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Thursday 6 May 2021


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"Without Sunday Mass we cannot live." It is the famous testimony of Christian martyrs during the persecution of Diocletian in 304. This episode came to mind regarding the restrictive measures adopted by the Italian government which prohibited the public celebration of Holy Mass for the Coronavirus emergency. There have been protests about it but I have the impression that they have not been sufficiently energetic and felt by the faithful people. Let's face it: it seems to me that there is a difference between the faith of those early Christians and that which is lived today.

I am fond of the teaching of Saint Josemaría, founder of Opus Dei, who attributed to the normal lay Christian "lay mentality and priestly soul". At other times he said that we must be "contemplative in the middle of the world". He himself had a profound mystical sense ("put yourself in the wounds of Christ Crucified" wrote in Way 288) perfectly compatible with the sanctification of the ordinary work and daily duties of the normal Christian.

 I have the impression that this teaching of Saint Josemaría should be repeated.

The episode of Martha and Mary in the gospel is significant. Martha does not do bad things, she is preparing food for Jesus and the disciples, nevertheless Jesus reproaches her praising Mary who is listening to the Master.

If Martha is considered holy, it is because she followed the example of her sister Mary making use of the teaching of Jesus. Therefore, it makes no sense for Catholics to say: I stick to Martha's style and dedicate myself to active life. Marta has been reprimanded. Instead, we can be contemplatives like Mary by operating effectively.

Padre Pio, San Francesco, Santa Caterina da Siena and other saints were mystics, bearers of the stigmata of Jesus, who worked intensely. There is no contradiction between contemplation and action. Conversely, by dedicating oneself mainly to action and neglecting identification with Christ, one becomes superficial and, in the end, selfish.

Therefore having a healthy lay mentality means for the Christian to have the same sentiments of Pius, Francis and Catherine and at the same time fully marry his condition and the lifestyle of a lay person.

We are surrounded by a secularized mentality that gives importance to charitable action by neglecting the desire to be another Christ. I must react and continue to ask Jesus to give me His Heart, as he did with Saint Catherine. I am nothing, I know nothing, I cannot do anything but, thanks to prayer, I can be a true Christian.

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