Thank you, Father Angelo,
I have been desiring for a while to enroll in the Confraternity, without doing it. I have been saying the Rosary every day for years, and I can bear witness to the Holy Virgin’s material and spiritual help in my life.
I too have been “struck on the way to Damascus”: after the separation from my former wife, my everyday life was dominated by emptiness and troubles, faith was a distant memory from my youth, cornered and hurt, looking for moral revenge.
Still… The Mother of Mercy always kept her eyes on me…
When I was a university student, I did the Nine First Fridays devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus…
Growing up, one changes and faith seems something for children, but if you don’t tend to it, it withers… Life overwhelms you, work, economic possibilities, fleeting lights seems to make you forget that something else exists: a God who created us, died for us, and who madly loves us… In the dark, the Light… Godly promise that is eternal…
My “conversion on the way to Damascus” happened in the Milan subway, I didn’t ask for it or even look for it…
For some time, much to my annoyance, a little book has been rattling around in my head: the fifteen prayers of Saint Bridget. What nonsense, what a nuisance this recurring thought, it hurts. By now I am oppressed by this thought, I get off the subway, at the Duomo stop. I am headed over to the San Paolo bookshop [a popular religious bookshop in the center of Milan, translator’s note], I buy this stupid booklet, with the intention to shove it in a drawer somewhere…
So that this inner voice would stop bothering me… Instead… “has been willed above, where One can do what He has willed;” (Dante Alighieri, Inferno 3, 95-96, t/n), my rebirth begins, that would later be supported by the everyday Rosary…
In my life, in my medical job (heart surgeon before, later anesthesiologist) I can only testify the love of God, and even more the love of the co-redemptrix, most gracious Advocate, who always followed me, even when I did not want to know the way or look for it.
Even now, in my everyday life, although I am a miserable sinner since, much to my grief, I cannot go to Confession being divorced and remarried, every day I am clinging to this sweet chain that prevents me from falling into the abyss of nothingness.
I thank you for the prayers and…
Long live Jesus and Mary
Answer by the priest
1. I am happy to publish what you wrote to me, because your email is a testament to the fact that the grace of God works also in those who live in irregular situations that objectively are of grave sin.
2. The Lord did not abandon you.
In the practice of the Nine First Fridays that you did when you were a university student, there was a silent request that God would not forsake you.
As you can see, He did not forsake you.
And He made you find Him again, in a new and completely unexpected way, right in the moment when you said: I will buy that stupid booklet, so I will stop torturing myself.
3. Prayers and meditation on Our Lord’s passion are always beneficial.
In the Gospel of John, it reads: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.” (John 19, 37).
In reporting this text from Zachary 12, 10, a twofold prophecy is expressed: the first, that Jesus would be pierced in His side.
The second that the people who crucified Jesus would return to the Lord.
We all crucify Jesus with our sins.
4. Everybody will turn their eyes towards Him.
Saint Thomas comments: “They will look on him […] at the coming judgment, (like it reads in Revelation 1,7: “Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen.”), or, they will look on him when they have been converted to the faith” (Commentary on the Gospel of John, 19, 37)
5. The Lord gave you the grace to turn your eyes towards Him when your repentance is still useful, because the repentance felt in Hell, like the one of the rich man in Luke 13, 19-31, only increases the suffering.
6. But there is another statement in your email that I would like to highlight, and that is when you say that your conversion has been subsequently supported by the everyday Rosary through which you have experienced the maternal love of the Corredentrix, our most gracious Advocate.
Here, I like to remember what the Blessed Bartolo Longo said, during a discussion with an Anglican noblewoman – who criticized the devotion to Our Lady saying that the blood of Christ, and only the blood of Christ, saves us.
It’s true, Bl. Bartolo Longo replied, but it was Our Lady that collected the blood of the dying Redeemer.
She collected it, in the sense that, under the cross, she collected all the treasures of the Redemption and because of this Jesus made her our mother, bestower of all goods and all graces that Jesus acquired at a high price.
7. Entrust yourself to Mary, who collected, in the Redeemer’s blood, also the grace of your salvation: keep the habit of the everyday Holy Rosary, so that the grace of your salvation will not remain in Her hands, but will reach you, its fortunate beneficiary.
United by the bond of this prayer, I entrust you to the Lord and I bless you.