most delicate flowers, as it reinforces the spiritual identity through the sense of belonging and the discipline, and therefore helps to dispose of the old ego.
The cassock joined with the good works of the faith is the best preaching of the Gospel. It is a visual appeal to religious faith.
The dress preaches not only to the world, but also and above all to oneself!
People want to meet Jesus.
People want to see it, they want to touch it...
You must look at the world with the eyes of Jesus.
You must listen with the mercy of Jesus.
You must speak with the lips of Jesus.
You must love with the heart of Jesus.
9. The inviolability of the cloistered
Every religious house will have an area reserved for the cloistered where the typical restrictions of the cloistered will be applied.
The cell is not an ordinary room: it is Church. It is the place where the liturgy of consecrated life is celebrated. It is the base on which an authentic supernatural relationship with God can rise.
The cloistered is the holy prison of the innocent. The sacredness and inviolability of this place in which the religious lives in preference, is given by the very fact that within these walls every day is accomplished and renewed the purpose of the vocation: the radicalization of the silence of the body, of the word and of the thought; with the desire to penetrate more and more the truths of the faith and the mystery of the infinite love of the Lord.
The cloistered applied in a coherent form confers dignity, helps concentration because it avert the mind from distractions. Anything that causes distractions and disturbs should be avoided. And all that can favor the elevation of the soul to God would be to be adopted.
Your home must be Church.
Your body must be Church.
Your mind must be Church.
(See from the diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, 118) - According to my thoughts and my experience, the rule of silence should be in the first place. God does not give himself to a chattering soul who, like a bee in the hive, buzzes a lot, but does not produce honey. A soul that has not tasted the sweetness of inner peace, is a restless spirit, and disturbs the tranquility of others. I saw many souls in the infernal abysses for not having observed silence. They themselves told me, when I asked them what had been the cause of their ruin. They were consecrated souls. O my God, what pain!
To those who pursue the knowledge of the truth in the merciful love of God the Father, it is not necessary to read the newspapers and listen to the news to be constantly updated on the deceptions and the sorrows of the world. Curiosity about everyday facts does not add anything good to divine knowledge: it predisposes to gossip and distracts the mind from ecclesial silence.
"Nature is eager to know secret things and to hear new things, it wants to look good on the outside and to do many experiences through the senses: it desires to be known and to do that which gives rise to praise and admiration.
On the contrary, the divine grace does not care to know novelty and curiosity, because all this has arisen from the evolution of the old, since there is nothing on this earth that is new and lasting" (The imitation of Christ 54,35-36).
(1008) - The Lord made me know how much he doesn't like a soul that talks too much. «In such a soul I find no rest. The constant noise It tires me, and in that noise the soul does not distinguish My voice.
(1779) - Try to live in recollection, so that you can hear My voice; it is so subdued, that only souls who live in meditation can hear it...».
10. A cross for every environment, an Holy Mass for every day
Each environment reflects how are the people who live there. In the religious family, everything should be in name of living the essential, with simplicity and decorum: not out of vanity but out of necessity; avoiding however to expire in the untidiness and in the squalor.
A crucifix should not be never missing in every room, and the decor of the house should be simple and sober, like the temper of those who live there. The crucifix is not an amulet, but an image before which we pray in union of Spirit with Christ crucified, suffering... but resurrected. The crucifix hanging from the neck is a sign of love and fidelity to holy mercy and sharing in the Lord's passion.
Every element pertaining to furnishings and sacred subjects should be aimed at raising the hearts to God, with due respect for what is assign for the sacred. When doubts arise, even in the smallest proportions, it will be good to think of having to make a suitable choice for the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican!
Wine must be wine
and bread must be bread.
11. Mission: charity in the visible and invisible works of faith
The contemplative life of prayer, filled with human piety, it pour on the faithful in the mission, to spread a pastoral message of conversion of hearts and bring those who are distant from faith closer to faith.
"Man shall not live of only bread, but byevery word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Mt 4,4).
The most beautiful gesture of charity is to donate Jesus. In doing charity, one must bring the kingdom of heaven for the eternal salvation of souls; because the soul is a more precious good of the body that is destined to the pit in meal to the worms. When ones announcing the kingdom of heaven, the holy call of the Lord is sown in our hearts. In some, the small seed will bring new sprouts and good fruit. Every place is suitable for this purpose. It is not necessary to travel thousands of kilometers to do good to others. It is not necessary to use money. Charity is not the money; but they are all the works of the love: prayer, paternal and maternal love, moral support, tolerance, self-sacrifice, work... The first place in which to exercise the principles of Christian charity is to our home in the family, toward relatives, friends, guests , acquaintances and those who knock on our door. Then at work, at school, in hospitals, in prisons, in retirement homes, among the poor and the suffering... But even among those wealthy prisoners of a false ego, that take them avert from the ultimate Truth and proves useless to themselves and towards the next. They are among the most unhappy and in need of the Lord's mercy.
Prayer in favor of others includes all good. The visible works of social promotion,
without the invisible works of prayer, may not be effective in appeasing the wrath of God.
The visible works of faith must be made invisible; so that they may be pleasing to Him who sees everything.
The charity of prayer offers a more lasting good in favor of what truly has value:
the salvation of the soul. Monastic life is therefore an existence dedicated to charity.
Bringing souls to God is the higher gesture of charity. What is complementary to the economy of eternal salvation is infinite charity.
even when the world around you is not charity.
Above all, be charity with those around you
or cross over your steps.
12. The family of the without families
Faith in holy mercy is fully realized when it includes works for those in need.
Weak people in today's society are often people without income and without family:
they are those who experience turbulent moments, as in the case of those who have suffered a marital separation.
Sometimes it is about souls in need of help and hospitality.
A person without a family is a tree without roots: it needs to be supported.
Giving a family to those without a family is a holy work of charity and love:
It serves to bring at God who lives far from God.
It serves to restore dignity to those who have lost their dignity.
It serves to give meaning to the life of those who have lost the meaning of life.
It serves to give something to do for those who have nothing to do.
It serves to give hope to those who have lost hope.
It serves to give a religious faith to those without faith in divine mercy.
Especially on these occasions, for many valid reasons, it will be appropriate for the Guest to get rid of his clothes to wear the suit designed for the Guests, which will help the monastic integration in union with God and with the brothers. In fact, a house for fraternity is not a condominium and it is not a hotel!
In the reception of guests, the dynamics of commerce and religious tourism will be avoided. It must not be a holiday! Holidays are done elsewhere! The Guest must therefore be routed to the apostolic life of fraternity. Anyhow! Even for a single day or for one afternoon, and flanked to a brother or an older sister in discipleship that knows the way, the path and the steps of faith, to help recognize the voice of divine mercy that calls, and so take flight toward God.
The apostolic family proceeds in the context of belonging to a religious social nucleus.
The family it is home. The reception of guests will therefore be bound to the compatibility with the lifestyle of the religious house.
People who do not have the sense of the sacred represent an obstacle in the journey of faith.
Too much tolerance must not lead to the self-destruction of the religious family itself,
or induce behavior or a lifestyle in contradiction with the aims and purposes pursued... a single rotten apple ruins those healthy!
Blessed are you, sir,
because I had fallen and you raised me up.
I was in darkness and you illuminated my path.
I was thirsty for your divine mercy
and you quenched my thirst.
13. Not only bread
Meals, as well as prayer together, are daily occasions for fraternal sharing. Sharing food and sharing prayer! The food supports the body as prayer supports the soul.
A goliardic attitude towards food is a serious form of insolence towards Holy Providence, and can frustrate the commitment to the journey of consecration. A short prayer, before and after meals, constitutes thanksgiving to divine Providence.
Nutrition, within the life of fraternity, will be simple and frugal, without too many caprices, aimed at satiating and not to vitiate; having in mind that man is not what his teeth are, but it is what is his moral and spiritual conscience.
During the community meals, the brothers in the faith are invited to speak in a low voice; so that there may be room for fraternal dialogue for all, and the exuberance of the few does not become the prevarication of the word.
