Last October’s word of life invited us to make the evangelical lifestyle our very own. Here are some experiences in living the Gospel, gathered from all over the world.
“In the ﬁrst months of our marriage, dialogue between me and my husband was often interrupted due to the diversity of opinions. At times, after rather harsh verbal clashes, we would end up with a total silence for days. Returning from work for lunch at home, my husband would spend his usual short break watching TV news avidly. One day, conﬁding in God’s help, I decided to send him a clear message. I came home early from school and prepared a delicious lunch. The table was decorated prettier than ever, with ﬂowers and a lit candle. Then I pulled out all the TV wires. Upon arriving, he asked if there was some anniversary to celebrate. We sat down at table, and as always, he tried to turn on the TV but immediately realized that the TV unit was not the problem. Laughingly he then hugged me, begging my forgiveness, and together we promised to correct one another always, out of love. That was an important moment of growth in our relationship.” (Julia, Italy)
In the kitchen
“During my shift as cook in the kitchen, I couldn’t stand having the other friars coming in and tasting all that I was cooking when they passed by. Every time I became increasingly defensive to prevent them from touching anything. One day, upon reading the Gospel phrase about the speck in the other’s eye and not seeing the log in one’s own, I realized that my judgment of them was hindering me from loving them. Since then, every time someone passes by the kitchen, I would invite him in to taste my cooking and seek his advice on whether, for example, I had to add more salt or anything else. Since then the atmosphere in our monastery has changed.” (Rev. Krzysztof, Poland)
To love means taking risks
“Some time ago an illiterate 15-year-old boy, who had a habit of stealing, started to visit our home. Many people had advised us against letting him in, and to consider if it would not be better to help him yes, but also to keep him at a distance. However, we believed that Jesus was present in him and that we had to love him concretely, even to the point of taking a risk. Often that boy remained with us the whole day, went out with us and played with our children. After several months, the stealing instinct returned and he stole some money from us. After the ﬁrst attempts at denial, he admitted the theft and cried, begging for forgiveness, and promising to return what he had stolen. After a while, he calmed down knowing that he could continue to count on our friendship and that if he ever needed money, all he had to do was ask. Now he no longer steals, and has also found a job.” (D. L. – Italy)
“My colleague seemed to have started picking on me, and whatever I did, he would go against it. As long it concerned small things, I tolerated it. Yet at times, in the face of important commitments, he went against everyone. Work had become unbearable. What could I do? The priest I spoke to advised me ﬁrst
to free myself from grudges and negative thoughts, and then to try and see him with new eyes. So I tried it. Incredibly, at our next work meeting, he became another person altogether! Evidently, the change that happened depended not only on him but also on me.” (F.L., Serbia)