Italy – The power of Saints

30 October 2020

(ANS - Venice) - The saints ... perhaps we should pray to them more and more intensely, appeal more often to their intercession, implore they intervene to save and to save us. The saints are there, but they wait to be disturbed: they propose, but do not impose themselves. Knowing their history and having the image in your pocket is fine, but asking forcefully for their intervention is another thing. Maybe we think we can do it alone, victims of a world that has placed people in their own hands, in the finite, and not in the hands of God, to the Infinite.

So we are content to do what we can instead of daring the impossible. We resort to a thousand strategies, certainly important, even in the educational field, but let's not forget that Heaven is for us a powder keg of Grace: a spark of faith would be enough to make it explode!

I wish I had more faith! The faith of Don Bosco, of my mother when I fell ill with meningitis many years ago, of my grandmother who said the Christmas novena kneeling on the stairs. I would like our saints to lavish upon us the same audacity that so many men and women of our day have, that courage that knows how to go beyond the thousand fears that sometimes lead us to skip life [as truants do in school, trans. note].

I wish our first attitude in the face of daily problems would be to launch a new challenge to Heaven to unleash the strength and determination of the saints. I would like the friends of Heaven to teach us the "ab-solute" prayer, that is, freed from any personal request, that oration in which our ego or self is lost in God to the point of saying, like Carlo Acutis, "Not I, but God".

Saints multiply desires and thus enlarge our hearts. This is the true strength of the saints: to be shadow and not light, concealment and not showcase, ostension and not ostentation, the eye of the needle and not the eye of the ego. The saints are handles and not doors. They allow us to open the door, they open us to the Mystery, but they do not put themselves in the place of the door. They are not perfect models, but people crossed by God. We can compare them to the stained glass windows of churches, which let light in in different shades of color. We need the saints of Heaven and we need saints on earth, stained glass windows that color our courtyards so that they allow themselves to be pierced by the Light.

Of the saints, I am struck by their determination to declare war on evil and their awareness that the evil one does not renounce belligerence. They are those who have grasped that evil hurts, wounds and kills, and for this very reason, they live in the trenches of charity where one lives immolating life. To educate is to teach that it is worth fighting against evil, and it is to shape the conscience so that it has a refined palate for what is true, good and beautiful, capable of having a taste for Life. Educating is a battle in which our saints, if enlisted, advance and remain at the forefront.

Fr Igino Biffi,

INE Provincial


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