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Good evening Father,

I’m a 20 years old guy. I was raised by catholic parents who believed but not always practiced their religion.

Growing up I had to face many difficulties: when I was 5 years old I risked my life, I always had poor health, in my adolescence I almost lost my father twice, I started working when I was 15 (then I went back to studying), etc.

In my adolescence I started losing faith in God, I didn’t receive Confirmation. Then it was always like going back and forth until my grandfather died. From that moment I slowly began a journey that led me to become agnostic. About a year ago, however, I began to recover my faith. I started reading the Bible and learning more. I became a believer again, I felt God’s presence. Unfortunately, some of my deepenings made  the certainties that I had always had about Christianity collapse (e.g. how can we put our trust just in written texts? What if they were altered and those events never happened?). So I sought refuge in other religions, without finding anything.

Now I have fallen into a vortex of atheism and materialism. I continue in vain to pray to God for a tangible sign, but I have no response, I no longer feel His presence. All this causes me a strong anxiety about why we exist and the idea that death is the eternal end of all that I am. Everything I do, build or learn will eventually be meaningless.

The only thing I can still do is to love (my family and the others).

What do I have to do to get back to believing? Why doesn’t God reveal Himself to me in order to remove all my doubts?

Please Father help me, I am desperate, I can’t live anymore.

I would like to ask you many more things, but I know you don’t have time just for me.

Thank you in advance.

Pardon me for the demand.


Answer of the priest

Dear Fabio,

1. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).

I can say that the Lord is attracting you to Himself through the desire of living faith.

Now this desire comes from Him who “for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.” (Phil 2:16).

Borrowing a passage from Revelation, I could say that the Lord is knocking on your door, as He himself said to the Church of Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20).

2. Now it is up to you to listen to His voice and open the door to Him.

Listen to His voice in the creation. The admirable perfection with which the creation has been made was not done by case, but through the most perfect and infinite intelligence, the depths of which science never ceases to discover because it is inexhaustible.

In front of a perfection that he saw everywhere and that enveloped him on all sides, Saint Augustine perceived not only a voice, but even a shout that asked him to love the One who gave him creation: “And see also the heaven, and earth, and all that is in them on every side they tell me to love thee (“omnia clamant ut amem te”), and they do not cease to tell this to all men, ‘so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20) (Confessions, X, 6, 8).

3. You hear His voice in an even more personal way in the Holy Scriptures.

Behind those words God speaks to your heart and tells you what you must do to meet Him, to live in communion with Him and to enjoy His friendship.

4. Particularly, he reminds you that there may be some impediments that hinder your sight and hearing because it is exactly these impediments that make you feel God is distant and elusive. 

For example, it says: “the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.

But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God” (Jn 3:19-21).

5. Saint Thomas observes: “He does not say: did, but rather does: because if someone has acted in an evil way, but has repented and is sorry, seeing that he has done wrong, such a person does not hate the light but comes to the light. But everyone who does evil, i.e., persists in evil, is not sorry, nor does he come to the light, but he hates it; not because it reveals truth, but because it reveals a person’s sins” (Commentary on Jn 3:20).

6. Sometimes a good confession is enough to rediscover God because His presence is incompatible with sin.

I’m not saying that there are who- knows- what kind of sins in your life.

But it is possible that there are some sins that place a veil over your mind’s eye and prevent you from seeing.

Again Saint Thomas, commenting on Jesus’ words in Jn 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” comments: “in truth, no one can come unless drawn by the Father. For just as a heavy object by its nature cannot rise up, but has to be lifted by someone else, so the human heart, which tends of itself to lower things, cannot rise to what is above unless it is drawn or lifted. 

And if it does not rise up, this is not due to the failure of the one lifting it, who, so far as lies in him, fails no one; rather, it is due to an obstacle in the one who is not drawn or lifted up” (Commentary on John, n. 937).

7. Then he adds: “In this matter we can distinguish between those in the state of integral nature [before the original sin], and those in the state of fallen nature. In the state of integral nature, there was no obstacle to being drawn up, and thus all could share in it.

But in the state of fallen nature, all are equally held back from this drawing by the obstacle of sin; and so, all need to be drawn. 

God, in so far as it depends on Him, extends His hand to every one, to draw every one; and what is more, he not only draws those who receive Him by the hand, but even converts those who are turned away from Him, according to: convert us, O Lord, to yourself, and we will be converted (Lam 5:21); and you will turn, O God, and bring us to life (Ps 84:7). Therefore, since God is ready to give grace to all, and draw them to Himself, it is not due to him if someone does not accept; rather, it is due to the person who does not accept” (Commentary on John, n. 937).

8. Therefore, precisely in the light of what Saint Thomas recalled, I tell you to turn to God and to say to Him with humility: “Lead us back to you, oh Lord, that we may be restored” (Lam 5:21) and “You in converting me will return and give me life” (Ps 84:7).

Or even: “Lord, please let me see” (Lk 18:41).

Repeat these invocations often.

Certainly not because the Lord needs to hear them but because they lead you to greater depths and make you aware that you are not asking God for gold, but you are invoking his divine power, that divine power which one day after saying let there be light, there was light.

9. Therefore you are very close to this intervention of God.

It can come to you at any moment, and I hope that very soon the Lord will say to you: “Have sight; your faith has saved you” (Lk 18:42). And that you will begin to follow Glorifying God.

I follow you with my prayer in the waiting for this very happy event and I bless you with all my heart.

Father Angelo