If we are not priests, we do not speak of the Lord as if we were, but we express our thought with calm clarity;
so that our words reflect our faith. The priests, however, do not turn to the guests as if they were on the altar.
And the professors declaim with accent from professors only when they are on the teacher's desk.
At the table we are all brothers and all the same.
We always remember the second commandment: "Do not pronounce the name of the Lord your God in vain".
We apply the continence of the word with a moderate use of the language.
Let us not abandon ourselves to futile discourse on divine mercy, as if it were politics or any other subject,
perhaps with a mouthful in the throat. Let's talk about it in the appropriate locations and circumstances.
Just as it is good do not to cross your legs when you are in prayer or in a sacred place, it is also good education not to cross your legs when you are at the table as a small gesture of gratitude for Holy Providence.
The rector or hedomdomal who guides the liturgical functions during the week will watch over the brothers (including superiors). With the touch of a bell, it will have the task of confirming the beginning and the end of every community meal.
The morning breakfast is considered an individual meal.
14. Rectorate, recommendations, annotations and general precepts
The rule serves to protect the confreres and the sisters, without distinction of any kind. No one can declare himself above this agreement, in particular who has the responsibility to apply it and enforced it.
Who directs the religious family, must reunite in the exercise of this function the holiness of Joseph and Mary. At the same time he must be a father and a mother: to sacrifice himself for his children and take care of the house as a good mother (not in possessive forms), and to impose the order and discipline of the good family father with righteousness. It will also take care to avoid the adoption of independent variables that may create inconvenience and prove counterproductive, such as adapting the schedules and lifestyle modeled on the mold of own personal commitments (though pastoral).
Eligibility for the rectorate is not given by the titles, but from the attitude and willingness to take care of all the family and the home. If the candidate does not have the availability requirement, he is not eligible.
The Rector is a mother at the service of the sons and of the house. It is not the sons who serve the mother; it is the mother who sacrifices herself for the good of her sons, she educates and sets a good example. A mother must be tolerant, balanced and give good things to her sons.
The Rector will take care to direct, administer, assign tasks and responsibilities.
Anyone who causes harassment, slander or disturbance of the peace and tranquility of others is in a position to be legitimately removed; in particular when it comes to boring, noisy and petulant subjects, incompatible with a style of life collected.
The tools Rector's to apply the compliance with the rule will be:
The verbal recall
The instruments on the part of the confreres or the sisters to recall to their responsibilities an incorrect superior, will be:
The oral recall hearing
The written warning
Written notification to the local Ordinary
If the infractions or abuses are of a criminal nature, it will be necessary to consider the possibility of proceeding through legal channels.
This rule, in the form of an agreement between the parties, aims to protect the dignity and physical and psychological integrity of all.
Jesus asks us faithful to demand our rights and bear with great serenity and patience everything that happens to us.
However, those who cultivate the vice of abuse of power must not consider the Christian virtues as pretexts offered to them on the golden tray of humility of others. In general, the principle of charity, tolerance and benevolence is therefore valid, but without renouncing human dignity.
Where it is necessary to choose between utilitarianism and morality, it should be borne in mind that moral conduct is always superior to any other. Not all that is useful can be done, and all that is immoral must be avoided.
To proclaim the Gospel and the kingdom of divine love not only in words but in fact is the purpose of every religious family.
Ten practical suggestions for the establishment of new religious fraternities:
1. Find a place for the mission,
2. Subdivide assignments, tasks and responsibilities.
3. Each brother and sister must bear in his heart the space due to welcome the gifts of divine grace, showing suitability for the consecrated life based on prayer and silence.
4. Create an official Logo of the fraternity.
5. Create the dress of fraternity (for example: black trousers with grey shirt and Logo + Logo for the liturgy).
6. Define the timetable of the fraternity.
7. Adopt an institutional Rule for fraternity. It will preferably consist of the ordinary diocesan path of sanctification prescribed
by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The path of holiness proposed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church is suitable for all Christians.
It leaves room for personal identity, offering a proposal for consecrated life that formalizes own position of full legitimacy within the Church
of practicing Christians. The Rule of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is approved by itself. (It will be good to avoid adopting in
a clandestine form the Rule of other religious congregations which founded their solid tradition on that text. Use a specific religious
rule [for example: Benedictine, Franciscan or Augustinian], without possessing any right on the tradition of Founder of that rule and
without the charisma of that particular religious order, it can be frustrating but also incorrect, because it avoids the legitimate
path of entry and formation to that particular order, while instead a sacramental journey of sanctification according to the ordinary
liturgical rite of the Catholic Church , as baptized and practicing Catholics, it is the Rule of all the religious rules of the world,
and moreover avoids being the surrogate of other existing congregations).
8. The fraternity will find a solid reference in the apostolic tradition, according to the vertical axis of
fidelity to the Bishop (Diocese), to the Pontiff (Church) and Jesus (Gospel).
9. Speak the three vows of continence of body, speech and thought.
10. Pastoral care will consist of prayer and silent preaching of good example.
15. The sacramental contact with God: the caresses of his hand
The path of consecration is above all a journey towards the fullness of faith in divine love. The Sacraments constitute the most mystical aspect of the Christian faith, they are a manifestation of the infinite love of the eternal Father in a Trinitarian union with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Receiving the grace of the Lord is a gift, fully expressed in the action exercised by the Sacraments. They are at the base of every journey of consecration. They are the caresses of his holy love! Receiving the Sacraments with devotion means welcoming God's love; open us to him and to be in him.
What distinguishes the religion of the law from the religion of the Lord Jesus, resurrected and alive, are exactly the Sacraments. The Lord acts and manifests in them and through them.
To renounce the sacraments and not fully understand their ascetic and divine nature, is tantamount to trivializing and impoverishing our faith:
to dwell on fossils of written words alone.
The Sacraments renew the world, they are a living flame and constitute a solemn covenant of relationship between
Christ the Lord and the human being.
They are the bridge between two realities for certain complementary and different aspects.
They are mysterious signs of an invisible reality.
They open our hearts and minds to the holy gifts of the Holy Spirit; therefore it is necessary to be worthy to receive them in a state of grace.
What is it the sacraments?
Imagine entering the supermarket in the confectionery department. You want to buy some chocolate. You see on the shelves different brands. Unfortunately, for the purchase it is not possible to taste the chocolate: we must trust what is written on the package. Make your choice and pay. Just come out, open the box and find that there is nothing inside. You bought an empty package without chocolate!
Religion without the Sacraments is a chocolate box without chocolate: a beautiful description of the product without the product. Divine love without the Sacraments is "religion of the book": only words. It is the rind of a fruit without the pulp. It's the sheath of the golden ring without the ring!
The Lord acts and manifests himself in the Sacraments and through them. The Sacraments are the caresses of his hand!
They transform the religion of the law into the religion of the heart and of the merciful love of the holy Creator.
May the Lord enrich your life and make it precious
not only for the fraternity, but for the Church
and for the souls of whole world.
"I thank you, because you have answered me,
because you were my salvation.
The stone rejected by the builders
it has become a corner headboard;
here is the work of the Lord:
a marvel in our eyes.
This is the day made by the Lord:
let us rejoice and exult in it" (Ps 118,21-24).
T E S T I M O N Y
THE BISHOP IN DEATH POINT SEARCHED ME
by Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
In this testimony, which I drafted with notarial diligence over a period of several months in 2014, in a meticulous work of introspective re-enactment, emerged on the surface the most significant episodes that characterized my stay in the diocesan seminary of Terni, and have had as protagonist the Bishop Emeritus Monsignor Franco Gualdrini. From my point of view I have tried to bring back a narrative description as faithful as possible to the development of the facts of which I have been witness, in order to trace the human profile to memory of his person; also because of an appeal that would have launched the bishop himself at the moment of his entry into the glory of heaven.
During the writing of this document, I also developed the intimate persuasion of having thus fulfilled the will of Bishop Franco Gualdrini.
