Living the Gospel: Being instruments of consolation

Jesus is not indifferent to our tribulations and sufferings: he wants our hearts to be healed from the bitterness of selfishness.  He wants to fill our loneliness and give us strength in all we do.

A marriage saved

One of our daughters was going through an extremely difficult moment in her marriage. When I spoke to her on the phone she was in tears and confided in me that she had lost all hope of saving her marriage and that the only solution was to divorce. My husband and I have always been struck by the promise Jesus made to the disciples: “If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”  With this faith, I promised our daughter that we and her five other siblings would pray for reconciliation.

Not long afterwards, she called me up. She sounded elated and almost incredulous. After much reflection, her husband agreed to talk to people who could help them solve their problems, and they did manage to save their marriage. A few years later, our son-in-law shared with her his desire to become a Catholic and asked her to come with him to see a priest so that they could start the process. (G. B. – USA)


A new beginning

I was really looking forward to teaching at a Church of England secondary school in West London but my enthusiasm soon began to wane. Not being welcomed by the students as I would have wished and in being constant conflict with them, I started to assert my authority. However, when I shared the situation with friends, I realised I had to try a different tactic. Even though I felt I was in the right, it wasn’t what Jesus would have done. The following day I apologized to the class saying that I had probably made a lot of mistakes that a more experienced teacher would not have made.

As the pupils listened in total silence, I said I would try to see them all with new eyes and I hoped they would do the same with me. One of the main troublemakers publicly accepted my apology, and apologised in turn for his own behaviour and that of the rest of the class. Several students nodded at these words. I saw some of them smiling. Something almost unheard of had just happened: a teacher had apologised in front of the whole class. It was a new beginning for everyone. (G.P. – England)


The boy at the crossroads

Every morning, before I start work as a traffic policeman, I go to Mass and ask Jesus to help me to love everyone I meet during the day. One day, at a busy crossroads, I saw a young lad speeding by on his motorbike. After a while he came back again at very high speed, and this carried on several times. I told him to stop, hoping in my heart that he won’t cause trouble, but to no avail. Finally he did stop, just to say to me: “I have so many problems and I just want them to end with my life”. I listened to him for a long time whilst carrying on with my work. I offered him my willingness to help and decided not to give him a ticket. He left much more at peace.

One day, a few years later, while I was on duty in another place, a young man came up to me with a big smile on his face and hugged me warmly. I said to him: “Look, you must have got the wrong person” to which he replied, “No, I’m the guy at the crossroads; now I’m happily married and happy with life. I came all the way back here from the town where I now live because I wanted to thank you”. In my heart all I could do was thank God. (S.A. – Italy)

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