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Dear Father Angelo,

I have never written this kind of letters to anyone. I was googling “my life is a failure” and, due to an algorithm or by happenstance, I came across your website. Believe me, I am doing really bad and I am crying while writing to you. If it weren’t for my old mother and the girl I am raising, I would have seriously thought about committing suicide.

I have experienced human malice and mediocrity in all its forms (…).

I can no longer go to church, because there you find people showing off big smiles to show that they are good Christians to the congregation.

I took refuge in books and philosophy.

Recently, I have indulged in reading pessimistic philosophers (…) and I confess that I share their thoughts. I do not despise life but I despise people (…).

I take care of my mind but my heart is tired and arid.

I should not even bother you as I turned away from God. I am not even entitled to waste any of your time. I am a human wreck. I feel burned out.

I can no longer find a meaning in anything.

I have no passion anymore. 

People around me turn the page very easily. They break up, change partner all the time, create new families, have children with different men; they post smileys on Facebook and they go out with the same friends with whom they gossip about with other people.

I do not even use social networks.

This voyeuristic display of intimacy horrifies me.

I sincerely thank you for reading my words (…).

With sincere gratitude.

Best regards

Priest’s Answer

Dear friend,

1. You need Jesus.

Only Jesus fully understands you and tells you, too: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11,28).

2. Books cannot fill your heart.

Only a person can.

And not just a human being but a divine person who can come and personally live inside your heart.

3. This is what Christians who live in the grace of God experience.

4. Jesus is not a philosopher; he is not an intellectual.

He is God made flesh.

In Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2,3).

It is as if one single book contained the sum of all human knowledge.

It’s worth leaving all to take possession of Him, the treasure hidden in a field.

5. Jesus is our “great God and of our savior” (Titus 2,13).

He is also your great God and savior.

There are no others.

Only Him – especially in this moment – is your great God and Savior.

6. When you find it out, and I hope you will very soon, you will say what Saint Augustin said:

“Too late loved I Thee, O Thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! too late I loved Thee! And behold, Thou wert within, and I abroad, and there I searched for Thee; deformed I, plunging amid those fair forms which Thou hadst made. Thou wert with me, but I was not with Thee. Things held me far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, were not at all. Thou calledst, and shoutedst, and burstest my deafness. Thou flashedst, shonest, and scatteredst my blindness. Thou breathedst odours, and I drew in breath and panted for Thee. I tasted, and hunger and thirst. Thou touchedst me, and I burned for Thy peace”.

(Confessions, Book X)[1]

7.     Pick up the Gospels.

You will immediately realize it is not just like reading nice books.

You will feel that Jesus stands in front of you like one day he stood in front of the Samaritan and talked to her.

You will ask him questions and He will reply to you through the silence of your heart.

He will also answer you with other words of the Gospel and he will especially make you feel his presence: not only next to you but inside your soul, in your heart and in your mind.

You will feel elated because of his presence.

I will remind you in the Holy Mass, which I will soon celebrate, and in my prayers too.

I bless you.

Father Angelo

P.S. I deleted some parts of your letter, which are more personal. I think I will publish it. Your letter may help others.

Translated by Irene Visciano