They are "monasteries" in the cities, places of fraternity and the search for God, refreshment points like the ancient monasteries.

by Rosanna Tabasso


The Arsenal of Peace turned 28 in the service of peace and life (ed. Summer 2011). Few, compared to his history as an arms factory, but already many thinking of us who have entered a small number, without means, with the dream of making visible the words of the prophet Isaiah: there will be a time when weapons they will be transformed into work tools, a time when the art of war will no longer be learned but the art of dialogue that prepares peace. Our bishop Cesare Nosiglia wrote to us: "If you look forward you may not see the road well, if you look around you are frightened of negative things that seem to prevail over the good, if you look back and see the way that the Lord has traced you, then take courage and let yourself be guided by him who tells you: man of little faith why do you doubt? I am always with you, follow me, love me and nothing will be impossible for you ”. That's right: looking back, we see a page of sacred history emerging which, far beyond the transformation of the walls, concerns our personal conversion, the possibility of transforming our potential for selfishness, resentment, jealousy, the possibility that a punch of people choose to pass from I to us and live fraternity. Looking back, we see the way that the Lord has made us walk towards his holy mountain, towards an authentic encounter with him.

Today, we feel that a change in the direction of peace can only occur if humanity returns to God. And in a house like ours, populated 24 hours a day with homeless and homeless people, young people, travelers looking for hope, we feel more and more the need to contribute to everyone's encounter with God, to give everyone back the beating heart that is the Presence of God in their life: "Open to meeting anyone who wants to seek the meaning of his life" . In this page of the Rule it is written: "We will also have hermitages of silence in secluded places, connected with the Arsenals in the cities, open to those who want to live periods of solitude". For the moment we do not have physical places of solitude, far from the noise of the city; but at the Arsenale della Pace there are desert cells where those seeking silence can find it. There are the cells where each of us of the Fraternity withdraws after the service, the common moments of prayer and community life, following the Word of Jesus: "When you pray enter your room and closed the door pray your Father in secret" . We withdraw as soon as we can because in silence we renew our encounter with God and find the way to peace. Silence unites us to those in search, to those who do not believe, are full of respect for everyone: it is the atrium of prayer. It is common to everyone, but among us someone feels the need to prolong the time of silence during the day.

The Fraternity meets this call, verifying that it comes from God and is in His will. The need to immerse oneself more in the prayer that innervates the life of the Fraternity is not an escape from service or an isolation for convenience, it is rather a sign of a spirituality that grows in love. We always think of love as an action towards someone, but in the time of spiritual maturity there is a love that is expressed in being in the Presence of God, even in the absence of concrete gestures, because the gift of ourselves goes beyond simply doing : in the heart of God, action and contemplation are both an expression of love. That some of us live his hermitage of silence within the intense life of the Arsenale, confirmed by the Fraternity, is a wealth for everyone, it is an added value to charity made of concrete actions, it is like offering the best wine after having already offered very good. It is not delegating prayer to a few while others are dedicated to doing, but reinvigorating the charity of a house that welcomes and serves, to bring it towards the greatest gift: God.

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