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Dearest Father Angelo, 

two years ago or so, I wrote to you concerning my desire for a monastic life that was sprouting in my heart.

I write to you again to express my gratitude towards you for having sustained me with your advice and your prayers.  With joy I announce to you that God willing, soon I will be entering a Benedictine monastery as a postulant.

I remember you writing to me about the necessary work for discernment, saying: “One month will not be enough, maybe many months will be necessary or even more”.

Now I understand how right you were.

I send my greetings with a hug and a remembrance in the Lord,


Dear Gianluca,

1. I thank the Lord for the consideration He has had upon you.

He wanted that you, more than many others, would be able to say: “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance.” (Ps 16,5)

He wants you even closer than you already were.

2. It is the Second Vatican Council that characterizes a consecrated life as the one of someone who more closely, (pressius; LG 42) more intimately or radically, (intimius LG 44) and more fully (plenius, LG 42) intends to follow the Lord.

3. Just this morning I was thinking of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist.  He was the one closest to the Lord during the Last Supper (his head was resting on Jesus’ heart).

He was the one closest to the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross and who then took care of Her.

He was also the first Apostle to believe in the resurrection of our Lord: “and he saw and believed” (Jn 20,8).

4. Soon you will be entering the monastery, that is, in a life where you share everything with those consecrated to God.

How beautiful it would be if in this common life you were the one that more than anyone else was closest to Jesus, closest to the Virgin Mary, and who also takes care of her (thus living for the Church and for everyone’s salvation) and to be the first to believe and to obey, because it is in obedience where the perfection of the consecrated life is fulfilled (in obedientia perficitur omnis religio) since you will be living closer to Christ and will imitate Him in doing the will of the Father, all the way till the cross. 

5. Always search primarily for this.

Obviously search for it not for your glory, but because this is how He who called you and loves you with preferential love wants it to be.

This holy desire, together with the desire that even your brethren are closer than you are to the Lord (for those who are worthy), will be your secret as to how to be always close to Him and of always succeeding in everything.

This is what God had ordered Abraham when he told him: “Ambula coram me et esto perfectus” (“walk in my presence and be blameless” Gn 17,1) and what Saint Benedict also recommended.

I assure you my closeness in prayer in the various steps you will take: entrance, apprenticeship, profession of the vows…

I wish you all the best and I bless you,

Father Angelo