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A Revolution in Our Consciousness

Rossella's decision to accompany an elderly friend reveals the value of charitable work.

I never took charitable work seriously until one day this year when Fr. José Medina said that "charitable work is our school, our chance to learn to love. If we don't do it we have no other chance to learn how to love." This sentence struck me, but at the same time it seemed like a bit exaggerated because, in any case, we are exposed to other things. Sometime later, I asked Fr. José if I should propose charitable work to the people of my school of community. He asked me if I did it, and when I said “no” he told me that I had to do it first and that by doing it I would understand things.

An eighty-nine-year-old friend of ours had a heart attack and totally lost her memory. Here in the U.S. she is alone, and a priest is taking care of everything that concerns her. She is now in a nursing home. It was the right opportunity; I started charitable work. I went for the third time and she felt totally lost like a little girl, and told me "I don't know what will happen to me in the future. I feel lost. I'm always alone here, etc .."--all things that broke my heart. But what the booklet on charitable work says came to my mind: that I can't feel the other person' s need and that Jesus came to be with us and not to solve our problems.

We prayed the Rosary, entrusting the fact that she felt lost, and she was moved. Clearly in front of her I was also thinking about myself, how fragile we are. Someone like her who was the wife of a very famous professor, who has a collection of paintings with her name, who has real estate properties--she was there as a child and seemed to remember mostly things from when she was a child. The understanding that I could not save her but I could offer her company because I know she is in God's hands freed me. It made me feel at peace. In fact, when a friend asked me how it had gone and told me of the fear he feels in going to visit her because he doesn't know what to say, I told him "Look, we don't have to save her; the only one who saves is Jesus. We just have to go to visit her."

Then I understood better why at all costs I wanted my husband to come with me when I got the vaccine and in front of a friend who is afraid to get it I asked, "Do you want me to come with you?"

Now I understand Father José's sentence and what Father Carrón said at the Spiritual Excercises, that "the difference is between the one who does the work and the one who doesn't.”

Those proposals that are made to us seem so small, but they are really a revolution in our consciousness.

Rossella, State College, Pennsylvania


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