I met Bishop Emeritus, His Excellency Monsignor Franco Gualdrini, in 2001. I was one of his seminarians: the last. Last in every sense: last to chronologically; last for my age no longer young; last for my non-brilliant gifts... and yet Monsignor Franco, perhaps precisely for this reason he had taken me so to speak under his protection. In fact, despite his rigorous impartiality, he was closer to those who more needed support; but he used to do it with such delicacy and intelligence, so that appear in an almost casual and imperceptible form. Only by the mouth of Sister Grazia, the mother superior of the convent on the top floor, I realized that it did not happening by chance:
* * *
― The bishop, always ask for you ―
said one day the nun passing through the corridor. And she added with a little gossipy voice as she walked away:
You will make career ...!
So it often happened to me to accompany Monsignor Franco in his various pastoral commitments that alternated mainly between Rome, Terni and sometimes Emilia Romagna.
At the time Monsignor Franco was 78 years old, he was a man of high stature and physically still solid. He had retired as a very distinguished guest in the small diocesan seminary of Terni, which he himself wanted and carried out with enormous sacrifices during the years of his episcopate, as the last bishop of Terni and the first bishop of the unified diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia, retaining the only assignment as canonical at the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
If the days were sunny and the climate was temperate, Monsignor Franco spent a few hours every day quietly sitting in the open air in the garden of the seminary, reading or discussing in the company of seminarians or some visitors. The first time I saw him, it is been right in the garden. He was sitting at a table with some seminarians around him. He wore a white shirt immaculate, perfectly starched and ironed. It was distinguished above all by his height and his distinct bearing. It was clear from a distance that he was an important personality and of great doctrine. I had entered in the seminary since a few hours and I was afraid to approach them. I was watch from a distance that image of ancient times, as if it were a suggestive old painting hanging on the walls of a sacristy.
In the following weeks, when it happened to me to accompany Monsignor Franco on his travels, we prayed two of us together the liturgy of the hours and the Holy Rosary. In order not to make me uncomfortable, he had the delicacy do not saying the prayers in Latin. One afternoon, while we was travelling to Faenza, it happened that we arrived at the litanies of the Blessed Virgin while I was still driving the car. He asked:
— Do you know them by heart?
— Excellence, I only remember the Mysteries. For the litanies I should read on the book.
Monsignor Franco exclaimed in a dismayed voice, as if to lament it:
— I remember litanies only in Latin. On the book are written in small print and the eyeglasses are in the bag inside the trunk!
There were a few moments of uncertainty and perplexity, in which I thought to make a brief stop to fetch his glasses closed in the trunk of the car. Then, Monsignor Franco, having perhaps identified a shadow of bewilderment and despair drawn on my face, with the innocent grimace of the child that's going to make a mischief, closed his eyes to not see, whispering in a very low voice in a tone of complicity, to make me understand that the bishop in his institutional habit would not have noticed anything:
— You just have to answer: "Ora pro nobis!".
He was doing me tenderness that every time, at the end, he was who thanked me; as if my participation had been very precious to him! I felt useful and important. This was his pedagogy: to elevate, than it is the opposite of to crush! To elevate is equivalent to loving others. It is also a synonym of elevating the soul to God. Crush it means to hate; annihilate people by trampling on their dignity. Monsignor Franco, with his pedagogical talent, he knew how to found out the best side of each seminarian, strengthened the identity of those was around him; whatever was his nationality of origin, social status, age and skin color. His spiritual discipline was far from fiscalism, and he succeeded in bringing out the charisma of the most authentic and healthy religious faith. He accompanied the seminarians to a chance encounter with God; according to the gifts and graces of faith in divine love. He was provide security and self-esteem even in the reproach. He was strictly impartial with everyone. He never mortified anyone, but he exalted the qualities of the seminarians: where salt was missing, he knew how to add it to the right measure, and where salt was in abundance he removed it.
During the long journeys, our topics was concerning the Church and religious faith in its various aspects were addressed. The Bishop discussed on it with me in a disenchanted and realistic form. He was pragmatic and of few words in exposing his thought. I was willingly stay in his company, spending especially long moments absorbed in a pleasant silence, full of deep spiritual meanings. One of the themes I remember His Excellency proposed to me, was whether the Church should be more a place of socialization or spirituality. He asked me this question without adding anything else. I gave him my opinion, waiting for his. Monsignor Franco remained absorbed. I never got to know his thought! I understood that it was a matter that was close to his heart and for the moment he intended to leave in suspense. I remember this particular topic between me and the bishop, because later, around Amelia, after spending part of the morning at the "Comunità Incontro", guests of Don Pierino Gelmini, being still early and the bright sky of a blue and golden splendor, Monsignor Franco suggested to make a detour before returning to Terni. He said he wanted to show me a Church. When we arrived at our destination, I asked with amazement:
— Excellence, where is the Church?
I did not see any Church in the place where the bishop has told me to stop; so he, with a polite gesture of his hand, pointed to me a building that, at first sight, had all the appearances of a dance club. Not a beautiful disco with sinuous and elegant shapes; but a shabby and neglected looking building, characterized by a stylized crucifix and a tiny bell tower with megaphones instead of bells! This horrible thing was the Church... devoid of any sense of art and the sacred! Monsignor Franco expressed no opinion on this matter; but I think he was quite amused, well aware to having horrified me! Without even getting out of the car, we turned and returned into a good mood in the seminary. When we met the rector of the seminary in our footsteps, it was the bishop himself who invited me to tell of the funny kidding he had score me, amid ironic jokes exchanges in a fraternal and jovial atmosphere.
On feast days when Monsignor Franco was in the seminary, he always bought a cake to consume with the seminarians. He personally went to the bakery himself. The fact that he did not entrust others the task of buying it, as instead was the case every morning for newspapers and many other matters, seemed unusual. It was a commission that he wanted to do personally. That cake was not a formality! It was a gift for the seminarians chose with participation and human warmth; with the same care of a grandfather who likes to make a delicious and welcome surprise to his grandchildren.
Under the aspect of manual matters Monsignor Franco was anything but dynamic. This characteristic could give some a sense of aversion. I believe that his "showing off" the wait for a service by the seminarians (very small daily chores), was to be attributed exclusively to the exercise of a pedagogical function. In fact, the readiness to serve the bishop manifests a predisposition of mind to serve the Church. Being attentive to the needs of the bishop, is equivalent to being attentive to the needs of the Church. I soon realized that this way of working, nourished in the seminarians a profound spirit of devotion to the service of the Church through his person. With his method, he educated the seminarians in the service of fidelity to the Church. The fact that Monsignor Franco was always on time at appointments (unlike others), was a sign of his particular diligence and discipline. I think that his punctuality, despite the many commitments, stemmed precisely from the fact that he had a particular respect for others. I can state that it was precisely the presence in the seminary of Monsignor Franco to dictate a certain discipline in respect of schedules.
When I was a guest in his apartment in Rome, above the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, while I was cooking a few simple and frugal things, the bishop himself helped to set the table. After having thanked the divine Providence, we had dinner together in religious silence; without any discomfort, but in a state of profound communion and spiritual harmony. In his private, Monsignor Franco applied perfectly the monastic-cenobitic rule. At the end of the meal, he left me the task of clearing and washing, while he devoted himself to tidying up the room at best (during the day the staff employed in the Basilica took care of the housework). We prayed together the divine office of the night, and finally we retired to our rooms until the following morning in an atmosphere of strict cloistered. My room overlooked the outer vaults and the decorative capitals at the top of the Basilica. Before going to bed, I spent time up there observing the world and the flow of life below, like a curious little devil perched among the little angels, in a state of sublime inner grace.
During one of his reproaches, Monsignor Franco said:
— Here you will find you badly. You, are too much precise!
— Excellence, at me I do not seem to be it — I replied softly.
