We live in a time of grace. A time in which we have the possibility to follow Christ guided and accompanied by great witnesses of His Love. One of these, the latest, but only for chronological reasons, is Carlo Acutis. From Carlo’s point of view, we would even be luckier than the first disciples “because in order to meet Jesus they had to go looking for him in the villages while we can go down to the Church close to our house and find him truly present in the Eucharist”.
On October 10 Carlo was proclaimed blessed in Assisi, first among the millennials (those born between the beginning of the 80s and the end of the 90s of the twentieth century), but beyond the photos of his open tomb and the many quotations that we probably read, his figure, today, also tells us, young people of CA, three things.
Charles was a young man. He was born in 1991 in London to Italian parents, who emigrated for work reasons, today he would be to all intents and purposes one of our contemporaries. Carlo’s earthly life, however, was interrupted at the age of 15 because of a fulminating leukemia, at that age when one begins to look at one’s youth: he could be one of the adolescents who live the groups in our parishes, who participate in the life of our communities; a normal boy, passionate about computers and video games. Carlo is, or could be, each one of us. We often talk about the universal vocation to holiness, Carlo helps us to understand that this is a real, tangible and possible call for each of us, regardless of age, gender, life experiences.
There is a trait of Carlo that emerges very strongly from the stories of his life. He is not blessed because he performed miracles, but he is blessed because he called the Lord by name, he had full confidence in Him. In his short life he understood that God is not something distant to appeal to in moments of difficulty, but is a real person who can be met in the Eucharist, in the Word and in one’s neighbour. Carlo let the Lord totally fill his life, to the point of looking the Lord in the face not only during the celebration of the Sacraments, but also in service to his brothers and sisters (he did works of charity with the homeless and did catechetical service to children) and in daily life. Carlo’s life was full of God, of an experience of faith that does not end in few limited moments, but that is a constant praise to Him who created us. This is what Carlo teaches us: to go out of our classical schemes to meet the Lord in the Sacraments, in our brothers and sisters and in History.
Finally, Charles reveals to us what we are. The great resonance that his beatification has had makes us capable of recognizing that it is a time when we need witnesses, a time when -although also because of the phase of uncertainty that we have lived and are living because of Covid-19- more than hearing about God, we need to experience that joy that we feel in letting ourselves be touched by God. Paul VI, on September 2, 1974, in his Audience at the Pontifical Council for the Laity stated that “contemporary man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers. Charles’ experience touches us so deeply because first of all he was a witness: let us try to imitate him. In our days let us get rid of all those unnecessary words and make room for the ability to witness to our brothers and sisters that Love that has no end.
Thank you, Carlo.
Teach us to be fully young.
Teach us to be intimate with God.
Teach us to be witnesses of His Love.
LUISA ALFARANO and MICHELE TRIDENTE
IFCA Youth Coordination Responsible
member of the International Youth Advisory Body of the Department for the Laity, Family and Life
- 27.10.2020 The reflection of Catholic Action young people