The following letter was written by Padre Luigi Duilio Graziotti, co-founder of the Missionaries of Faith in Bergamo, Italy. In the letter Padre makes reference to Mother Providence. Mother is the foundress of the Missionaries of Faith, who left this world on 16 June 2002. Padre and the Sisters are working every day to gather all the documents and teachings of Mother Providence in order to bring her cause for sainthood to light. Padre Graziotti writes simply, but with great love from the heart. Please read on . . .
We have reached the end of this year. Surely we have had both joys and sorrows, and in every circumstance we have been faithful to God. We have accepted everything with love, as if it originated from His hand. Therefore we are more saints today than one year ago. Our desire to serve and love God is strengthened. This way, as a good steward, we can count our blessings with great joy.
Jesus, however, recommends that we continue to progress in the good, in loving Him gladly and with all of our strength, as it is written in the Bible: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). There is a proverb that says: “He who stops is lost.” The ancient Romans said: “Not prògredi, règredi est: If he doesn’t progress, he goes back.” In the Gospel then it is written: “To love gladly God, with the whole mind, and with all the strengths,… is of more value than all the holocausts and the sacrifices” (Mc 12:33). God needs our affection, not for himself, but for our own good. In fact, he who loves the Lord always draws great fruit from it, first of all for his own soul, and then also for the physical and material life.
In addition to loving God, we also have to trust in Him, because it is a means of showing Him how much we indeed love Him. The Psalms recommend to us submitting all our problems to God, because He will think about resolving them in the best way. The Psalmist writes in fact: “Cast thy cares upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall not suffer the just to waver for ever.” (Psalm 54:23). And elsewhere it is written: “For behold God is my helper; and the Lord is the protector of my soul.” (Psalm 53:6). God doesn’t abandon those people who confide in Him. In the Gospel then, Jesus reassures us saying: “Confìdite: Ego vici mundum: . . . confidence, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). Let’s ask, however, for an increase of our faith, as the Apostles asked one day, to which Jesus answered: “If you had faith like to a grain of mustard seed, you might say to this mulberry tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou transplanted into the sea; and it would obey you.” (Lk 17:5). It is really true: at times we lack faith. In fact we would like to resolve everything with our strengths, and according to our way of thinking. God instead thinks otherwise, and he wants our total trust, our abandonment to His will. It is true, that our sacrifices may be great, especially to totally surrender oneself to Him, but it is also true, that it is more meritorious, and the solution of our problems would become easier.
So many times our little trust in the power of God, is an obstacle to His intervention. We have to believe instead that He all-knowing, and He has thought about our problems even before us, as it is written in the Gospel: “…for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him” (Mt 6:8). Why do we waver then after having prayed so much and we don’t receive for what we have asked? If we don’t receive what we ask for, it is always for our lack of confidence in God, in His knowing what is best for us. Jesus could repeat to us also what He said to Peter: “…O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?” (Mt 14:31).
When there is instead absolute abandonment, He himself takes care of all our cares. Read here a proof of this fact which really happened: “For a long time a family prayed for the recovery of their own child. Finally the parents realized since they didn’t receive such a grace, they decided to submit him completely to the will of God, and they began to recite the prayer that Jesus prayed to His Father in the Garden of the Olives: ‘Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.‘ (Mt 26:39). In a few days the child recovered completely.”
Often times when reading in the Gospels about the miracles He worked, Jesus repeated these words: “Your faith has saved you.” God can do all things: to Him nothing is impossible, but He works only when He finds in us good dispositions and complete trust in His power. Courage therefore! Let’s renew our trust in the goodness and power of God today, above all when we have some painful problems to resolve.
I bless you all, I greet you from my heart, and I assure you of my prayers.
P. Luigi Duilio Graziotti