On several occasions His Excellency had reproached me in a rather energetic way, for the fact that according to him I was too meticulous and precise. He considered it a defect! I understand that he was right: the pursuit of perfection makes us proud and stiffens. It reduces the humanity of people to fiscal rigor; which represents the most artificial and intransigent aspect in an individual's identity. Moreover, I think it was his wise suggestion in view of the long road, to invite me to measure the pace and not to be too scrupulous, so as not to unnecessarily disperse energy in too much efficiency. Sometimes it had happened that he had turned to me with such esteem, innocence, and trust in the dialogue on spiritual matters, to open his heart as if at that moment I was his confessor. On one of these occasions, as they were of sublime and immaculate nature, the concepts of spiritual ecstasy that he expressed (which for my lack of culture I had no way of memorizing and I do not know how to report between these lines); although I was at the wheel of his car, listening to those words that reflected the very high nature of his soul, was like feeling the pleasant sensation of being kidnapped in a planar flight among the most chaste flowers on the wings of an angel, and intimately thanked God for having offered me the privilege of being in the presence of a soul so high in purity! I was even troubled by noting the enormous gap between my spiritual identity and the splendor of which I became involved! After that circumstance, Monsignor Franco, as in a sort of spiritual modesty, no longer revealed in my presence these forms of ecstasy of his mysticism of love in the search for holy communion with God. Dragged by the impetus of divine love, he had in spite of himself revealed the contemplative nature of his most private and secret soul. I believe on that occasion he had perceived my amazement and bewilderment.
I remember one evening, on late, traveling to Rome, while us was reciting some prayers at alternate choirs (including the "Magnificat" that I feared not to remember by heart until the end), Monsignor Franco told me, he had a sin on his conscience: that day had not and would not have celebrated Holy Mass. Since every priest is instead obliged to say Mass every day, him with extreme candor, as if he were in the presence of a true priest, he entrusted his sin to my judgment; expressly with the intention of knowing through my words what the judgment of God was on him. I did not know what to say; in the sense that due to the malice of my heart, I had suspicion that it was a trap question exclusively aimed at getting an opinion about myself. I did not understand what reason he had to address that request to a seminarian recently admitted to the propedeutic. What did I know about God's judgment on a bishop? What judgment can a seminarian express to a monsignor who has missed the Mass for a day? He will certainly know it better than me! So, if he already knows the answer, why does he ask me? What he want to prove? Why he not ask tomorrow morning early to one of the many priests in service at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore? He want to test me? However, not being able to abstain from expressing a judgment, with great caution and courage, very careful to grasp even the slightest sign of disapproval, I began by saying with extreme hesitation that to me, all in all, it did not seem a big lack if from time to time so much does it happen to skip Holy Mass or liturgical prayer. How many times do every priest have to celebrate three or four Masses in the same day? If we really want to be fiscal, the Masses celebrated in more, could compensate for the unspoken! And in any case, the celebration of the Eucharist can not be reduced to a numerical equation or to an automatism: are not churned out holy Masses like pizzas! And having now taken courage, after realizing that there was no second end in his request, but everything was taking place within the most sincere spirit of contrition of the heart for the remission of sins, I concluded with a sentence that sounded it's like this:
— Excellency, even to the hens the Creator, for his holy mercy, has granted do not to make the egg every day!
Monsignor Franco, absorbed in his spiritual silence, seemed to welcome my wisdom of courtyard! Then, the bishop whispered a short Latin formula, I imagine for the remission of sins, and shortly thereafter we resumed praying in unity of the Spirit. On that occasion, the bishop, by virtue of his ecclesiastical authority, had conferred on a seminarian the task of exercising the sacrament of reconciliation on his person. If he had not done so, Monsignor Franco would not have had the chance that evening to go to bed with an immaculate conscience. It was my first and only absolution I give for a sin. I who had a heap of sins to shudder on my conscience, I did not find the courage to confess mine to the bishop, and that night in his presence I felt like a pirate!
A day of celebration at lunch in the refectory, inasmuch as among us seminarians it was customary to serve dishes that the cook had cooked in the morning, I had the idea to slice the cake that Monsignor Franco had bought and had placed on the side table of food. Precisely because it was a gift kindly offered by the bishop, I took extreme care to cut the slices with precision all perfectly identical. I seemed to do something useful and appreciate. When Monsignor Franco realized, he said:
— Why did you cut the whole cake into equal slices?
— Excellence — I replied — it is also common to do it in the restaurant!
— The seminar is not a restaurant — the bishop said quietly. —
Here we are in the family! Among the family there will be those who want a smaller slice and who instead a slice a little bigger.
In the family, everyone must feel free to take the portion they want!
When Monsignor Franco celebrated Holy Mass in the ancient Church of Sant'Alò, annexed to the seminary, in his homilies he often emphasized the importance of the family and of being united in faith by the communion of family love. In a world where the most elementary values of the family are widely disregarded, he associated the seminar with the more traditional values of the family. He reminded everyone present of the model of the holy family of Nazareth: faithful and indissoluble. He called it a school of the Gospel, where one learns in the sharing of prayer and food the spiritual discipline. He said that the seminary, just like a family, is the first place in which to apply the values of Christian charity, where the most authentic and natural sense of affectionate solidarity is realized. Jesus gathers his Church in the form of a family. It includes inside itself more generations: young people, adults and the elderly. In the family everyone has a role, carries out a task and takes care of each other; especially those who are weaker and sicker. The identity and the healthy balance of each individual is fully realized in the family context in which one feels loved and accepted. Monsignor Franco remarked often on the fact of being a family: the Church is not a corporation or even a form of community in a vague and indefinite dimension; the Church is a family united in Christ, and the family is a communion of love. The first people to apply the principles of Christian charity are exactly those closest to us: our family members!
I wondered why he spoke about it so often and in a pained voice! He seemed to address his words to someone in particular of those present...
The day when I informed him that his car had electrical problems and I underlined the urgency with which, in my opinion, it was necessary to intervene, on that occasion he reproached me. He did so with the tone of the exasperated person for what he considered to be my form of petulance. He said:
— This machine has had its time, but has never given problems! Everyone uses it and no one has found any anomalies to report.
Now for the fact that you, drive this car, you must adjust it to perfection!
You're always too fussy! You have to get used to taking things with greater flexibility.
I was pretty hurt! He had made me amazed that a person of his venerable age and his rank, had turned to me talking about mental flexibility...!
A few days later, while I was in the kitchen garnishing the trays with the dinner dishes, the rector of the seminary appeared at the entrance, and he ordered me to abandon all duties and immediately go to the refectory, because His Excellency Monsignor Gualdrini, just arrived, he has request urgently of me. He added that the bishop he would have had something to report and had specifically requested my presence. With infinite restlessness and worry, trying to figure out at which of my possible wrongdoings I should have answered and the way in which I could exculpate myself, I entered fearfully into the hall already set for our dinner. Just before the blessing standing around the table, the bishop announced publicly:
— This afternoon with Sister Grazia we were stranded on the highway. We had to call the tow truck!
— And at my address he exclaimed in a loud voice — You were right you!
In honestly recognizing own mistakes, it is breathe dust of holiness! This was the prevailing pedagogical purpose of Monsignor Franco: to make the character of holiness sprout in seminarians, offering, he for first the good example! To him the courage to expose himself (even at the risk of sacrificing his reputation), he was not missing! If he was wrong he did not fear to admit his mistakes, and if necessary, he blamed himself the faults of others. In the course of his episcopate, on more than one occasion he took charge of answering for faults not his own; also serious and defamatory, which could have led to judicial proceedings and irreparably discredit his reputation, among which one in relation to the construction exactly of that seminar. He often said that the bishop's habit is drawn with broad shoulders, because he must also support the cross of others! Few are those who, if called to answer for their sins, have the strength to face the accusations without claiming their own innocence and without pour on others their own responsibilities. Very rare are instead the holy souls, who have the magnanimity to sacrifice their own innocence and honor for take responsibility for the sins of others; Monsignor Franco was one of these! In this respect he had the heart of the gladiator and the generosity of the missionary.
