Guido Schäffer:"All our actions should show the Love of God."
“Anjo Surfista” or surfer angel according to Catholic News Service was a doctor, surfer and seminarian. Unfortunately, he drowned in 2009 before being ordained a priest. Schaffer was moved greatly by the 1997 visit of Pope John II, working with the Sisters of Charity, volunteering with the marginalized in Brazil, and reading scripture on a retreat. He soon left his girlfriend and work and went to the seminary. Stories such as these move me to a great extent. I read about simple people who live very normal lives yet beneath all that, there is a faith that is unmovable. I teach many people from Brazil, and from this experience, I had become curious about Schaffer. His story reminded me of PierGiorgio Frassati who led a very similar life of mountain climbing, helping the poor and being a witness to his faith. In these uncertain times, we need witnesses now more than ever. We need strong men and women, who, without pomp and circumstance, show the world around them that Christ really is the centre of our lives. Various experiences recently have testified to this.
“Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.” St. Catherine of Siena
We might not understand when bad things happen to good people but who can know the mind of God? Trust is a difficult word in a post-pandemic society. It will take much to return to many things that were lost. However, one constant in our lives must be Christ. I have seen this when I visit the Carmelites near my home. Once someone asks to enter, there is a process that the Church asks to verify if the vocation is true. There must be so much trust in that process as a vocation is discerned. God really does lead the way. After my father passed away last year, I watched how my mom reacted. She latched onto Christ even more so than she already had been She knew he was the only one who could heal her.
“If you will try to live in the presence of God for one year, you will see yourself at the end of it at the height of perfection, without your even knowing it.” St. Teresa of Avila
How can we live in the presence of God, and not even for a year, but in every moment? What a challenge to throw our trust upon Him! I think of PierGiorgio Frassati who worked with the poor in Turin without telling his parents much about it. At the funeral after he died of tuberculosis, his family was shocked when so many poor people were there paying their respects. They wondered why and they were told how much PierGiorgio had done for them. The family was moved. Pier Giorgio had lived a very normal life. He was a young man who lived life to the full.
“Heroism at work is to be found in finishing each task.” St. Josemaria Escriva
Living with Christ is a work. It is no easy task. Yesterday was the feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. Mary must have accepted such great responsibility. Also, this week we celebrated the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. More evidence of how she accepted her task that was asked of her. The same must be for us. Christ asked Peter if he loved Him. Do we love Christ enough to follow Him?
“You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love.” St. Catherine of Siena