That day I learned to speak to Him - Rita Borsellino
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Rita Borsellino

It was 1952, I was not even seven years old and a very pious and devout young lady taught me to recite the catechism. «Who is God? God is the most perfect Being, Creator and Lord of heaven and earth». Too big for my seven years, so far away I hardly dared pray to him. My interlocutor in childhood and adolescence was always Mary, maternal, sweet and reassuring. As I grew up I drew nearer to the Word: I felt I needed to understand. The Old Testament often disturbed me, again I found it difficult to grasp, but reading attentively the Gospels I began to realise that God, even though "most perfect", loved man so much as to become man, he cried, he rejoiced, he suffered he felt fatigue and hunger, he loved and shared the life of the most humble and simple and entrusted his Church to Peter despite his contradictions and his falls. But I was disturbed again by the pain and suffering: Jesus' sadness in the Garden of Olives, «Let this chalice pass from me», his falling under the weight of the cross on the road to calvary, that "I thirst" charged with human pain whispered from the cross ... why the pain? Why the violence?... children, old people, the helpless, women, Auschwitz, Hiroshima ...Incomprehensible! I preferred to seek in the miracle of dawn, a sunset, a starry sky, the voice of God.

And one day at Spello, in a community of Carlo Carretto, in a little Church on the Subasio, at last I learned to call him "papa", to talk to him and listen to him. I learned to find by reading the Word the answers to my questions. Perhaps I was ready for the experience which was to turn my life upside down and change it. And in Via D' Amelio I met his wounds, his body insulted and offended, amidst smoking ruins and blind hatred which crucifies. But I found the strength to accept, to look ahead, the «Forgive them for they know not what they do», the resurrection of solidarity and awareness.I learned to seek the signs of the resurrection in the eyes of all those people who think they are alive, but are dead inside. I made extraordinary encounters, and I often found that the road I was travelling, sad and hard, was in actual fact the road to Emmaus. Today I see God in the face of every person I meet, whether they hold out their hand to offer help or to ask for help. I have learned to accept suffering and death as the way to the resurrection. I walk my road to Emmaus with my weaknesses, my doubts, my falls, but certain that I am not alone. And when the cross becomes heavier, when it is more difficult to accept and to perceive the divine light in the depth of certain eyes, those arms outstretched to embrace the world remind me of what Jesu said to the good thief: «Today you will be with me in paradise».

(Rita Borsellino, married with three children, and sister of a Judge ruthlessly murdered by the Mafia five years ago in Palermo.She is one of the leaders, thanks to intense, serene testimony above all to young people, of a movement of hope which aims to give Sicily a new future.)