Tokyo: Companionship is at the depth of the I

From Switzerland to Japan. Everything around him changes: friends, work, home, language. Then four months of isolation at home. Yet, for Gabriele, it is an opportunity to discover "where the Presence that fills us with life springs from".

This has been a special year for me because I moved from Switzerland to Japan. Everything around me has changed: friends, work, home, language. I started my new life here and after a short while the pandemic began, which kept me at home alone for four months. Enclosed within four walls in such a different place.

Although I missed the companionship of family and friends from Switzerland and Milan, I never really felt alone. For me this was, more than ever before, the opportunity to discover that companionship is at the depth of the I. You can feel that you are not alone if there is a love that is alive and present in your life. I found myself being attentive and faithful to life and to the path of the movement, because springing from there I saw that Presence that filled my life. It is not simply the companionship of the movement that is present in my life: it is His Presence.

I realize that a present love is also what gives rise to a different, new judgment. When there is no such love, I look at things without the strength to identify with them, without grasping their depth and drama. I disdain them and ignore them if they do not interest me, whereas when they touch one of my interests, then I judge them only in function of their usefulness. Thus, for example, people simply become nice or unpleasant, useful or boring. When, on the other hand, my life is dominated by a love that fills it, I find myself more interested in things and I can see the depth of everything. The greater this love is, the more it is able to invest everything. This really changes the way we look at and treat everything.

There would be many examples. One is the incredible experience born from the meeting with Takashi Nagai who, from the exhibition at the 2019 meeting until today, has been touching so many people on five continents and has "overwhelmed" our community in Tokyo. That was another testimony of how His Presence is communicated through great witnesses, overcoming time and space. That Presence that overcame the destruction of the atomic bomb in Nagai's life, generating peace and joy amid the most radical devastation and death, is still filling my life.

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This is, in a nutshell, the experience I have had of His Presence through our charism. I felt full rather than alone, just when I was deprived of the most trivial and usual things, and I found myself looking at everything, even what was physically so far away from Japan, with a tenderness and passion that are not spontaneous. I pray that the Lord will help me maintain this gaze because life is thus a hundred times more beautiful.

Gabriele, Tokyo, Japan