The hours of the day
Publish date 29-01-2021
Last 25 October Paolo and Marco, monks of the Fraternity of Sermig, became deacons, the last step before the priesthood. They took on a great commitment: "to live in celibacy for the Kingdom of Heaven at the service of God and men, to conform their whole lives to Jesus and the Gospel, to pray and faithfully fulfill the commitment of the Liturgy of the Hours together with the people of God for the Church and for the whole world ». It struck me that at the heart of diaconal consecration there is the promise of deacons to pray with the Christian people the Liturgy of the Hours, the psalms distributed throughout the day: Lauds, Vespers, Compline ... to prolong the thanksgiving of the daily Eucharistic liturgy . Even the Rule of Sermig recommends it to us in the chapter "The hours of the day": we all commit ourselves to "making our every day a praise to God and an intercession to him for all humanity, a continuous prayer, night and day" .
At the heart of the service of each of us, as of our friends deacons, is the commitment to sanctify time, all the time of a day, from dawn to dusk, in the midday and in the night, in order to restore time to God and intercede for all humanity. The re-explosion of the pandemic at every latitude and longitude of the planet is reminding us that all of humanity needs help. He needs God even if he doesn't know it, even if he pushes him away or denies him. Mark, Paul and all of us undertake the commitment to bring to God the cry for help of all because all are in the heart of God. His plan of salvation, brought to completion with the death and resurrection of Jesus, is the fight over evil and death. Jesus has already won it and it is for everyone. In the hours of a day, while we too live the hardships and trials, we look Beyond and we already see the fulfillment. The certainty of being immersed in this hope becomes praise to God and an invocation for those who struggle more. The liturgy becomes our "glory to God from the bottom of the earth" also for the most difficult offering that some of us are called to live, the offering in the time of illness. The hours of sickness, of pain, of trial are the longest yet, in the economy of salvation, they are the most precious. In our Fraternity, after Mary's death, it happened to others to be called to this offering.
It recently happened to Piergiorgio. Piergiorgio and Ilda, his wife, have been part of our Fraternity for over thirty years and have always been available to serve. Whenever we had something new to tackle, they were the first to say "here I am" and set off on some new adventure. They are at home at the Arsenale della Speranza in San Paolo for how many times they went to help. In the last eight years of his life, Piergiorgio was asked to offer-serve with his illness. Tenacious, passionate about life in all its nuances, generous, unstoppable, he faced hospitalizations, operations, treatments struggling to still be able to serve his family and the Fraternity, but he spent more and more hours of his day in bed, praying, offering without to complain. He has not cursed his suffering, he has offered it to God for us, for everyone.
All together we prayed a lot for his healing but as he himself told us in one of the last Fraternity meetings, he was healed in another way: "Since we began the healing prayer I feel close to the Lord, I feel with the Lord ”and then“ I am getting closer and closer to the Lord ”. Piergiorgio left his baton to Paolo with whom he had shared for years the service to the poor welcomed at the Arsenale della Pace and to Marco to whom the service to the poor of the Arsenale della Speranza tied him in the days of their diaconal ordination. But he will continue to unite his voice to theirs and ours every time that, in the Liturgy of the Hours, we gather to pray the Psalms as Jesus prayed them in his earthly life and with him we will make ourselves the voice of all, of all. humanity, in the invocation and praise of God who always unites the earth with Heaven.
NP November 2020