My name is Adriano and for a few years Iíve been part of this big family. Iím thirty-four from Brazil, and Iím happy to tell you about my resurrection. My family was humble and poor, but respectable. I have eight elder brothers, so I was cuddled and pampered. My mother was a strict but generous woman, always ready to help those who in need. She always took me with her because she was afraid to leave me alone.
I was tenderhearted, so I was unable to understand and accept the pains and labour of our life. I felt angry, scared, shy, and full of shame towards the other people. My parents wanted me to grow up, but I didnít agree and, worst of all, I didnít share my problems with anybody. School was trouble, so I caused all kinds of problems to attract my shoolmatesĎ attention. I envied them when I saw their fathers outside school. My father was never there because he worked far away. I was little so I couldnít understand his absence.
When I was ten I used to tell my parents I was going to my friendĎs house, but instead I went to little parties where I met wrong because there were kids a lot older than I was. I started with alcohol and cigarettes, and I felt more clever than my friendss. At twelve I was addicted to what people call light drugs, and then I went to cocaine. That to me was the solution to my problems: I felt strong and free. I didnít realize I was getting selfish and proud and had become a liar. I didnít respect my parents, my teachers, or my neighbours.
At fourteen I started to work, and I convinced my parents I had become a new person. I helped at home and things went well, but my brothers knew the truth, so I quarrelled with them, unable to see their love. I wanted to live my own life as I wanted. I was sort of a monster, not able to feel anything.
Meanwhile my father had a bad accident, so he spent one year with a leg in plaster and the following three in rehabilitation. My mother had serious health problems. They knew what I was doing, but it was hard for them to realize that their youngest son was an addict and an alcoholic.
One of my brothers gave me the chance to work in his workshop, but anytime he wanted to help me or talk to me it ended with a big argument, so one day I quit. I also met a good Christian girl who wished to help me. We went to Mass, to spiritual events, but my will was too weak to allow me to get out of my problems. I was also arrested, but since there was no proof, I was released immediately, so I felt clever. But the girl was fed up with me so she left me.
Then my mom died. In that moment my world fell to pieces. Later my father grew worse and went to heaven too. I suffered a lot. I felt guilty for how I had behaved to them. I thought to commit suicide. My life was empty. I had troubles with the law, and I felt desperate.
Luckily my brothers and sisters helped me, and I entered a community for three months, but there I couldnít do anything good, nobody taught me anything. Then, thanks to a friend of my motherís, I got in touch with the Comunitŗ Cenacolo in Brazil.
When I entered I couldnít understand my guardian angel, the boy who took care of me, because he was patient, he loved me, and gave me true friendship. There were many little rules that didnít make sense to me. For many nights I couldnít sleep, because I felt angry and guilty, but in those moments I felt the strong friendship of the brothers around me. I started to realize that my life might change, as it had happened to the youth around me. Sometimes I was fed up and I wanted to leave, but they told me to keep going forward, to pray, to ask Jesus for help. They were right. He gave me strength. Kneeling before Him, I discovered the little hidden charities of Community, sharing, true friendship, my work done with love. Faith lit my conscience so I could see my mistakes, my lies ,my poverties without any fear, and so I got better, more merciful, truer. These years have been a school of life and freedom and have given me a great inner peace. I learned to give myself to the others for love, to behave in another way, and to accept myself as I am. Today Iím happy lo live a full life and to know that God, in His immense goodness, reached out to me to give me this new, big family.