|My name is Chiara, I grew up in a Catholic family hence I was taught to get closer to God since I was a child.
When I was only 5 years old my mum started to attend a community for the Renewal of the Holy Spirit, therefore my sister and I started the same journey of faith, which has guided us during our growth and it has taught me how to pray and to talk to God in a simple way like a friend to whom I can share my difficulties and my doubts but most importantly it has taught me to share my faith with the brothers and sisters who were walking with me.
At the age of eighteen I met Enrico during a pilgrimage and after a few months we got engaged.
During our nearly six-year engagement the Lord has really put to the test my faith, values and everything I believed in.
After four years our engagement started to falter to the point where we split up.
During those moments of sufferance and rebellion against God, who I thought didn’t listen to my prayers anymore , I went on a Vocational course to Assisi and there I regained the strength to believe in Him again. I tried to reconnect with Enrico, and we enlisted the help of a Spiritual Father, Friar Vito. During this time our relationship encountered many obstacles until I finally realized God wasn’t taking anything or anyone away from me but in reality I was being given everything I needed but only God knew who I had to share my life with and again , and not for the first time I realized, … I hadn’t understood anything!
Finally, I was freed from the expectations I had so carefully nurtured, and I could see with new eyes what The Lord wanted from me.
Shortly afterwards, against all odds, having overcome our fears we decided to get married.
During our marriage the Lord blessed us with two special children: Maria Grazia Letizia and Davide Giovanni , whom He asked us to take care of only up until their birth .We did get to hold them, to baptize them and return them safely back into the hands of our Lord with our hearts fulfilled with peace and an overwhelming joy. He now has gifted us with our third son Francesco, who is in good health and he will be born shortly. The Lord has also asked us to keep faith in Him despite the fact I have discovered a few weeks ago I am suffering from cancer. Although the future is scary and unknown, we will continue to believe the Lord will do great things for us once again.
Chiara Corbella Petrillo , at the Laboratory of Faith, January 2011.
Letter to FRANCESCO
|Pian della Carlotta 30.05.12
My dearest Francesco you will be one year old today and we were wondering what we could give you that may last over the years, therefore we have decided to write you a letter.
You have been a Godsend because you have helped us to overcome our human limits in our lives.
Whenever we received worrying news from the doctors, your fragile life gave us the strength to continue.
If there is one thing we have understood during these years is that Love is the centre of our lives, we are born from an act of love, we live to love and to be loved ,and upon our departure we get to experience God’s true love .
The purpose of our life is to love and to be ready to love as only God can teach you.
Love like a burning candle consumes you until the flame burns out but only after it has reached its true purpose.
Everything you do will make sense only if you act towards eternal life.
Only when you truly love you will realize nothing really belongs to you because everything is a gift.
Saint Francis says, “The opposite of love is to possess”.
We love you as we loved your sister Maria, and brother Davide, knowing you didn’t belong to us and you weren’t created for us, the way it has to be for everything else in life ,what you have doesn’t belong to you because it is a gift from God so that you can bring it to fruition.
Do not ever be disheartened my dear son, the Lord never takes away from you, if He cuts you short it is only because He has so much more to give you.
Thanks to Maria and Davide we have fallen in love even more with Eternal Life and we no longer fear death. God has taken from us in order to give us a bigger heart, open to welcoming eternity starting from this life.
While in Assisi I fell in love with the joy that the Friars and Sisters felt believing in God’s Providence . There, I also asked the Lord the grace to believe in this Providence they were talking about. To believe in this Father who gives you everything you need ,we put our trust in Friar Vito to guide us on this journey. We decided to get married putting God first , and believing in the love we had to take this big step. We were not disappointed; we always had a roof over our heads and wanted for nothing!
You are named Francesco, in honor of Saint Francis who had a huge impact on our lives. We truly hope he can be of an example to you.
It is nice to have examples of life which remind you that you can ask for happiness. Having God as your guide is a wonderful starting point in this life.
We know you are special, and you have a great mission, the Lord has chosen you from the beginning of time and He will show you the way to follow Him if you open your heart …
Trust in Him !
Mum Chiara and Dad Enrico.
Letter to Davide
Who is Davide?
A small creature who has received a much bigger gift from God …to knock down the big Goliath inside of us, to break the parental power to decide over and for him. He showed us he was growing and that happened only because God wanted it so; He discouraged our desire to have a son who belonged to us, because he existed only because and for God’s will.
He unmade the wish of who demanded he was the son of consolation , the one who would have made us forget the pain of Maria Grazia Letizia. He disappointed the trust into the statistics of those who stated we had the same right as everybody else to have a normal and healthy son. He uncovered the magical faith of those who thought they knew God and later they asked him to be” the Candyman” ;
He showed us God really does miracles, but he doesn’t follow our limited logical thoughts because the Lord is more than our simple desires.
He changed the idea of those who don’t ask God for the salvation of their soul but only of their body.
He demolished the idea of asking the Lord for an easy and happy life which doesn’t resemble to the life of the cross Jesus bore for us.
Davide was so small, but he lashed out with great strength against our idols, and he shouted loud to the face of whom didn’t want to see, he forced so many people to run for cover in order not to admit having been beaten.
Personally, I thank the Lord because I have been beaten by little Davide; nobody could convince me what we were experiencing was a misfortune, hence a consequence of having unconsciously moved away from God.
I thank God because my Goliath is finally dead and my eyes are finally free to look beyond and to follow God without fearing who I really am.
Chiara , 12 March 2010.