Anyone, if judged in light of certain aspects, turns out to be innocent: this is the work of lawyers! Holiness, on the other hand, is not a work of lawyers of oneself, in which one tries to bring out one's own innocence for claim any extraneousness to accusations and faults. Holiness often presents itself outwardly filthy and full of mending! It is perfection of holiness, what is join us to Christ; even in all the fragility and imperfection of human nature. This is the way of holiness: to love God with a chaste and pure heart, sacrificing oneself (even in one's own honor), out of love for one's neighbor. Santa Teresa d'Avila, awarded the title of Doctor of the Church, wrote master words on this topic:
"Any person feels any attachment to the point of honor, if he wants to advance in virtue, believe me, throw this link behind his back, because it is like a chain that no tool can break". We are claim to follow the Christ's teachings, covered with insults and false accusations, and then we want to preserve our honor and reputation in full. The Lord joins our soul only if we strive and do everything to lose our rights in many things. Someone will say: I have no way or opportunity to do so, but I believe that to those who have taken this determination, the Lord will not want make to lose so much good: His Majesty will prepare many opportunities to let acquire to the soul this virtue, which does not will have to desire more". "Hand to work, then!". (Cf. Teresa d'Avila, "Book of my life", Ed. Mondadori Milano 1986, pp. 264-265).
Subsequently, Monsignor Franco moved away from the House of Clergy - diocesan seminary of Terni, to retire not far away in a nice stately attic, dominated by an impressive library. And yet, that attic, without his garden and without his seminarians around him, gave me a sense of melancholy. I would have preferred that Monsignor Franco stayed in the seminary. I was hoping with all my heart! That was his home and his family! It seemed to me that he himself had tried to make it understood in many ways. For 19 years he had been at the helm of an authoritative seminary of great tradition and prestige in the Church: the Almo Capranica College of Rome. And before that, for another 11 years, rector of the Faenza seminary. He had never been a parish priest; but only the seminary rector and then the bishop. The seminarians were his world and his only family! To dedicate himself to vocations had always been his precise pastoral commitment. I am sure he would have liked to exercise it until the end of his years. I could not understand all that urgency. I hoped he would change his mind, that he would remain! I had the distinct impression that his choice so hasty, was not entirely dictated by the desire for a secluded life. Even in the seminary he had wide spaces of solitude, and moreover his frequent engagements often took him far from Terni. Someone was putting pressure on him to push leave as soon as possible.
The Bishop Emeritus H. E. Monsignor Franco Gualdrini
I imagine that also Monsignor Franco had heard the voice that a certain person in the seminary, with his typical sharp humor,
openly called him the cumbersome object!
— Why he is a cumbersome object? — I asked naively.
This person proposed it to me as a topic of reflection for the fact that I could not grasp the meaning of this allusion.
— What is a cumbersome object? — he explained in a didactic tone, as if it were a lesson to be followed carefully.
— Referred to a bishop in a small minor seminary is something enormous, that occupies space and obstructing the passage. Hinders with its large starched vestments and is a useless nuisance! Did you notice the headgear he wears during the solemn celebrations how sumptuous it is? And the titles that a bishop has? Have you heard the majestic resonance of the titles of the Bishop Emeritus, His Excellency Monsignor Gualdrini? Where do we put a trophy of this size in a small seminar? We load it on the handcart... and in procession we shift it elsewhere!
I did not find it funny. I felt sorry for it; but in my status as a seminarian I preferred not to expose myself in expressing my disappointment.
It would mean isolating oneself, losing consensus and risking to having attributed the dreaded appellation of "subject too polemical"
(equivalent to expulsion). So I had listening in silence without commenting.
However, while he was speaking, I considered to myself that this person's behavior was particularly detestable,
as I knew he was been ordained priest by the imposition of the hands of Monsignor Franco. In my eyes he assumed the appearance of a true betrayal.
That evening, in the dim light and in the quiet inside the ancient Church of St. Alò,
I had a vague and strange perception. It seemed to me that even the walls of that holy building heard the words of this priest and were disgusted.
I seemed he fail in the most elementary moral values of gratitude and human solidarity towards a person now elderly, who in the exercise of his pastoral mission had given much and in his last years of life he deserved to gather around him a little affection and serenity. Moreover, the same marble plaque placed at the entrance of the seminar on which it was engraved: "HOUSE OF CLERGY", summarized the prevailing purpose of that structure according to the intentions of its founder: to be home; namely house hearth in the family sharing.
But I have no doubt that this same person, albeit sincerely animated by the best intentions, instead of welcoming as the manna from Heaven the great pedagogical experience of Monsignor Franco, had kindly pointed out to him that for the dynamics of a modern seminar, the presence of an old retired bishop could have been an inconvenience. It was said that he make lost hours of study to seminarians. From my point of view, Monsignor Franco's presence in the seminary was like having a great champion inside a small parish soccer team... and chasing him away for the resonance of his name!
Finally, me too I had to surrendered to the objectivity of the facts.
All that haste and the pressure exerted on him, was due to the affair that had to start the works of the readjustment of the seminary
at the new rector's needs. For simulated delicacy Monsignor Franco did not must to be present at the construction site,
with the masons armed with pickaxe and hammer, to put hand to his seminary; so he had to be sent away! It was said that...
he would have suffer too much! His heart could not have endure the pain! It had become the exclamation recurring,
associated with the hypothesis that Monsignor Franco could remain in the seminary; a sort of hypocritical slogan
to close the mouth to the voice of conscience: "Nooo... it would suffer too much!!!".
As if Monsignor Franco had been emotionally bound to the walls and not to the people, and he can fall in desperation if they threw down two plasterboard walls! How it was done miserable and childish to paint him in the guise of a child jealous of his toy! In essence, it was recognized him the paternity of that seminar; but at the same time it was attributed him, in a completely false and undeserved, also the qualification of possessive subject and too attached to material things, in such a measure, to have to be removed him for protect his health, because his heart could not bear the displeasure of attend the small retouching of his seminary! It was just an excuse to pull the last shove and push him definitively... on the procession handcart! The cake that during the festive days Monsignor Franco went personally to buy with the joy of the grandfather, was not a manifestation of his affection for the walls of the seminary; but it was meant for seminarians, to whom he felt united by the closest kinship! So, in addition to the cruelty of tearing him from what he himself had often referred to as a family,
they added the mockery of slander, well dressed in a sneaky cheating of gallant words.
That diabolical exclamation (...it would suffer too much!), pronounced by everyone except for a few, it was the kiss of Judas!
At that point, with his usual sobriety and dignity as he was in his way of being, Monsignor Franco he moving away
with much cordiality towards everyone, no one excluded. I was even surprised and also a little disappointed at his extreme docility.
I imagined that a bishop was very good at making his way by pulling elbows on hips of the adversaries without being seen!
He, who in the direct confrontation on the ground of the prevarication, could have broken the old dry branch simply by sitting
on it with all the weight of his authority and his influential knowledge, allowed himself to be loaded on the handcart with the
gentleness of an angelic butterfly abducted by ants! No flapping of wings! He accepted with resignation the miserable verdict of
the events, without showing any hint of contention. He applied the principles of the holy Gospel with rectitude and self-sacrifice:
to those who struck him on the cheek, he also handed the other. To those who removed his tunic, he also left his cloak! (Cf. Mt 5,39-40).
I associated him with the responsible behavior of the good father of family, that, put at the door without doing anything wrong,
for the good and the integrity of the disputed children, sacrifices himself and his rights.
The silent exit from the seminary of Monsignor Franco constituted the most unequivocal evidence that all his morbid jealousy for
the walls of that building was nothing but the fruit of other's ambition and slander. His only fault was that of being a bishop.
Had he been a simple priest or a lay brother, he would have remained with all the honors of the one who had founded that seminary!
In reality, everything was based on the spiritual charisma of Monsignor Franco; which fed the living flame of vocations simply
with his presence. For us seminarians it represented an institution. It was enough to look at him. To feel that he was there.
It was an important reference as the compass for the navigator. What Monsignor Franco returned in terms of human values and spiritual charisma,
amply rewarded the "discomfort" of having an old retired bishop in the seminary! He, who at the time of his episcopate had assumed
in first person all the responsibilities and sorrows in the construction of that seminar without any financial backing
(facing, in a moment of generosity, the prospect of appearing in court to answer for an accusation infamous for a fault not his [note*]),
but relying exclusively on divine Providence, was therefore led to move away from his own home and his family right in the full sunset of life.
This situation saddened me! I am convinced that Monsignor Franco, in the depths of his heart, has suffered a lot.
