Today I can say with certainty that for me two things are really important in life: the first is to love God and to love our neighbour; the second is to understand why God has given me the gift of life. After many years lived in darkness, searching for true freedom through the “wrong things”, the Lord and Our Lady, without me deserving it, called me to be part of the Cenacolo family. During my journey, I realised that true peace, true joy, true love and faith come from holiness. This is not something which I sought but is a journey of faith proposed to me by the Cenacolo Community. When you live in love and you give your own life for others, as Jesus has done for us, your heart fills with love.
It took me a long time to forgive myself for my past, to accept and to love the person I am, to have self esteem and self control; sometimes I still have small worries for my future but I face up to them in a different way. I live a life of faith, sometimes small, but which with the help of prayer slowly, slowly increases. After a few years “from the darkness to the light” I felt in my heart the desire to leave the Community, but the love that the Lord had had for me and that which He had put in my heart for others brought me to choose to stay in Community. After having received so much life I decided to give myself and to stay longer to make the Cenacolo Community known to others and to welcome them. In doing this I received much more than what I received during the previous years of my “walk” and in this way I understood why following the commandment that Jesus left us to love God and to love one another is so important .
These last months I prayed a lot to the Lord that he would show me the right choice. I had no idea what the Lord wanted to tell me or what was the next step to take. I was conflicted between the desire for finding a new job and having a family and continuing to help guys who are lost in the world of addiction. I shared all this with the priests of our Community but also in a special way I prayed: “Lord this is what I am choosing but what do You think?” After just a few days, while I was working in the garden, I received a phone call from Fr Adrian, a priest who helped our Community in Knock, Ireland, in the missions of Peru and Liberia, Africa: he told me about his recent stay in the Philippines searching for a house in which the Community could open a new Fraternity: his enthusiasm for the places he had visited and the people who he had met really struck me: and during the phone call I wondered: “why is he speaking to me about the Philippines?” Then he continued saying that he was in Saluzzo and that the priests of the Community had asked him to look for some guys because Cenacolo was ready to respond to God’s call in that country, in Asia, and that I was one of those guys who the Lord was choosing for this mission. I felt at once a great joy but I said to him that I needed a few days to pray before giving an answer. I sought in the hands of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit the help to make the right decision according to the will of God. In those days I continued to feel joy and peace within me and I said: “Lord I want to follow you.” Today I am free and happy to leave the door of my heart always open to God.
I want to thank first of all the Community for its trust in me; Mother Elvira who with her “yes” to God has permitted me to say my own “yes” to good. Then to all the brothers I have met throughout my journey, and to the friends of the Fraternity in Kendal and to all the priests who have helped me spiritually, in a particular way from the bottom of my heart to Fr Chris.