Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: catholicism

Grace is the amount of light in our souls

Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. […] The mystic manages to strip himself of action, of facts, objectives and even the pastoral mission and rises until he reaches communion with the Beatitudes. Brief moments but which fill an entire life.

I am, as I said already many times, a convinced anti-clericalist, and an agnostic. From this privileged position I can say that I am struck by the figure of Pope Francis. Every time he speaks, I listen very carefully. This, translated in English, is his recent interview with Eugenio Scalfari, the founder of La Repubblica and a remarkable left-wing non-believer.

The lines I quoted above are the ones which impressed me the most when I got my hands on the newspaper. They made me think of many conversations I had with Thomas, Iris, Manuel, Mindo, Stefano, Fabio, and the other friends who are the dearest to me.

Remember to look up

Saint Paulina was born in Vigolo Vattaro, a small village a few kilometres away from my hometown. I got to know about her existence only a few weeks ago. She was one of the thousands people who, around 1890 emigrated to Brazil. There she became a nun, taking care of orphans, the children of slaves, and aged slaves who had been left to die because they could no longer work. In 1909, Mother Paulina was removed from her duties as Superior General by Duarte Leopoldo e Silva, Archbishop of São Paulo, following a series of disputes within the congregation. In 1938 her health began a long, slow decline as she was affected by diabetes. After two operations, first her middle finger and then her right arm were amputated. She spent the last months of her life totally blind. However, according to the chronicles, she was always positive. When people asked her how she could do, she replied: “Any time I feel lost, I do not look to the past, or to the future. I just look up“. Even for those who do not believe in God this is an inspiring image. Rather than keeping the eyes always on your material achievements, sometimes it is just as important to look at your principles and some deeper values that give us a sense to be.

Temptation

Another article I read today was a political piece by Eugenio Scalfari. The first paragraph (my translation from Italian) is not what you usually expect from a political op-ed. The subject doesn’t really matter, at the end.

He is not a saint, but a good Catholic yes, he is. He knows the precepts of the Church and knows that the saints defy the temptation to test their skills. Usually they resist the lure of the tempter who is the spirit of the earth, that is Lucifer, or whatever you call the fallen angel. Even Jesus challenged the devil retreating to the desert for forty days. But for him it was easy to defeat him: he was the son of God, or so he believed to be.