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Dear Father Bellon,

Since this summer, I have been experiencing a profound bewilderment originating from the current situation of the Church (…).

I spoke to several priests, and all of them could not hide a certain embarrassment, but no one showed me a way out of the suffering that I am facing.

I would like to be clear, although I have to express very serious concepts. (…).

(E.N.: here our visitor lists a series of facts which are the cause of his bitterness).

I do not say it with hatred, or arrogance, or out of a spirit of rebellion: I say it with profound suffering. (…).

My question is this: (…)

How can I not let the Devil triumph within myself, as he would evidently exploit the situation to separate me from the Church, which I love instead, and I greatly desire to be able to live in it and to grow in the faith?

My pastor advised me to write to you. I have already written to the pope, and to my bishop (…) but they have not answered me.

I hope to receive a few words of yours that will enlighten me.



The priest’s answer 

Dear Emanuele,

1. I have read, and read again, your email in order to – albeit late – answer you.

You did well to express your discomfort to the Holy Father and to the Bishop of your diocese. You are a child of the Church. Why not express your suffering to those who are your fathers in Christ? Why not just ask them how you should live as a Christian right now?

2. As you can see, from the email you sent me I cut all the reasons for your bitterness out, both because they would only manifest the negative aspect of some men of the Church, and above all because they could cloud the question you asked and which constitutes your reason to write.

On the other hand, you have expressed your bitterness to many priests, as you told me, and “everyone could not hide a certain embarrassment” as if to say: unfortunately, that is the case.

3. I now come to the answer which would lead to what is most important for everybody: we must take note that the Lord has placed us to live in this precise circumstance of the Church life.

Now, here is your question, which also belongs to each of us: “How not to let the Devil triumph within me, who would obviously want to exploit the situation to separate me from the Church, which I love and in which I have a great desire to be able to live and grow in faith? “.

In other words: how to grow charity, and with it, holiness, in us and in the whole Church?

It is the most important question because in die iudicii the Lord will ask us just so and will tell us: “I put you to live in that situation. You didn’t have to lose charity; you didn’t have to let the devil triumph in your soul. Indeed, in the midst of contrary winds you were called to give all of yourself, just as wood does, which burns even more strongly and carries its flame aloft when the wind is strong and contrary”.

4. Similar situations led many to perdition.

Saint Teresa of Avila who had the gift of reading the status of souls said so about many Lutherans.

She writes in her autobiography: “I was at prayer one day when suddenly, without knowing how, I found myself, as I thought, plunged right into hell. I realized that it was the Lord’s will that I should see the place which the devils had prepared for me there and which I had merited for my sins. This happened in the briefest space of time, but, even if I were to live for many years, I believe it would be impossible for me to forget it” (Life, XXXII, 1).

Then she continues: “This vision, too, was the cause of the very deep distress which I experience because of the great number of souls who are bringing damnation upon themselves — especially of those Lutherans, for they were made members of the Church through baptism. It also inspired me with fervent impulses for the good of souls: for I really believe that, to deliver a single one of them from such dreadful tortures, I would willingly die many deaths” (Life, XXXII, 6).

5. However, the same analogous situations produced great saints as well, as happened for example in the case of Saint Catherine of Siena who saw under her eyes a schism in the Church with two Popes and, after her death, also with three.

Well, I want to bring you the example of Saint Catherine and how she worked in depth in the Church when she prayed, especially when she received Holy Communion.

6. Blessed Raimondo da Capua, her confessor who later became Master General of the Dominicans, writes about a Communion received by the Saint:

“When she received the Communion, it seemed to her, that, as the fish which is in the water is penetrated by the water, her soul was in God, and God in her soul. She was so absorbed in her Creator […] 

and she began to say in a low voice such sweet and admirable things, that her companions, on hearing them, could not restrain their tears. 

She afterwards prayed for several persons, — she named some of them, her Confessor among others, who was then in the Church of the Friar Preachers, and who was not thinking of anything capable of exciting him to a particular fervor. 

He wrote, himself, that he was at the moment in nowise disposed to experience sensible devotion. 

But suddenly while she was praying, (it being unknown to him), a wonderful change was effected in his soul; he became wrapt in an extraordinary fervor such as he had never experienced, and he examined his own dispositions to learn whence came this grace.

Amid these reflections, one of Catharine’s companions came, by chance, to speak to him, and she said to him: ‘Father, at such an hour Catharine prayed most fervently for you’. Then the Confessor understood why, at that very hour, he had experienced such a special devotion.” (Legenda maior 192).

7. “He then questioned the person more particularly, and was informed by her that, in the prayer for him and others, Catharine had asked God the promise of their eternal salvation. […]

Then her Confessor went to see her, and required her to narrate the whole vision. She was obliged to obey, and after telling what we have related above, she added: “When I implored your eternal salvation with earnestness, God promised it to me“, but I desired to retain a testimony of it, and I said to him: “Lord, grant me a token of what thou wilt do,” and he replied: “Reach hither thy hand”. I extended my hand; he took a nail, and putting the point in the middle of my hand, he pressed on it with such power, then it seemed to me that my hand was transpierced; I felt just such a pain, as it seems to me, would be felt, if a nail had been driven with a hammer. Hence, thank God, I now have his holy stigma in my right hand; no one sees it, but I feel it very sensibly and suffer from it continually’,” (Legenda maior 193).

8. So, here is the answer I give you: you too are like Saint Catherine of Siena.

During Holy Communion, pray for a long time for the people of the Church who are particularly dear to you. And do ask for them the “eternal life”, that is, God.

Prayer during Communion has a particular efficacy as it happened to the prayer of Saint Catherine for Blessed Raimondo when, right at that moment, “a wonderful change was effected in his soul; he became wrapt in an extraordinary fervor such as he had never experienced”.

In Holy Communion the Lord comes to us with his saving omnipotence also to fulfill the desires of our heart.

9. But then there is another thing to do, and it is what happened when Saint Catherine asked Our Lord for a sign to have certain proof that her prayer had been answered.

Jesus told her to reach out her hand. She did so and in that hand the Lord pressed as if “a nail had been driven with a hammer“.

It was not fake, because since then Caterina began to feel the pain of her stigmata which remained invisible.

Then after having received Holy Communion and after having prayed for a long time for the Church and in particular for some, accept that the Lord imprints his invisible stigmata in your life, to purify you and to purify the people whom you have prayed for.

They will not really be the stigmata of Padre Pio.

But the difficulties of life endured with the sentiments of Jesus Christ crucified will be your invisible stigmata, like those of Saint Catherine.

In this way, in the hearts of the people you care for, you continue to make them feel what they felt while you were praying for them.

10. This is the first and irrepressible way that we are called to follow in order to become similar to Christ, that is, Saints, in this particular quadrant of the life of the Church and of history.

Other ways will also be necessary.

But if you do not take the path I have presented to you, the others will serve little or perhaps only to “make the Devil triumph within us, who would obviously want to exploit the situation to separate us from the Church” by making us lose our charity.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write these things for you and our visitors.

In the next communion I will present for you the same prayer to the Lord that Saint Catherine did for her confessor, in the confidence that you too can feel, by the power of Christ, something of what Blessed Raymond felt while Saint Catherine prayed for him.

I bless you and I wish you well.

Father Angelo