Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of October 4, 2006
1st reading: Gal 6,14-18; Psalm 15; Gospel: Mt 11,25-30
Normally, when there is a delay, the late one will make an apology. I will not do it because we must give priority to charity and care for those who are sick and suffer. That is why, and I am sorry, I could not be present at the beginning of this important moment.
You have prayed, and this is the greatest commitment for Christians; but I have to make a small correction: you, who are part of this community, must not restrict to just recite rosaries, one after the other. I had to intervene many times to suggest singing or reading a letter from God. Try to enliven the prayer, otherwise we turn into a chorus of bleating sheep trying to spend time waiting for something. Prayer has been and is important. This is the instruction in case a delay for the beginning of the Mass occurs again in this place, or should it occur in other places.
Marisa continues her mission, a mission of suffering. Yesterday we had, kind of Him, a long talk with God the Father, lasting about an hour. And, as we say in Rome, we gave vent: He let us talk and never interrupted us.
God, allowed us to say all we wanted, even though He already knew what we would be telling Him. What we can report is that he still asked us for patience and suffering: "Do you think that if I could do without suffering, would I ask for it? I cannot, I created the world, I created everything that exists but unfortunately, the world is going towards its self-destruction. This is not the world I wanted".
The second point is equally distressing and concerns the priests, especially the big men of the Church; keep on praying for their conversion. Marisa was asked again to suffer so that, at least part of them, may convert and save themselves. Humanly speaking we would have liked something different but this is normal because suffering is scary for everyone.
Never think that you can get used to suffering, never think that whoever carries the burden of the cross can get used to such an awful weight; it would mean that you are losing sympathy, love, and charity. Never utter unhappy expressions such as: "But this is her mission". Put yourself in her place and you will understand how hard her mission is. It is thirty-five years that she is experiencing it and I'm not used to it yet. So I ask you to join in this prayer campaign. I solicit prayers, sacrifices, fasting, even of the kind I taught you, that is, the sacrifice of eating what is unpleasant, is not satisfying or disliked. In this way, perhaps, you will decrease our burden, making you the bearers; that's why I'm asking for it.
Just today I was thinking what will be the theme for next year, what title to give it. I have already identified it: we will talk about it in due time, but what I ask you today, and I will repeat it often, is this prayer campaign, of intercession with God so that the good, if not in everybody, may triumph in many hearts, at least. Our Lord has stated again that the majority of priests believe, but the true converts are not all that many. There is a difference between believing in something and living it in a holy way: God wants priests and bishops to live it holily. So although apparently it seems that everything is against us, and I have clearly manifested this feeling to God, things are moving, perhaps less rapidity than He may wish for, but to overcome the evil that is spreading and rampant is not easy. That's why I ask also to you to join in this campaign. I repeat Jesus’ exhortation to the apostles: "Pray, pray, pray".
Yes, it is true, pray so you may not give in to temptation, temptation of disheartening, of fear, to go somewhere else because nothing is happening here and nothing is ever done. Pray, pray, pray, not to give in to temptation. God the Father gave some hints for the future, and to me, when I reminded Him that for almost a decade I have had no priest close to me, He said: "Worry not, at the proper time it will be up to you to choose all the priests who you feel are the right ones to be next to you". This is the Word of God, it is not the word of a man. How all this will be accomplished? God knows, and partly we too. And you? Look ahead, feed on hope, strengthen in faith, grow in charity.