Saturday, 10 March 2012
Being in the presence of beautiful souls
We have just finished 10pm Friday Lenten Prayer. Six students turned up. Last Friday we had a Taize evening; tonight we did the Stations of the Cross, using the writings of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati as part of the devotion. I am very grateful to Wanda, Blessed Pier Giorgio's niece, for sending this out to us. We placed candles before a large banner depicting this handsome young champion of the faith who died aged only 24 in 1925 and whom Blessed John Paul II commended to young people as a role model. We were all very struck this evening by the vibrancy with which he wrote about the Christian life, the "adventure" as he described it. He spoke about his desire to grow in faith each day, his love of the Eucharist, his fearlessness before death and his longing for heaven. My favouite extract was about friendship. He was obviously a master at it: there is a lovely photograph of him guffawing with his friends, which I have posted below. In the following extract from a letter, he describes how good friends lead us to God. And isn't it the case that we believe in large part because those we love and admire do too? And isn't that very natural, very human? Here's what Blessed Pier Giorgio wrote:
In this earthly life after the affection for parents, and sisters one of the most beautiful affections is that of friendship, and every day I ought to thank God because he has given me men and women friends of such goodness who are a precious guide for my whole life.. Surely Divine Providence in His Marvellous Plans sometimes uses us miserable little twigs to do Good and we sometimes not only don’t want to know God but instead dare to deny His existence, but we who, by the Grace of God, have the Faith, when we find ourselves in the presence of such beautiful souls, surely nourished by Faith, we cannot but discover in them an obvious sign of the Existence of God, because one cannot have such a Goodness without the Grace of God.