CL Spiritual Exercises in Rimini, 2018 (Photo: Roberto Masi)

"I began to ask myself: Who am I?"

Dissatisfied, tired and challenged. Mara asks herself, "What does God want from me?" Then came her encounter with CL. During the lockdown, an unexpected gladness and decision.

My mother died fifteen years ago, at only 53 years old, after a long illness. That was a very painful time, my life was turned upside down, all my plans and desires vanished into thin air, I found myself with no mom, a house to run and a father to take care of. In addition, I had recently started a job that I loved, but reconciling everything was very stressful indeed. I had so many friends to keep me company, but none of them could fill my void.

I have always been a believer, but in the face of what was happening to me I was having a hard time accepting, trying to find the solution and an answer to everything. The result? Dissatisfied, tired and challenged, it was a constant questioning: "What does Christ want from me?"

Five years ago, I decided to change jobs, and that is where I met CL. My boss, who was part of the movement at the time, was in a very difficult period of his life, to the point of wanting to leave everything. Yet, I could see his friends in the movement who kept looking at him with an inexplicable tenderness. Moved by curiosity, trying to understand what was behind that gaze, that attention, I began to participate in the gestures and meetings that the movement offered. It gave me pleasure just to look at some of them: they had such bright eyes that I could not forget, indeed it was through those eyes that day after day I still found the strength and courage to face the various difficulties. I began to experience how Christ was taking me back, His carnality through a companionship that I had not chosen. I began to ask myself, "But who am I?" and no longer, "What does Christ want from me?"

Although I have been living the experience of the movement for more than four years, it was only now that I decided to join the Fraternity. I do not like to do things mechanically, I had the desire to join several times, but I was also a bit fearful. I wanted my "yes" to be mature, free. Nothing happens by chance, it was precisely during the lockdown that I made the verification of how important this companionship is for my life: even if physically distant, by simply making memory of what I met, of their faces, of the dialogues, at the end of the days I was happy. Only through a companionship that brings you back to Christ can you live like this.

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I am sure that I will fall many times, but I am certain that I can get back up only by remaining attached to this place and this companionship where Christ is present to me.

Mara, Tornareccio, Italy