“I am so happy and full of joy; I met a girl named Tiziana who was sitting next to me in church. During the half hour that I sat next to her, I sensed a great joy within me. We spoke about God and I finally felt as though He was a part of my life, not just some unreachable being. God was exactly what I had been hopelessly looking for until now, what I needed and could rely on. I’m so touched to know that God chose me, that He wanted me to be at Mass, and that He wanted me to sit next to this girl… Maybe my life which I have been living so poorly can finally turn into something beautiful?! I really hope that this is the beginning of a life full of joy.”
And it certainly has been.
Even now, I am astonished when I re-read these lines from my diary. I was only a girl then, not yet 18. I had friends, I went to an art high school, and played the piano. I was just a normal girl, without much purpose in life, with a typical family: parents and a brother. But I began discovering my purpose the day I met Tiziana, an Apostle of the Interior Life, at my church. I had never befriended a sister before, but I immediately felt close to her and we had great understanding.
Tiziana, would eventually become my godmother and along with a priest, helped me prepare for Confirmation. Later on, I met Susan (another Apostle of the Interior Life) and Father Salvatore, who instantly became my spiritual father. I learned many things: how to pray, about the Eucharist and Confession, and I felt like I was reborn! I had known nothing about religion, but through their friendship I came to know Jesus and became familiar with his teachings.
Tiziana and Susan had such a beautiful occupation, talking to people about God! I really liked it and felt that it was the only important thing in life, more so than my boyfriend, Valter, and everything else. But dedicating my life completely to God seemed to be too much. I resisted the idea thinking, “No, not a nun. Nuns are usually unhappy, unpleasant…I don’t want to become like that. And, I’d have to leave my family… No, no I can’t.” But the Lord doesn’t flee. He takes His time. He is not pushy. He can only show you the way and guide you.
One day, after some soul-searching, I decided to stop seeing Valter for a while, in order to be emotionally free and understand what I really wanted. It was then that I understood what course I had to take for my life: to become an Apostle of the Interior Life. I had such pleasure and joy the day I understood this! It is as though a ray of sun had entered my life and has never left it since.
However, I was faced with a great difficulty once I discovered my vocation: How was I going to tell my parents? It had been some time since my mother noticed my new-found devotion to the faith and she sensed that something was happening to me. There was an attitude of suspicion that created tension and misunderstanding within my family. So when I told them about my decision to become an Apostle, a real feud broke out in my family… a feud, however, that would be placated in time, so much so that on her deathbed, my mother expressed joy over my decision. A miracle, indeed a real miracle.
Many years have passed since those days, and I always thank God for having chosen and guided me so closely. It is really a beautiful gift! I hope and pray that many other people may discover a vocation and accept it with great joy.