From that day on I did not hear from him. Afterwards, Christ Lord, after having chewed me and made me savor the taste of his true blood and the hardness of his flesh, spit me again in the world. Soon the flame that burned among the seminarians faded. The light remained without its oil. The same seminar a couple of years later was dismantled due to lack of vocations and that structure used for other functions. This was the last act on the work created originally by Bishop Gualdrini.
With the passing of the years, the dust has made opaque the glossy colors of this experience, short but intense and meaningful, leaving in a corner of my heart an affectionate memory for everyone; in particular for Monsignor Franco and for the rector of the seminar who always worked for me with the maximum availability, correctness and pastoral spirit.
it manifested itself to me in a dream on the point of death;
9 years later, precisely on the morning of 17 March 2010.
"We need someone who wears the cassock.
I was far from Italy, for years domiciled in another continent and without any contact with people from the diocese of Terni.
I report here a part of the email (complete with details) that on that occasion I sent to my
tutor in studies at the faculty of religious sciences at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross,
the Reverend Professor Renzo Lavatori, teacher of dogmatic theology, member of the Pontifical Theological
Academy and radio host of theological teaching at Radio Maria:
[March 27, 2010] -
Ill.mo Don Renzo, [...]. You will want to forgive me if I allow myself to share with you a particular experience of a few days ago. In fact, on March 17th last I dreamed the bishop Monsignor Franco Gualdrini, to whom I lent some little service when I was a seminarian at the Home of Clergy in Terni.
In this dream, so vivid and real to remember every detail even after the awakening, I find myself on the sidelines inside
the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (which I used to accompany and sometimes stay with the Bishop in his apartment above the
In the context of this dream, Monsignor Franco is in council with important priests, in relation to a future visit of seminarians to the Holy See for an official meeting with the Supreme Pontiff.
My role is that of a simple spectator sitting between the empty benches.
A large group of seminarians, one by one, are invited to meet with some of these prelates. Finally, as if nothing had emerged from the talks with the various seminarians, I am affectionately invited by two young priests. They accompany me to the side of the altar. I therefore find myself standing in the presence of Monsignor Franco, in his capacity of very high rank and ecclesial dignity. Staring into my eyes with his typical charismatic but cordial expression, the bishop, turning to me in an authoritative and interlocutory tone as if I were still one of his seminarians, used exactly these words.
It would be useful that someone to wore it!"
In this dream, Monsignor Franco addressed me as if none of the seminarians interviewed had made himself available to wear the cassock
in place of the most modern and elegant clergyman shirt. I answered, slightly inclining the head in sign of respect and condescension,
accompanied by the expression: "Excellence, if necessary...!".
At that precise moment the dream vanished without having time to finish the sentence.
I woke up with the following thought: "Monsignor Franco will have understood the meaning of my answer?".
I was amazed and moved by the sharpness, the coherence and the ways in which the facts took place in the dream: in a real, logical and concrete form. An extremely intense and more expressive dream than the usual generic and inconclusive dreams.
So I wrote the exact words spoken by the bishop on a sheet of paper, and in the afternoon I went to an internet point to check if there was any news about Monsignor Franco. Being at that time already quite old, I hypothesized that in this last decade it had disappeared. Instead I read comforting news about a person still active.
A few days ago, a week after the first research, solicited by the memory still alive, too intense and full of meaning of that dream, I thought it appropriate to repeat the same research on the internet. On this second occasion a long list of news stories was appeared of chronicle. I therefore discovered that the death of Monsignor Franco took place on 22 March at the hospital in Terni (5 days after my dream).
This fact moved me very much: Bishop Gualdrini dying came to look for me! And the idea that from above can intercede with his benevolence, encourages me and urges me to be more constant in the journey of faith; with the intimate persuasion that the Lord, according to his times and his modalities, will not want to make me miss the occasions and circumstances to fulfill his will.
Ill.mo Don Renzo, I extend my warmest wishes to you for a pleasant stay, even if it is burdensome of pastoral commitments in Romania.
I send you my best wishes for a holy and peaceful Easter with affection, devotion and gratitude.
THE REPLY OF REVEREND PROFESSOR RENZO LAVATORI
[March 28, 2010] -
Dear Giancarlo, [...]. I have read with deep interest and with intimate pleasure your particular and significant experience of the dream very clear and bright of the bishop that you met personally and with whom you had good contacts and to whom you gave your collaboration as a seminarian. It seems to me that he has shown towards you a paternal benevolence, which now wants to continue to exercise from heaven after his earthly disappearance.
Truly a living and touching reality, in front of which we need not only to pay attention but to welcome a strong and marvelous invitation! Infinite are the ways of the Lord for his beloved children and He alone knows its deepest value. To us the task of knowing how to recognize and meditate the sense in the intimacy of our soul. I assure you that I will pray with this particular intention in the next days of Easter. Jesus suffering crucified and risen gives you his Holy Spirit to make you understand the message intimately and above all let it be done when and how He wills.
Again, my very best wishes for a holy and fruitful Easter in the union of spirit and fraternal affection.
In epilogue to this last chapter, I add the present annotation that I write with particular emotion.
In the instant in which I lived it seemed to me a significant coincidence, even if (reading back what I wrote) it appears to me rather naive, to the point of doubting whether it was the case to insert it or not.
This early afternoon, while I was walking immersed in the silence and solitude of the mountain,
mentally going over the various parts of this testimony on Monsignor Franco once again,
I felt in the depths of my soul the living perception of someone who gave its approval in concluding this work begun on February 16, today: August 5, 2014. Returned to my accommodation, to seek confirmation of this strong and very particular feeling that I hypothesized to attribute to the will of Monsignor Franco , I thought of consulting the saint of the day on the liturgical calendar, in the secret hope of meeting the significant coincidence with the feast in memory of St. Agnes towards which Bishop Gualdrini was very close. Instead, I found the following recurrence:
"Dedication Basilica S. Maria Maggiore".
Until a few moments ago I was not aware that this anniversary existed in the calendar.
Giancarlo Mauroner Altemani
"The heavens narrate the glory of God, *
and the work of his hands heralds the firmament.
The day a day entrusts the message *
and at night to night it transmits the news.
It is not language and it is not words, *
whose sound is not heard.
Their voice is spread throughout the earth *
and on the edge of the world their word.
There he laid a tent for the sun †
coming out of the bridal chamber as a bridegroom, *
exults as a brave man who treads the way.
He rises from one end of the sky †
and his ride reaches the other extreme: *
nothing escapes his heat "(Psalm 18).
In the first years of his episcopate, as testimony of his living and concrete commitment to vocations, Monsignor Franco Gualdrini applied to the economist of the diocese of Terni, to find out if there were sufficient funds to carry out a seminar on the remains of a ancient monastery of the Clarisse in the city center. The treasurer, after having made his accounts, answered affirmatively and gave his approval to the realization of the work. It happened, however, that at work already started, the treasurer realized that he was wrong: he had considered available some funds that had already been committed to other works! In the hope of remedying this error without being discovered, the treasurer, on his own initiative, diverted large sums of money withdrawn from other funds, thinking in this way of solving the diocesan financial plan by delaying the various payments; especially hoping for the arrival of new revenue!
Soon, however, the insolvency came to a head, and the magistrature of Terni was called to shed light and proceed against the treasurer for the financial trouble of the diocese, which found himself in the dock with the charge of fraudulent bankruptcy. It was a disastrous situation that would have certainly caused the interruption of the works for the completion of the seminar and perhaps would have brought the treasurer to prison, if Monsignor Franco had not courageously intervened in his institutional capacity, placing on himself and his work every responsibility for the accusation, albeit in the awareness of having to face a big scandal. At that point the magistracy found itself in a position to proceed against Bishop Gualdrini; but the Catholic community trembled because of the enormous clamor that this fact would have aroused. So it was that a donation came from a benefactor and everything was silenced.
Mons. Franco Gualdrini never spoke directly to me about these matters.
He discussed it with Sister Grazia sitting in the garden of the seminary.
In their company I listened with the full approval of the bishop: questioned in this regard by the mother superior,
Monsignor Franco replied that she could freely discuss it in my presence.
