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Homily of Father Stefano Aragno  |  Father Stegfano Aragno - chatechisms  | 

 Saturday,  July 15th, 2006

                                     Mother Elvira’s Morning Introduction
Let’s sing a song to the Holy Spirit, who is the God of love and joy. We need to do so because even catechism is prayer for we who listen. Let’s purify our ears, which have listened to many ugly things in our lives and many criticisms. We think about the fact that to listen also means to adhere to, to act, not just to hear with our ears, above all when someone speaks to us about the profundity of our being and wants us to understand the truth which is already inside of us, but which the world has buried and locked from emerging. Because hearing must first of all open your hearts to welcome what is spoken.
Just like Fr. Francesco said yesterday, when you eat you have to bring the food to your mouth, open your mouth, swallow and chew. The prayer is like this as well.  We begin by listening, but we need to listen in such a way that we are paying attention, with interest and desire to discover something new, something important inside of us, because the word of God wants to tell us who we are. When we are being catechized we need to challenge ourselves.  This is why we are singing a song which is prayer to the Holy Spirit that He might open our hearts, synchronizing our hearing with listening and with a heart that is open. We start to realize and discover why we are sad and afraid, because the Word of God is already inside of us and needs to speak to us of life, our life. Let’s sing, “ The earth is full of your Spirit, Lord.”  We are on this earth so we, too, have the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
I have already encountered mothers who are crying because their son left Community and hasn’t returned.  We know that the earth is full of the Holy Spirit.  Our Blessed Mother is full of the Holy Spirit.  Let’s tell her, and she will bring forth miracles. Let’s think of all those whom we love, whom we have left back home, our friends, our enemies, the sick, children, adults, the powerful, the humble…the earth is full of your Spirit, Lord! By singing this song we renew inside of us the gift of the Holy Spirit for all of the people who are not with us now, who were not fortunate enough to come here. Everything is recreated.  Everything is renewed in this moment. Let’s give a warm welcome to Our Blessed Mother. “Hail Mary…”
I just now remember what we saw yesterday evening during the Missionary Adoration. How can one sing, “ The earth is full of your Spirit, Lord” and not think of the world, of the continents, of our different houses, of your children who find themselves in Europe, Brazil, Peru, Mexico…The earth is full of the Holy Spirit, so we are united.  We are not far away from each other. There is the physical distance, but they write to us and say that the physical distance doesn’t count for anything. They don’t suffer because they are united with us in the Holy Spirit, the joy of life, because of the gift that they are making of themselves.  They have truly taken their lives into their hands, without words, because you don’t need words when you love. They have had the courage to go and give their lives, intelligence, time, suffering, hunger and thirst. They are always with the children…the sleepless nights…they sleep so very little! Especially in Peru, where we have infants, when one starts to cry they all start to cry--the poor Sisters and girls who are there with a huge heart as big as a continent, as big as the world! And so,  “The earth is full of your Spirit, Lord.”
Here present are only the representatives of the total number of guys and girls in Community, about 800-1000, because all of the others had to stay at home, but they do not have the longing that we do, because they are living such a great gift of love that they don’t need our cuddles, our sentimentalism, our stories, our sickness, our fear… Put a little effort into your hands all you sentimentalists! There are people who always cry and feel sorry for  themselves, but they don’t give absolutely anything to others. Everything always has to be about them getting something. If they’re not getting something, then they have no interest, and they do nothing. How can you waste your lives like this, a life that we have received for loving?
Jesus has said to us, “Love one another.” He didn’t say for everyone to go conquer Mount Everest! No, instead He said, “Love one another,” because He has already put everything into life, through His blood.  Until we are able to love--and we need to love--we become sad.  We’re sad when we do things without love, without dynamism, without freedom, always waiting for some gratification. But how does this really help you? We become peasants, constantly begging, when actually we are children of God, royalty!  But we have to lose our lives because Jesus has said, “Whoever does not lose his life…”, which means, “whoever does not give his life…will lose it!”
If you make the decision to get married, give your life to your husband, because if you hold on to it all for yourself, you will be fighting likes “cats and dogs.”  You can’t stay together with egoism, because the other person wants to take.  Love is a giving of oneself, not taking everything. And then there are those who always say “my” wife.  It’s not “my” wife, “my” husband…you are only that which you have given to others.  You cannot know if your wife is really “your” wife, if she consents with abandonment.
All thanks be to God, wives like this really exist, and I have met many, who are able to smile even when they have tears in their hearts, who serve their husbands with dignity.  It’s  true that we deserve some gentleness every so often, but a woman is capable of carrying herself regally no matter what.  She shines her husbands shoes, even if she has already told him a thousand times not to drag mud into the kitchen. “Take off your shoes before coming upstairs.  Put on your slippers.”  He won’t  remember a thing.  He has given all of his life minus his ears! But that wife already has a heart that moves in love, a love that expresses itself in action. If our heart isn’t working together in union with what we are doing and living, everything is turned off--there’s nothing. “The earth is full of your Spirit, Lord.” 
“We are immersed,” Fr. Pino said this morning, “we are immersed in the Holy Spirit. The Lord renews and makes things new every single day, also today, and today that new creation renews our roots, and not just our roots, but also those of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents.  It’s like when you go to the sea, I like to put on a mask to look into the depths, and there are sometimes rocks that come up out of the water, but after just a little while you look down and you see that it’s a mountain that never ends.  Our roots are also like this. We ourselves are just little, but at the very deepest root is the Holy Spirit.
Today is the day of everlasting spring, of this new creation.  If we are able to listen with our hearts and minds, and abandon ourselves to the mercy of God, let’s turn off our brains and simply be present here and now. These are days of grace, freedom, and courage. You can throw fear out the window, whatever may happen.
Forgiveness. Focus on this: confess to a priest the time you rejected someone, even just for a moment. Today we will pray so much for the people who have hurt us, judged us, condemned us. We pray so that they will feel better, and we free ourselves by doing this. This morning Confession is a golden opportunity, because then we can experience the feast of the prodigal son, who has returned home. But this is not a time for spiritual direction, or to receive counsel from the priest; there is a more suitable time for that. This is a moment to encounter the mercy of God, with the blood of Jesus which forgives and heals you. We can’t be selfish because we all need this, so we must leave time for others to go to Confession, too.

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