Divo Barsotti

Having formed this community, we feel we can thank God for this ineffable gift of the divine vocation, but we also feel the need to pray to him so that the gift of vocation may be followed by an ever more generous response. And if we have to thank the Lord for what he has done in us and among us, all the more we must invoke him so that he may continue his work, making this community a chosen instrument for the salvation of the world, for the revelation of God to souls, for the manifestation of God’s charity in the midst of the brothers.

As we begin the exercises, it would be truly unforgivable not to become aware of our divine vocation and of what Christ has done in us, because “the Almighty has done great things in us.” The fact that he has chosen us, the fact that he has given us a keen desire to strive for him, is one of the greatest works we can think of. The greatest works on the political and social level are nothing compared to the work of God, who calls a soul to evangelical perfection. Nothing is greater than holiness: everything is done for holiness. And if we are already solicited by divine grace to this holiness, we must recognize in all this the greatest work of God. All works are either ordered to this or they have no meaning. Even the assistance of the sick is ordered toward holiness, for what if they were to die? What is the use of, say, political effectiveness and greatness, when after a few years everything, more or less, returns to the same as before.

Once holiness is achieved, my dear brothers, it brings our souls into God; he gives our souls to participate in his very life, to be blessed with the very beatitude of God. And if it is a great thing to raise the dome of St. Peter’s, it is greater to ascend with Jesus to the right hand of the Father. It is true that all this is not palpably evident, but was it even so when a God became man down here on earth? What did the shepherds see? A baby in swaddling clothes! What did the inhabitants of Nazareth see for thirty years? A teenager who grew up in obscurity, in silence, dutiful in his work. And what did men see when he became an adult? It all ends in a trial and a death sentence. Yet, my dear brothers, is there anything greater than the Incarnation of the Word? Is there anything greater than his death on the cross? Appearance is nothing but reality is immense. So it is for us too!

(From “Che Dio vi parli”, Chorabooks 2016, translated by Aurelio Porfiri)