The faith of Chiara




What a journey, in such a short time! In all the various competitions in which today's youth take part - sports, studying, leisure, friendship, love - Chiara chose the most decisive challenge and she won it. She was able to pinpoint the highest objective among all ideals and discover the best way to reach it. She conquered Christ’s heart, because she gave herself to him, without any doubts or conditions. Fascinated by the invitation to take part in the novelty of Jesus – an unspeakable experience of love, beauty and kindness, security and happiness – she allowed herself to get involved with all her youthful energy and she never had to turn back. Not even when faced with the most difficult challenge. Of course, God did his part as well. He brought her to believe in Jesus, to share his values, to spend her life helping love grow in the world. She trusted God. Based on faith, day by day she built her life whit Jesus by her side.

She told Him her feelings, dreams and fears, hardships and hopes: theirs was an uninterrupted, confidential, happy dialogue full of tenderness where Jesus indicated the safe way: to comply with God's will every moment. He loves us as children and perfectly knows what is best for us. Whoever has faith in Him has never any regrets. With humble docility and pushed by love, she readily offers her "yes". At that point, everything takes on a new light - a new interest in scool, service to those in need, her relationship whit her friends, closeness to the neglected. Even the deteriorating illness has a different face. Her testimony though filled us with wonder in the years of her illness.

Why did her eyes not lose the usual light and her smile not fade on her face? Human strength does not go that far. We saw how powerful grace is when it is welcomed with complete availability and faithful self-abandonment. Physical pain did not change the orientation of her life. Even though she suffered the separation from her parents and her friends, she did not alienate herself. In those long months, she stayed the same, even more free and zealous; the same serenity, carling for others, forsaking of herself, the will to activate herself in a new way for the Church. Hers is a confirmation that Christianity is feasible in every condition of life. Christian hope, lived with invincible conviction, the certainty of the upcoming encounter with Jesus, the wait to enter in the fullness of love , have transformed the painful vicinity of death into active preparation of a nuptial feast. This girl’s life was a short one, but the testimony she gives us is wonderful: a massage from God that we cannot disregard.

† Mons. Livio Maritano
Bishop Emeritus of Acqui



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