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Home » Lugano February 11, 2024 – A corner of paradise

Lugano February 11, 2024 – A corner of paradise

    As is often the case when Fra Elia leaves for a Mission, he brings with him that immense Love for the Lord that is not contained…it expands and caresses every person as it happened again today in the beautiful parish church of St. Therese of Lisieux and St. John Bosco in Viganello, a neighborhood of Lugano.  

    What is attractive about him is not the things he says but how he says them. There on the platform is a man of great simplicity and innoncence of heart. He is simple in the most beautiful sense of the word. His voice manifests such goodness and warmth. From him comes a deep love for all of us. We crossed the threshold of the majestic doorway…we certainly did not expect to see all those people packed into every space of the immense basilica…yet, at least I, should be used to seeing the usual crowds, knowing that Fra Elia attracts believers and non-believers alike.

    The organizers Yilmaz and Sabrina had reserved the first pews for us and we will always thank them for their kindness. From my seat I see Fra Elia peeking out from the sacristy and giving us a sign of greeting and soon afterwards coming to the altar the five Priests: the Pastor Father Damian, don Marco, the Aramaic superior Father Abraham, don Valentino, don Nicolas, don Adelio and our Fra Elia followed by the altar boys. I cannot find the appropriate words to describe the emotions of the perfectly programmed liturgy accompanied by a superb choir in the language of Jesus in the absolute silence of the participants.

    At the end, Fra Elia “light” catechesis, in the sense of a confidential recommendation between father and son…heartfelt words for the tragic condition of man who has forgotten God. “How can one live Without God? I am in love with Him…is it possible that you do not have the desire to communicate with Him intimately and tell Him that you love Him and act according to His will?” As he says these things, his voice, his words, have a different tone…like an echo from other worlds that is authenticity, credibility, truth. After listening to Fra Elia it often happens suddenly, that a person after years away from the Lord, after years spent behaving contrary to His teachings ,even going as far as insults, suddenly feels the presence of Jesus in his heart. And then his word focused on the Family.

    Is it so hard to say: I care for you very deeply? Forgive me…nothing has happened! Saying “I care for you very deeply” every day is endurance, despite each other’s faults Life is beautiful and should be faced in all its facets because that is how it pleased God. There can be good days and days of sorrow as there always have been, but we have to face everything on the same right level. Unfortunately, we can’t because we are no longer satisfied and our minds go haywire.

    Simplicity does not interest us even though it is the secret to living as God likes. Why do we ruin our existence with unnecessary complications, hardly talk to each other, bicker ? Why the long faces of pride? We must always forgive each other before the night comes. In the Church we were baptized, communicated, confirmed, married and made promises…to love and help each other…but Love must be cultivated like a little plant that without daily water dies. Instead of asking the Lord for more and more and more, let us ask Him for daily peace, a simple life, rain, sunshine and wind so we can enjoy them and say thank you O my God!!! When we are in the storm of life, we are terrified but even in the storm there is the hand of the Lord…. Union of families: invite the Lord to be part of your family so He will help you in dialogue…and to forgive each other before sundown. Parents’ duties: be good educators, inculcate in your children from an early age a love for the Lord…take them to church…so you won’t lose them. The Lord loves us, He never abandons us and never sends ill will, He does not judge us and always forgives us. We are the ones who judge and deny Him every day. The Lord always wants the best for us, and the real best for us is in our feelings, health, family relationships, friendship and work relationships Always remember to do good, like praying for others, praying with sincere feeling for sick children, for the abandoned, for sinners and finally pray for your family. Give help to those who ask for it and as Jesus says you will recognize it in the face of the needy. Peace and good.

    Before concluding, Fra Elia accompanied by don Marco passed by our pews and blessed us with holy water.

    What to say then about our joy at having Fra Elia to have lunch with us? This sharing turned into a feast among friends happy to be together. Fra Elia indulged everyone by going to each table, lingering a few minutes and taking photos with everyone.

    Truly a wonderful day enriched by our gratitude and love…the real and sincere kind!

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