To be the Lord’s missionary in the world

Dearest Aunt

I got your letter and am replying without delay. My failure to come to the conference in Catania was caused by a suspension of academic conferences ordered by Rome. Now there is a chance – in fact it is a certainty -that it will be June 18, when I am supposed to be holding a conference in Messina for the solemn celebration of the centennial of S. Antonio of Padua organized by the . Orphanages Di Francia.

They have written to me recently and I didn’t know how to refuse. These opportunities to spread the word of the Lord are not infrequent these days: this seed of good which the Lord entrusts me with is sublimely beautiful. Working for the Catholic church in the work of the apostolate and spiritual and material charity has become the fundamental requirement of my life. I take the opportunity in every circumstance to proclaim to the world that if they have forgotten the sweet truth of Jesus Christ, of a God who became man and died on the cross for us, it is work that deeply touches my soul.

And I want the fire that burns in my soul to burn in the souls of others: so that the Heaven and joy can finally dwell in their souls. I assure you, how beautiful the Christian life is! It makes us angels over the earth: a spectacle, says St. Paul, for the angels themselves! And of course: if Jesus lives in our hearts that are alive with his love, how can these souls not take on a supreme value in the sight of God?

The supernatural life that flows in our hearts makes us constantly calm and confident and opens in the soul a vein of poetry and candour that truly transforms us into flowers of the Lord! My God, I often say, how much you did for me, so unworthy: and often my eyes do not fail to fill with tears of gratitude.
When I see the picture of my life, the line of divine mercy is clear to me: what a profound transformation in so few years! And it was all and only the work of Grace.

My current state of mind can be expressed in one word: I am a free apostle of the Lord, happy to love and proclaim the ineffable beauty and mercy.
In this respect, perhaps the adjective “lost” that you used for me is true: it’s true, my heart has expanded a little toward all brothers: there is a kind of desire for a supernatural fatherhood that makes us generate children of the Lord through the word and work.

There is no doubt that the Lord has placed in my soul the desire for priestly grace: only, however, that he wants me to stay in my lay clothing to work more productively in the secular world away from Him. But the purpose of my life is clearly marked: to be a missionary of the Lord in the world: and this apostolate work must be carried out by me in the conditions and environment in which the Lord has placed me.

Here I have the chairmanship of a Conference of Saint Vincent de Paul: there are many young people who each week go around the city to bring consolation and help. They visit the sick and poor; and we practice in the beauty of real and supernatural brotherhood of Jesus
But is all this truly loss or gain? I opt for the latter: if your sacrifice of not seeing me or seeing me rarely is compensated by good works, how grateful the Lord must be!

I’m glad to hear about Adele’s news: continue, I beg you, to insist on this point: help her to get in the habit of weekly Communion. The good that comes of this practice will be enormous and you will have the opportunity to realize it soon. I recommend this with all the strength of my soul, never neglect the Sunday Communion: the greatest treasure we can lose is that of not receiving Jesus. If Jesus is the companion of her adolescence, I guarantee that Adele will be successful in all respects, but without Jesus, it is impossible to be successful at anything.
Now that May has come, why don’t you both go with her sometimes -e.g. to Pompei- at the foot of the Madonna? The Madonna has so much to tell you and it will not hurt to ask for advice and comfort. When I think about yours and uncle’s situation, my soul is seized with a sense of bitterness: I say to myself: here the Lord grants me proximity to the Sacraments for so many souls and yet I find the strongest resistance right where the family affection is the warmest! But I’m not discouraged: I trust that the Lord will always be the winner and that the dawn will arrive and greet a new miracle in the glory of God!

Give Uncle a big hug for me and tell him that I do the only thing I can for him: pray! Blessed Jesus watches him and gently holds him close.
Give Adeluzza a kiss for me, and Pierino, Aunt, Uncle: a thousand good wishes to you.

Affectionately in the Lord

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