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Interview with Fra Elia

    One evening, Fiorella asks Fra Elia: I have some questions for you….

    D. Some people , ask if you have received ” a complete revelation” from God. Whether you really know all that God wants from you.

    R. In general, yes, but then there are difficult details that He clarifies to me from time to time It is not easy to understand everything right away….

    D. How does the Lord suggest modifications to you?

    R. If I insist on a small or big thing that he had previously told me to do, but it is not proceeding exactly as he wants, he puts me through trials, even painful but very clear ones, to open my eyes…….

    D. Can you give me an example?

    R. At the beginning of my mission I understood that the Lord wanted a group home at Calvi Convent to take in young people with family and social problems. Instead, I later realized that the group home the Lord wants it different in the times He will decide.

    D. twenty years after your arrival at the Calvi Convent, and after all these long interminable renovations, what do you intend to do with this convent?

     R. Four things are needed for God’s plan to be fulfilled: God’s Will, Man’s participation, Charity and Divine Providence. God does most of the work, I am his pawn and everyone is invited to participate. So far this has been the case. 

    To answer your question, The Lord wants this Convent to become first of all an important center of prayer where one can pray all the time, where spiritual exercises are held, where everyone can come, let’s say, for the “restoration of their soul”.Today we pray too little or not at all. We must always remember that we are Children of God on the way to conversion. Prayer is necessary to bring us closer to Him. One cannot live without God, and man without God what is he?

    D. Many people say they don’t have time to pray…they don’t pray because there is a lack of time in this very hectic and difficult life…

    A. It is not a question of time being lacking, but of good will. And in this convent you will be able to find all the time and joy to pray again.

    D. What exactly is prayer?
    A. Prayer is a dialogue with God, it is pure desire to communicate with Him, need to talk to Him. An intimate meeting between us and Him, an meeting with Him even of only ten minutes a day.

    D. What does the Lord want from us?

    1. He wants us free and full of love! (free in mind but aware of our duties).

    D. Are you sure among Fra Elia, that everyone will understand your message?

    R. Some of us are called into the Lord’s vineyard in the morning, some at noon, some at the end of the evening: it is the Lord who arranges the time, it is we who can participate and work with Him. Then, some of us are called to participate with the vocation of marriage, others with that of the committed laity, still others with that of consecration: it is He who arranges and asks, it is we who can say “Yes” by accepting His invitation.

    D. This convent will be first and foremost a center of prayer. But the vocation of the Fraternity of Fra Elia of the Apostles of God, besides that of praying, what is it?

    R. Our main vocation is to preach and bear witness to God’s Love and the Holy Gospel for every Creature, so in our rule we have written: We are pilgrims in the world and for the world, always ready to go wherever our help is needed and at the same time ready to welcome anyone who knocks on our door…

    We all answered “yes” to the Lord’s invitation. He wanted us to be called God’s Apostles because our behavior must be similar to theirs, and always He has asked us to participate in His work concretely, at the time and in the way He has determined, for the building up of the Kingdom.

    D. What was the behavior of the Apostles?

    R. Simple: Witnessing to Christ in all corners of the earth and the courage with which the Apostles bore witness to their faith stemmed from their encounter with the Savior who enabled them to obey God’s will and they spoke of God wherever they were, in the public squares, in families, in congregations, in churches… pilgrims in the world and for the world.

    D. I see a magnificent cloister, great works in progress, a building nearing completion, a three-meter high Madonna on an equally imposing pedestal… how did you do it? Surely you know that some rumors against your work say that you sold out to a powerful man, others that you made compromises with the Church, and still others… – Fra Elia interrupts me, smiling almost amused (or bitter?) –

    R. I may be naive, but I did everything by myself. It was a Bishop who told me that “if my things are God’s things, I should have done it all by myself…” and so I did. However, no powerful person helped me and of course the Church would never compromise with me. I don’t deny that I also had some pilgrims who turned into very generous benefactors.

    I was scared, I didn’t know where to start, how to get help, I was crying but He said, Will you stop whining? You still haven’t realized that I am making the Convent . Not you. And from that moment the fear disappeared and I completely trusted Him and His Divine Providence represented also by a Bank that trusted me and gave me a big loan that I have to pay back at the end of every month with great effort . This is the truth.

    Much has been done and much there is to be done, “by ourselves we can do nothing; with the help of God and every Brother and Sister of good will the bad things have become good and others will become good.”

    Divine Providence has always assisted us also through people of good will whom the Lord continually sends us. And we always give thanks.

    D. What are you working on now?

    R. We have been here since 2003 and the construction site is always open…We are now completing some initiatives and projects that we did not even remotely think we could implement. The debt with the bank is not going down but the Lord is in a hurry and one must finish his project.

    Thank you Fra Elia! May God protect and sustain you always.

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