"Every day he says to me, "Do not be afraid""

Seven hundred employees at home because of the Covid emergency. Life changes. And yet, amid the worry, "the opportunity to live the real intensely” reappears every morning.

As Carrón reminded us in his letter to the Fraternity “on such occasions–which the Mystery does not spare us–we can grasp even more clearly what a grace the charism that has taken hold of us is, verifying its capacity to help us face all that happens. “The only condition for being truly and faithfully religious […] is to live always the real intensely”. In this time of Lent, I find myself living a situation that I would never have imagined for my life.

I have a business that deals with collective catering and the food industry, with 750 employees in different cities in Italy. In an instant, almost all activity stopped: schools, businesses, public administration. And almost all employees are now at home.

Since February 23, for me, "living the real intensely" has been to be in front of this new situation. It is as if another life has begun: an early alarm, online mass with Pope Francis at 7 a.m, family breakfast, the Angelus and then to work. There are five of us in the office and twenty-five people in one of the factories that has not shut down.

My day goes by, I think about what I can do for my employees and for the company, if it can survive, and I look at the few things that remain open, the tasks done by suppliers, banks, salaries. The days go by, and I find myself strangely calm. I often remember the scenes we relived whilst on pilgrimage in the Holy Land some time ago, such as that of the angel who said to Mary "Do not be afraid", and then said to the apostles, outside the tomb: "Do not be afraid".

At the beginning of each day, I offer everything to the Lord. Everything. I think of my loved ones, my friends, my employees, the whole movement, and, in my heart, I listen to Him who says to me: "Do not be afraid". In this period, I have regained the same desire that led me, last year, to set up a restaurant at the Rimini Meeting as a gesture of charity, without gain, to give back what the Lord has given me in life.

Read also - "The eyes of God upon my people".

The word that, lately, I have heard Carrón and other friends repeat, without it really becoming "mine", however, is "opportunity". What the Lord gives us is an opportunity for life, to be able to verify what matters to you in reality. Well, the Lord is giving me a new opportunity, just like at the Meeting, to love Him again with what I do, with what He has given me.

Fiero, Rome, Italy