Starting Again From Zero

When I was still quite small my father abandoned us. My mother fell into a deep depression and began to drink. I was raised by my maternal grandmother. When my mother died, I was in my adolescence and I was harbouring inside me a desire for revenge. Then, I met a girl who introduced me to her parish community.

Through those people, little by little, I discovered God, inner peace and balance. When we got married, I was able to say that that community became my family. Then one day, at work, a man came and introduced himself as my father. I was desolate and feared my own reaction. Despite the surprise, I welcomed him warmly and told him about my daughter who had been born, and invited him to our home. A week later he came over with his partner.

My wife and I gave them a warm and festive welcome. More than grandparents, to us they felt like adopted children. Since then, our family life has changed and so has theirs. It was as if the past no longer existed; only the desire to start from zero exists. (P.P., Serbia)

The Caricature

A classmate had drawn a caricature of me, photocopied it and spread it all over the school. I felt like beating him up! But then I decided to approach him and speak to him calmly. In fact, I invited him over to my house, to do homework and go see a film. When he asked me why I reacted like that, I told him that I had learned to see Jesus in every neighbour, knowing that we all can make mistakes. Surprised, he wanted to know more. Now he’s also trying to put the words of the Gospel into practice. (Daniel, Brazil)

The Humanity of Jesus

The first signs of my multiple-sclerosis date back to when my wife, Susi, was expecting our daughter, Tecla. Always used to working and playing sports, I now realized that it was more and more difficult to move, until I was completely immobile. And yet, from the onset of the illness, I felt the reawakening of a desire for true values. Many years have gone by since then. Being sick, seeing my legs no longer able to respond, depending on others for everything, and feeling pain, knowing humiliation, and feeling different: I have experienced all this. But my suffering have also helped me to understand the “humanity” of Jesus much more (Renato, Italy)

The Florist

It was a very cold night. An old flower-seller was trying to sell her flowers. Wearing an old blanket, she seemed resigned to watch the people pass by with haste and indifference. I thought, if I were in her position, I’d enjoy something warm. But there was no coffee shop in sight. I found a boy selling homemade sweets. So I bought one for her. When she took it and thanked me, she didn’t say many words, but her eyes showed how moved she was. Then I went on my way with the feeling of her gaze still upon me. (Szidi, Romania)

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