Monday, July 1, 2013

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God

One of the central themes of Pier Giorgio's Letters to His Friends and Family is peace. It's no wonder. Peace was seemingly absent from nearly every aspect of his life.

He longed for peace throughout Europe which was still very much in a state of unrest after World War I. 
Governments today are not heeding the Pope’s warning: “True peace is more a fruit of Christian love for one’s neighbor than it is a fruit of justice,” and they are preparing new wars for the future of all humanity.  (from a letter to  the Catholic men and women students of Bonn, January 12, 1923)
He mourned the absence of peace in Italy where he suffered the rise of Fascism and decline of morality. in Italy we’re also going through a difficult period and there are also many poor unemployed people here and the people are also sinking down morally more and more.  (from a letter to Maria Fischer, January 23, 1923)
The Church was under assault and, much to his disappointment, members of the political party he supported were not guided by their Faith. 
Where is the fine program, where is the Faith which motivates our people? Unfortunately when it is a question of climbing after worldly honors men trample upon their own consciences.  (from a letter to Antonio Villani, November 19, 1922)
He experienced little peace in his own family because of the unhappy marriage between his parents which caused him even more distress when his sister married and left home. 
As every rose has some thorns, so unfortunately at the joy at seeing my sister happy there is the bitterness of separation because, sadly, Italy will never again be her land. Now I will have to fill the void my sister will leave in our home: I will do my best and for this I beg you to remember me in your prayers.  (from a letter to Antonio Villani, December 16, 1924)
His spirit was crushed by his decision to abandon his love for a girl whom he realized would never meet family expectations.
I cannot but thank God because He has willed in His Infinite Mercy to grant this sorrow to my heart so that by means of these arduous thorns I might return to a life that is more interior, more spiritual.  (from a letter to Isidoro Bonini, January 29, 1925)
Although, peace eluded him in so many areas, Pier Giorgio had a daily appointment with the Prince of Peace that enabled him to encourage others.
And when you become totally consumed by this Eucharistic Fire, then you will be able to thank with greater awareness the Lord God who has called you to be part of his flock and you will enjoy that peace which those who are happy according to the world have never tasted. Because true happiness, young people, does not consist in the pleasures of the world and in earthly things, but in peace of conscience which we can have only if we are pure in heart and in mind. (from his speech to the Catholic Youth of Pollone, July 29, 1923)
And so it is fitting that Pier Giorgio's wish to his best friend on the last Easter of his earthly life -- and to us on this seventh day of the novena -- was for the greatest gift he could think of:  true peace.  
I hope that this letter reaches you for Easter and so I send you my best wishes rather just one, but I believe it to be the only wish that a true friend can make to a dear friend and it is this: the Peace of the Lord be with you always because when you possess peace every day you will be truly rich. (from a letter to Marco Beltramo, April 10, 1925)
Verso l'alto!

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