My name is Mateusz I am 25 years old, I come from Poland and I am happy to share with you the story of my life and resurrection. I was born in a fairly normal catholic family; at home I never went without anything necessary and my parents loved one another deeply. From the very beginning I was raised, together with my sister and brother, in an environment of love and respect; at school I was doing very well and I had a happy childhood.
My story actually first really started back when I was a teenager. I had attended a private secondary school where I quickly realised that most of my friends and school colleagues came from wealthier families. I started to become jealous and to mask this I always tried to look easy-going and carefree pretending not to take anything too seriously. I always joked about most things and I became very cynical especially at the school. I started smoking cigarettes and drinking with friends and before long I became known for this; I soon added marijuana to my list of vices and my earlier hobbies and commitments fell into second place. In high school despite of all my problems I was doing pretty well for someone who didn’t study. I considered myself a very normal guy. I started to party more along with all my friends so I thought it wasn’t anything unusual and I kept ignoring the increasing warnings from my parents.
At 19, after my final exams, I started university: to be honest I wasn’t really interested in studying; I even chose to study for a career worth money rather than my interests. It couldn’t last long and it didn’t, however I enjoyed the student night life that was pretty much it. I was becoming more and more egotistic fulfilling my desires. My world circled around various drugs. Long story short: in 3 years I changed university 3 times, I became unpredictable and totally unreliable. I was missing from home for many days yet still I was living with my family. At some point my parents, who tried basically everything to help me, but the quarrels, therapists and some psychologists hadn’t brought any effect, told me about the Cenacolo Community.
I didn’t want even to hear about it and I refused it immediately, however my parents didn’t give up they insisted after some time giving me a sort of ultimatum: either I go to Community or I have to leave the house. Furious and offended I packed my things without a word. At first I lived at my friends, later I rented a flat. To earn some money I was selling drugs because I became too lazy to get a regular job; I was doing everything I wanted following my own pleasure only, quickly it revealed how irresponsible and immature I was. It started with some financial problems since I wasn’t working; one day I woke up to realise that I’d lost everything: family, job, university, money, friends; nothing remained from my dreams and plans. I decided to swallow my pride and ask for help: I called my parents telling them that I would like to try the Community; I believe that this simple call saved my life.
With the support of my family I started to prepare for entering Cenacolo; when I finally did I struggled a lot to remain inside not believing in it, though with the help of my Guardian Angel and others I overcame the first difficulties. Our life is based on 3 pillars which are friendship, work and prayer; for me at the beginning those were nothing but empty words but it was about to change. I always thought to have many friends but the first one I had in community was very different to them: instead of laughing and joking my Guardian Angel was always correcting me, showing me my mistakes and teaching me how to avoid them; he first showed me my masks and lies. He was always close to me, ready to listen, to give advice, to help me. Later as well other brothers started to tell me what they were really thinking about me and what I was supposed to do to change my vices; their sincerity proved to me that a real friendship has to be constructed on truth. I didn’t want to work so I was genuinely surprised to see my brothers doing very simple work with a lot of effort and enthusiasm. I noticed that the more heart they were putting in the more satisfaction they felt after, and that even though they weren’t paid at all! Encouraged by their example I started to do so as well.
The most important step to initiate my community walk was the prayer: At first I didn’t pray at all even though I remember that my parents prayed a lot; later I started repeating the words of the Rosary, I was going to Adoration but sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament most of the time I was thinking about my past, becoming always sadder and more frustrated. One time I started to shout inside of me: “Jesus, I don’t believe in you, I don’t see the point in being here in chapel, in this community, I don’t even see the sense in my life any more…. but if you are real, if you exist, help me because there is nothing else remains for me to try! I want to change”. He didn’t let me down. Slowly, going on personal Adorations I realised that my days started to improve: I hadn’t got so much anger and sadness inside any more, I became calmer and day by day it was easier to accept the others and myself, inside of me there was a small light of hope and it was growing every day. I started to tell in front of the Blessed Sacrament the things that were important to me: my difficulties, my joys, my fears, my victories, my past and my future. Advised by our confessor I started to give thanks for every positive thing I experienced in my day and again at first I couldn’t name more than just a few but with time I started to notice and appreciate more and more even the small things.
There was still a lot to do and change, many difficulties and crises to overcome but from these days on I know that there is somebody that I can always rely on. After nearly 3 years spent in Cenacolo Community I feel a different person; I’m really glad and grateful for being a part of this big family. I would like to say thank you to all of the people who helped me on my walk: my family who didn’t leave me when I needed them most and always supported me. All of my brothers and friends who have been always close to me, to Mother Elvira and the Community for showing me the right path and how beautiful life could be. Most of all I thank the one who made it all possible, who gave me life, who is always with me and will never leave me alone: Jesus Christ who leads us all from the darkness to the light, the one who changed and still changes my life.