If a few years ago someone had told me that I would have read the Bible and that I would have found happiness through faith in God, I would have never believed them.
Today, my joy is exactly there, in Jesus Christ! My name is Lena and I am more than happy to have discovered that life is a precious gift worth more than any other thing in the world!
In the darkest moments of my past, when I felt immense solitude, a great emptiness, and the absurdity of my existence, God came to me through the
Community Cenacolo and saved me, giving me back the will to live! Today I have the grace to be in this house of God and I thank the Community for having welcomed me in the state that I was in, with empty hands, without asking anything from me. I entered the Community at the age of twenty one, after many years of drug addiction. I was angry with myself, my parents, and with society. I was tired and I felt dead inside due to all of the evil that I had done. I had not finished school and I even started to steal, living in lies. In front of other people, I portrayed myself as strong, impulsive and decisive, while in my heart I felt everything else: insecurity, fear, and many questions to which I could not find the answers. The friendships I made were not stable and ended quickly because they were based on interests and not on true love. I thought I found the security and the life that I was searching for in drugs. Instead it was only an illusion, which soon enslaved me. Living a life like this I hurt those who loved me, most of all my parents. In my heart there was no longer trust, only doubt, indifference, and suspiciousness towards everything and everyone. I no longer believed in myself or had the hope of one day being able to live a different life.
The first months in Community were very hard for this reason.
I often wanted to quit everything and escape. It was difficult to believe that others could love me.
I was very proud and always justified myself because I was afraid of not being accepted by the other girls. Fear of the truth held me back. Despite this difficulty, I started to recognize the patience and trust that the Community had with me: I felt true love. This gave me the strength to go forward, the desire to open up more, and to trust.
My greatest difficulty was starting to believe in the Lord and to pray! I come from a country where, because of its political history, the population has forgotten about God. In my family, no one went to Church. My parents always gave me a lot of affection, but this was not enough for me. I needed a deeper love, that maybe they did not even know. In Community, I found myself among many girls, each one with a difficult past. They were from all over the world, of all ages… but together they prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Even if I did not believe, these moments touched me and started to melt my heart. After the prayer I saw a change in the girls: they were more serene and smiled more. The Holy Mass and sharing slowly moved the Word of God closer to my life, and a small light of hope was lit inside of me which helped me to embrace myself, with all of my fragility, in front of Jesus. God’s Love made me experience that only He knows and heals everything that I have in my heart. Praying I saw that in the past I was not capable of managing my freedom well and in searching for joy and the meaning of life, without faith, I said “yes” to evil many times.
Sharing or deep, true conversation is a precious value that I received in Community. At home, my parents and I spoke enough, but not about ourselves or what we were living. We always spoke about material things, what we were missing, about money which was never enough… and so slowly, slowly, we became distant and the race of the world divided us, each one in their solitude, incapable of looking at each other in the eyes and asking: “How are you today?” We judged each other and demanded things from one another; no one changed, and I escaped in drugs. Today conversation has become a daily necessity which helps me to feel good and live in peace with myself and with others.
When my mother came to do a one week experience with me I was able to get to know her better, under a new light, that of prayer, which helped me to discover many positive things in her and many nice things that before I never saw. Kneeling, close to one another, in our chapel, while we prayed: “Hail, Mary…” brought me the most joy. We gave thanks to Our Lady because we were a small family lost in the world, and now we are going towards God’s mercy.
Today I am sure that good exists, that forgiveness exists! Thanks to the Community I “touched” true love which is Jesus’ life given freely for us! I am building true friendships, at times suffered, yet real and truthful. My days are rich with situations that help me to grow and mature, with work loved and blessed, because it builds me and makes me give more than I would have ever thought. Learning to sew, to play the guitar, to cook… for me has been a great joy. Instinctively knowing other people’s needs and letting myself be transformed by God expands my heart, and I no longer want to waste a single minute of my life!
With God in my heart every day is something new, because He gives flavor to everything! And I want to follow Him!