At one point I even got the impression that they were talking about it, precisely in order to get me know this fact.
(Editor's note - The author of the testimony).
F A Q
In the night of March 17, 2010, Bishop Franco Gualdrini, to whom I lent some little service when I was a seminarian at the Home of Clergy in Terni (Italy), appeared to me in a dream. In this dream so vivid to remember every detail even after the awakening, the Bishop said, turning to me in an authoritative tone as if I were still one of his seminarians:
"We need someone who wears the cassock.
It would be useful that someone to wore it".
Urged by this singular event, in the following days I searched for information on the internet and learned that the death of Monsignor Franco had occurred on March 22, a few days after this dream.
For a few years I believed that Monsignor Franco's message was an exhortation to resume at my age the studies I interrupted towards the priesthood. Then I realized! It's a public invitation from the Bishop, committed to vocations.
Among the various contacts with my spiritual father, the Reverend Professor Renzo Lavatori, I transcribe the most significant part of his email of February 26, 2014 in which he responds to some of my requests for clarification.
"[...] Finally, as to the dream you had on Bishop Mosignor Franco Gualdrini, you must give it importance but not be so conditioned as not to leave space for the lights that God wants to give you. If you want to do the website I think it is always good and may correspond to the dream. You will also here see the results that you will have. About the title Deus Vocatio, I tell you that it is not correct because it should be more precise in Latin and be formulated as follows: "Deus vocat" (God calls) in this way acquires a more direct and personal meaning. [...]
Very cordial greetings in the prayer union and I assure you that I am close to you at this particular moment for your choices.
God enlighten you and guide you. Don Renzo".
In these particular circumstances has found inspiration this spiritual guide to mystery of faith and vocational discernment.
On inspiration ... to clarify the nature of the religious vocation and the reasons for faith in divine mercy.
I have publish these reflections, because I believe it can be useful to those who are tormented by doubt and strengthen the faith of those who have less doubts.
DeusVocat.com is a personal testimony on matters pertaining to faith in Divine Mercy.
It does not pursue educational purposes but charismatic.
It is an invitation to vocations and to have faith in the kingdom of heaven.
Because I consider it useful for myself and perhaps it can be a useful help even for those interested in soul matters.
It is a sort of online reminder concerning the kingdom of heaven and the ways of the Lord.
For 4 years I believed that the message of the dream was addressed to me,
then I realized that it was a public appeal by the Bishop committed to vocations.
* The interior struggle (Rom 7: 14-25)
I can not even understand what I do: in fact, not what I want to do, but what I hate. Now, if I do what I do not want,
I recognize that the law is good; therefore I am no longer doing it, but the sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me,
that is, in my flesh, good does not live; there is in me the desire for good, but not the ability to implement it;
in fact I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want. Now, if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it,
but the sin that dwells in me. I therefore find this law in me: when I want to do good, evil is beside me.
In fact, I consent to the law of God in my heart, but in my members I see another law, which moves war to the law of my
mind and makes me a slave to the law of sin that is in my members. I'm a bad man! Who will free me from this body devoted to death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Therefore, with the mind, I serve the law of God, with the flesh instead the law of sin.
Instinct is unable to distinguish what is moral from what is immoral and leads to doing evil.
The moral and spiritual conscience of each individual is instead the place from which good actions proceed.
The "good thief"
One of the criminals hanging on the cross insulted him: "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us too!"
But the other reproached him: "Are not you afraid of God and damned to the same punishment? We rightly,
because we receive the right for our actions, but he did nothing wrong ". And he added: "Jesus,
remember me when you come into your kingdom". He replied: "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise" [Lk 23.39-43].
At the sound of these words the cathedrals of the Old Testament collapse, the temple is torn apart,
the false sanctity of the just sinks into the mud and the concept of divine justice known until then is completely challenged by the blood of Christ the Redeemer.
This killer hanging on the cross beside Jesus, was anything but holy and the opposite of the concept of innocence.
After an entire existence of wickedness and blasphemy, it is converted an instant before dying and obtains
the grace of eternal salvation! He is the only character of the whole Gospel, of which there is a certain testimony of his
entry into the kingdom of heaven. As soon as he intimately relates to the Lord, he acquires a state of grace and holiness.
According to the human judgment of the world remains a criminal; but the divine verdict cancels in an instant all his
faults and welcomes him fully among the saints in the kingdom of heaven.
Holiness is a intercourse of intimate relationship with God.
This episode is extremely important for understanding the concept of eternal salvation:
Jesus teaches that intimately relating with Him is within anyone's reach.
Jesus does not ask for the impossible.
He does not create categories of privileged souls and parallel cults to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church.
This is the concept of Catholic: universal and without preclusions.
"While Jesus sat at table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat at table with him and with the disciples".
Seeing this, the Pharisees said to his disciples: "Why does your teacher eat with publicans and sinners?"
Jesus heard them and said: "It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick, so go and learn what it means: mercy,
I want and not sacrifice, for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners". [Mt 9.10-13]
By attending sinners, Jesus does not care about his reputation; he is not ashamed of them! He calls the sinners as lost sheep on the path that leads to eternal salvation.
Workers in the vineyard of the Lord [Mt 20,1-16]
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last” [Mt 20,1-16].
Of the eternity of the penalties
(by St. Alphonsus M. de Liguori, Eternal Highs, pp. 38-40)
Consider how in hell there is no end: all sufferings suffer, and all eternal. So that a hundred years will pass away of those pains, a thousand will pass away, and then hell begins; a hundred million years will pass, and hell will be over. If an angel at this time brings the new one to a damned God wants to drive him out of hell, but when? when so many millions of centuries have passed, how many drops of water, the leaves of the trees and the arenas of the sea and of the earth, you would be frightened; yet the damned would have more party to this news, which you would not do if you had the news of being made king of a great kingdom. Yes, because the damned would say: "It is true that many centuries must pass, but it will have to come one day that they will end". But all these centuries will pass and hell will be over; all these centuries will multiply as many as the drops, the arenas, the leaves, and hell will be from the beginning. Every damned would make this covenant with God: Lord, increase as much as you like my pain: stretch it for as long as you like: just put a term on it, and I'm happy. But no, this term will never be there.
At least the poor damned could deceive himself and flatter himself with saying: "Who knows, maybe one day God will have mercy on me, and he will drive me out of hell! No, the damned will always see in his face the sentence of his eternal damnation, and he will say: "So all these pains that I suffer now, this fire, this melancholy, these cries will never end, never! And how long will they last? Always always. Oh never! Oh always! Oh eternity! Oh hell! Such as? Do men believe you and sin and continue to live in sin?
My brother, be careful, think that hell is still for you, if you sin. Is this horrendous furnace burning beneath your feet, and at this hour that you read how many souls are falling to you? Think that if you get there once you can not get out anymore. And if sometimes you have already deserved hell, thank God that he did not send you to us; soon, quickly remedy as much as you can, cry your sins, confess often, read this or other spiritual book every day, take devotion to Mary with the Rosary every day, with fasting every Saturday; in temptations you resist, often calling Jesus and Mary; flee the opportunity to sin and if God also calls you to leave the world, do it, leave it: everything you do to escape from an eternity of pain is little, it is nothing. To ensure eternity there is no caution that suffices. See how many anchormen to escape hell went to live in caves, in deserts! And what do you do after so many times you have deserved hell? What are you doing? what are you doing? See that you damage yourself. Give yourself to God and say to him: "Lord, here I am: I want to do everything you want from me.
Maria, help me.
S. Alfonso de Liguori, Massime eterne, pp 38-40
THE STRANGE HEAVEN
A few years ago I had a strange dream about a strange paradise.
It is a rather complicated dream to describe,
both for the fact that the same dream has developed and has returned in at least 3 different dreams in different circumstances and forms,
and both for the surreal situations and environmental contexts difficult to describe, especially in the central and final part. I will try!
I'm traveling with a man driving a car.
We are crossing a very remote area, wild and unknown to me.
However, I am quite calm because, I do not know why, I feel I can trust this person who accompanies me.
