ITALY, Angela Miccoli •
In the parish of the Patron Saints, “home” of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Italy, a group of young people proposed a wonderful initiative for this Lent. To tell us about this is Angela, the main promoter of the project and former head of the youth group.
A Lent social – spiritual… this is the project we are experimenting with at this time. Everyday on our WhatsApp group, Gente Carlina, one of us, publishes the Gospel of the day and shares a sound clip of about a minute and a half (except for real exceptions) with his or her own reflection on the Scripture.
It is an idea born of an inspirational initiative to “Keep Lent,” or literally “Observe Lent,” “Osservare la Quaresima” promoted by the Pompeii Youth Ministry a few years ago. We decided to try this project within our group. At first we were quite worried, not knowing whether the idea would be received well, if it would ultimately bear fruit, or where he would lead us. To everyone’s surprise, however, everyone’s expectations were exceeded. A great feeling of enthusiasm has spread among us. Not only that! The meditations are all high level, deep and profound!
“A great way to start the day!”
It has become a ritual; as the Little Prince teaches us, rituals help us, educate us, and lead us to happiness. Everyday at around 9.00, we are waiting to receive the voice sound clip. It’s nice to see how we are spontaneously brought every morning to give thanks for sharing and to say: “That’s a great way to start the day!” Yes, we start the day together, and we do it in the best way, preparing ourselves to listen to the Word of the Lord, that during Lent is more relevant, clearer and deeper than ever.
We are realizing how a minute and a half a day can change our day, indeed our Lent! At this time, we normally tend to give up something or to “take away” something. This is the year, instead, when we are adding; the “plus” has replaced the “minus.”
A profitable investment of time
We are committing ourselves, some investing the time to prepare for meditation, some overcoming the anxiety of speaking via a recording, those waking up in Paraguay at night submitting a comment in real time, finding those two minutes to stop, read the Gospel and listen. Thus we are serving the group, we are serving God, and we are growing in faith and love.
We’re also learning more. Each reflection is different, unique, and special. Each comment speaks of the person and communicates their originality.
In this Lenten season, we accompany Christ to the Cross, we are walking together, and we are enriching ourselves. It is remarkable to note how each of us can be a source of enrichment for each other!
Discovering Truth, Beauty, Peace
We are half way, and we have already discovered that happiness is here, now, that we should not wait to win a contest or pass an examination. Today we have more than what we need. We remembered that Christ calls us to be humble, to become small, and that he has given us an example, a model of humility to look up to and inspire us, the Blessed Mother. We know that God is merciful, forgiving and how good does one feel when they forgive, those who are forgiven, and even more importantly, how to be able to forgive ourselves. We heard that when Jesus calls us, he “sees” us, we can do without everything except the Lord; Jesus invites us to ask, to knock, to risk, to move, to change, to love, and to trust him as a child trusts their father. We understand that we are called to become the image of the beloved Son, and that when can we love our enemy, we imitate Christ. We discovered that Lent is a call to the Truth, to Beauty, and to Peace. During this Lent, we are letting God “work in our hearts,” preparing us to live the Lord’s Passover fully and joyfully as we continue our journey together with confidence, strengthened by the richness and beauty we transmit to each other, as Fr. K. says, “taking advantage of everything to grow in love for God.”
Original: Italian, 27.03.2017. Translation: Valerio Salvador, Johannesburg, South Africa. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA