My name is Louis. For 2 years now I have been a part of this big family that is the Cenacolo Community. So, I am very happy to testify about my life. I am French, I was born in the north of France where I lived for most of my life. I had the chance to grow in a Christian family who taught me right from wrong. I received a good education since childhood and I can say thanks very much to them for that; all the time my parents tried to teach me the true values of life.
When I was a teenager I started to make my own rules and basically to do the opposite of what my parents said. Also, I was struggling to find my place. I began to use drugs at parties and to drink a lot. I found this was a way to escape from what I was living, my difficulties, and I started to live in the wrong way. This bad behaviour and style of life affected my relationships with friends but most of all with my family. I tried everything to get out of this vicious cycle but I didn’t manage it. I was always searching for something to fill the emptiness I felt inside me. After a few years I went to Cenacolo for the “working days” and they asked me if I wanted to enter. From the beginning I knew that it was the right place for me but I refused: I was thinking I didn’t really need the help of someone else, that I could do everything alone.
Six months later on I decided to enter to save my life. I stopped finding excuses and reasons as to why I couldn’t go. I said yes to joining the Community thanks to the “leading prayer”, especially to the advice and the prayers of ex-members which helped me a lot to make this choice and also to recognise that I have to find a sense to my life. At the beginning I was very surprised by the smiles of the lads and the happiness among them.
During my first weeks the brothers showed me my poverties, they told me the truth face to face even though it was difficult to accept, they helped me a lot to overcome myself and to see the joy and beauty of life. This sentence from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew: “for God everything is possible” makes me realise that the brothers give me the courage, the strength to believe in this new personal resurrection through the mercy and love of God. I began to understood the values of true friendship, I learned to put other people before myself and always to be available to help them. I can really say that now I’m full of peace and serenity.
The Community gave me a lot of opportunities that I am grateful for. When I was in Lourdes I received the gift to go into the Sanctuaries through the intercession of Mary; it was great to be there where the apparitions took place. I received from God a lot of grace and blessings which fill me with hope and joy. Later when I was transferred to England it was really a gift to learn not just the language but also to live the English culture.
About prayer, I tried to trust in God’s will; kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament I opened my heart and I could admit once more the miracles that God did in my life. He really carried me, in the most difficult moments I felt I wasn’t alone and that the Lord gave me a new strength in my life.
Thank you to the Community because it is teaching me that a happy life without addiction is actually possible for anybody. I took this decision to live in goodness and to face my difficulties but most of all to put my future in the hands of the Lord every day showing to everyone that to be a disciple of God is an experience of joy.