Having the breath of the world within

Emanuela's School of Community group began to talk about what is happening in Ukraine. And the need to help in any way possible arose, but so did the feeling that everything was too little…

A few months ago, with some friends, we started a small School of Community group near the hospital where I work. In the last few weeks, in comparing ourselves lives with the text, we couldn't help but focus on what is happening in the world and particularly in Ukraine. One person recounted that she had realized that offering her work for those at war allowed her to really be close to them. That is, she didn't need anything else but to respond to what she was asked to do.

Someone else had begun to wonder: "What do these people really need? The One I have encountered: Christ." I came away from that meeting very provoked and at the same time left with an almost unmanageable desire to be able to do something for those people. So I contacted some friends. I went to bed thinking: I want to go there! I want to go be a field nurse. I would like to give everything there. I lived the next few days with this impetus in my heart. One evening, a teacher friend suggested that I go with her and one of her students to a collection point in a parish in Milan, close to a Ukrainian community. The girlfriend of this student is Ukrainian and part of her family is stuck in Kiev. When we arrived at the parish, we were speechless; we were left motionless looking at the mountain of food, medicines and clothes that people had brought and were continuing to bring.... Children, women, men and the elderly welcoming people and boxing them up for shipment.

We stayed with them. We would never have left. On the way home, I was reminded of a Ukrainian child who was in charge of canning pasta. I thought, "Even if I stayed all day, even if I came back every day it would never be enough. I don't want to give just a little piece of my time. I would like to give you my whole life! I would like to give that little child my whole life." I was reminded of when in the School of Community, Giving One's life for the Work of Another, Giussani says that freedom is a need for total satisfaction. Here, what could have been a tragedy, that is, perceiving that what I could do would never be enough, became instead an experience of freedom: I am free because I can desire to love totally. I went to work thinking: the children that I am taking care of tonight are all the children of Ukraine. They are all the children of the world.

Read also – Ukraine: each to their own work

And by searching, searching, I can only come to say that they are You, Jesus. I have no other way of saying that God is all in all except by starting from this experience. Thus I understand better what my friend from School of Community was saying: every gesture has the world within it because it is a response to Christ who calls me. Because of the way I am made, I would feel stuck in any place had I not the breath of the world within me. And only Christ has been able to give me this breath of the world. Could this be sharing the cross with Him?