Have you ever loved anyone passionately, dearly?
If not, please skip to the next story.
This real-life story can only be read by those who were or are in love.
Father Francis Juaregny had just finished celebrating his First Solemn High Mass in the chapel of the convent where his sister had lived. Mother Superior approached him the moment he entered the sacristy and demurely gave him a letter. The moment he saw the handwriting on the envelope, his heart skipped a beat.
‘Yes, your sister wrote this letter just a few days before she died’, said Mother. ‘She asked me to give it to you only if you become a priest after your first mass….’ You can imagine how eager this young priest was to read the letter of his dead sister. She had died very young just two years before. This was her last message for him. And she wanted him to read it after his first mass.
He ripped upon the envelope and …
Bless me. Bless me after you have blessed our mum. I too am the mother of your vocation and your priesthood.
Listen. Three years ago you came to visit me and I could sense deeply, very deeply, that you had serious doubts whether to continue your road to the priesthood or not. Do you remember how uncertain you were, how many questions you had in your mind and heart that day? When I spoke to you, you simply stared at me and you left … without giving me much hope.
I felt so bad to see you in such a crisis. I perceived that God, to save your vocation and your faith, was asking of me a sacrifice, a great sacrifice. That day I went and knelt in the chapel before Jesus and said to Him, “Jesus, I know that this is all a question of love. If you wish, take my love, take my life, but please, please, grant that my brother becomes a priest, a holy priest.”
I thank you for the great sacrifice you generated in my life… that I may die of love for your vocation, for your priesthood. Thank you for opening heaven for me so early.
Now I wait in heaven, expecting that one day I will meet you and all those brethren whom you and I will have saved, you through your priesthood, I through my sacrifice.
We shall soon meet again… for ever
Francis Juaregny burst into tears when he read this letter. That moment he understood many things.
Later, he asked his superiors to go and dedicate all his life as a missionary in Alaska.
Suffering is a ladder which leads many people to heaven.
Make use of it!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.