At a steep point in the path, the driver stops the vehicle and we continue on foot.
I follow him walking behind him with some difficulty because he is an agile type.
We go down a very steep path in a narrow gully and full of vegetation under a leaden sky,
up to the base of a compact rock wall, vertical but not particularly high.
My companion pauses for a while to admire this limestone wall, and says:
"This is the entrance to paradise".
Amazed, I look the
smooth rock wall that appears before my eyes, trying to understand how it can be the entrance of paradise.
I approach, until I touch the solid surface with the palms of my hands.
In front of my eyes, I notice a very narrow horizontal slit
melted in the rock. I can not see any other opening.
I try, exerting a certain strength,
to push the first phalanxes of a hand into the slit without success, exclaiming:
"How do we pass from here?"
"From that slit, one by one, only the petals of flowers pass. ― He exclaims ― We are not flower petals!
That is the entrance reserved for the purest souls. We pass from the magical!
― What is the magical? ― I ask.
― Look better!
Looking up, a little higher, on the right, half hidden by the dense vegetation, I notice a cave.
While my companion has already started to climb towards that cave,
I follow him clinging with my hands to roots and rocky protuberances, looking for the easiest and safest route.
Within this deep and dark cavity, we can stand comfortably.
We pause for a few moments to rest.
So my companion goes to the darkest and most hidden point of this cavity.
I follow him a short distance.
On the left side, about a meter from the ground, there is a narrow opening;
on the kind of windows that connect the kitchen to the hall in the restaurants where they pass the dishes, closed by a rough wooden door.
- This is the magic door! - he exclaims.
I imagine that only huddled it is possible hardly pass from there.
However, it seems to me to be a much more accessible entrance then the slit; so I ask:
― What sense does it have to go from the slit if it is possible to enter paradise from the magical entrance?
― You'll understand...
My companion knocks his knuckles on the wood of the window.
A few moments later, in the semi-darkness, the face of a 40 year old woman with a dull and neglected appearance is facing the entrance of the magical entrance.
The woman looks furtively in our direction and after recognizing my companion,
with a wave of his hand he made a sign to enter.
My companion enters in the window and invites me to follow him from inside.
With great discomfort I twist curled up, passing with great difficulty the thick cavity of the magical door.
In front of my eyes there is the sad image of a badly lit environment.
The walls are covered with squalid and filthy white tiles like in the most raw public baths.
Many are broken or missing, and give the environment a depressing appearance.
The atmosphere is dark and heavy. There is a strong smell of stale air.
Some people, in the semi-darkness, smoke sitting at a large rectangular table covered with green cloth inside in a small room,
while they playing cards drinking cognac, rum and coffee.
Looking at the magic door from the inside, I ask my companion:
"Why did they make such an inconvenient entrance?".
He hesitates, appears visibly embarrassed. He can not find the words to answer this simple question of mine.
Then, the woman who had opened the magical intervenes,
"Because if the police arrive, before they can get here into heaven, we have plenty of time to put things in order!"
(In the dream, the woman, answers exactly with these words).
Then this woman walks away going to the table to take orderings.
― But what kind of paradise is this? ― I exclaim with distress to the ear of my companion ―
It seems to me that everything is dirty and illegal here. This is the entrance to hell!
― No, no... you're wrong! ― he answers ― We are right at the entrance to paradise. Apart from the slit there are no other accesses.
What did you imagine to find? The little angels playing the zither? If you are really holy and without sins, you pass from the slit.
― I do not know ...! I do not understand! Now I'm confused and demoralized, ― I exclaim with bitterness ― I feel depressed.
I feel a deep disappointment! Speaking frankly, I thought that heaven it was differently.
I never imagined it was some kind of illegal gambling den!
― Exactly, that's right! You are definitely right! If you are a soul in the grace of God
from the magical you do not pass, you enter directly into paradise from the slit.
To pass from the magical, some sin on the conscience you must have it.
But if you do not have a bit of mercy in your heart, you do not pass even by the magical.
― So the paradise made of soft clouds that caress your face is all an invention?
― If you want to be welcomed in paradise by the sound of trumpets and little angels that caress your face with wings
and you kiss your forehead you have to go through the slit...
but to pass from the slit you have to be pure and thin like the petals of the flowers.
While my companion pronounces
these last words, we find ourself again in front of the slit.
I still try to stick my fingernails into the narrow slit without succeeding.
Just in that same moment a golden cloud arrives. It stops exactly above the loophole.
For a moment it remains motionless there, then by evaporation, it is sucked into the loophole.
― Do you understand now? ― exclaims my companion ―
In other cases it looks like the thin golden hair of a virgin carried by the wind and sucked into the loophole.
A few moments later a golden cloud arrives again, and then another and again another ...
― I never imagined that in the world the holy and irreprehensible souls were so numerous! ― I exclaim surprised.
― They are the innocent souls of dead children before they are born or at an early age.
They come from the love of God and return directly to the love of God!
So my companion tells me that we are going to visit a secret and mysterious place:
we will wash ourselves at the river of forbidden waters.
After a certain distance you reach a place called "at fireplaces".
This is an area reserved for restricted access.
For correctness, here we are not taken back to the place of fingerprints.
― So why do not us pass straight into the forest?
From here we can see at a distance a celestial, unique and breathtaking landscape.
While we witness ecstatically to this panorama, a soul of purgatory next to us, with a male gossipy voice,
full of pride and admiration, he exclaims in his vain provincial dialect:
"He did the things in great!" It is the ego of the world that is reflected in the impure waters of own ego.
Above the temple of divine judgment, an angel without wings, perhaps of the dignity of the Thrones,
like a star of heaven he dominates and observes from above all the souls in purgatory.
In place of the face has a flower and an eye,
all around an arabesque tattoo.
Below him, an angel with two wings welcomes the souls at the entrance of the last judgment.
In the center of the chest there is a shining inscription: "Do not judge for not being judged!".
The wisdom of King Solomon (See 1 Kings 3:16-28)
Then there came two women that were harlots, to the king, and stood before him.
* * *
And one of them said: I beseech thee, my lord, I and this woman dwelt in one house, and I was delivered of a child with her in the chamber. And the third day after I was delivered, she also was delivered; and we were together, and no other person with us in the house; only we two. And this woman’s child died in the night: for in her sleep she overlaid him. And rising in the dead time of the night, she took my child from my side, while I, thy handmaid, was asleep, and laid it in her bosom: and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I arose in the morning, to give my child suck, behold it was dead: but considering him more diligently, when it was clear day, I found that it was not mine which I bore.
And the other woman answered: It is not so as thou sayst, but thy child is dead, and mine is alive. On the contrary, she said; Thou liest: for my child liveth, and thy child is dead. And in this manner they strove before the king.
Then said the king: The one saith, My child is alive, and thy child is dead. And the other answereth: Nay; but thy child is dead, and mine liveth.
The king therefore said: Bring me a sword. And when they had brought a sword before the king,
Divide, said he, the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.
But the woman, whose child was alive, said to the king; (for her bowels were moved upon her child) I beseech thee, my lord, give her the child alive, and do not kill it. But the other said: Let it be neither mine nor thine; but divide it.
The king answered, and said: Give the living child to this woman, and let it not be killed; for she is the mother thereof.
And all Israel heard the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king, seeing that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment.
How many disowned parents are the true mother of their children?
Parable of the two sons (Cf. Mt 21,28-30)
"But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work to day in my vineyard. And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went. And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go, Sir; and he went not. Which of the two did the father’s will?"
Parable of forgiveness (Cf. Mt 18,23-35)
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt. But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest.
And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt. Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done.
Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had
compassion on thee? And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
1) I am the Lord, your God. You shalt not have other God outside of me.
2) Do not speak the name of the Lord your God.
3) Observe the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days you will labor and do all the work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the Lord your God: you will not do any work.
4) Honor your father and your mother.
5) Do not kill.
6) Do not commit adultery.
7) Do not steal.
8) Do not say false testimony against your neighbor.
9) Do not look for your neighbor's wife.
10) Do not think of your neighbor's house... nor of the things that belong to your neighbor.
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