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LIFE/ The case does not exist

Every life story has a destiny, is for a purpose. To live it with truth and maturity requires a work, a reality check, to become the subject of a larger dialogue. By FEDERICO PICCHETTO

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One of the last Sundays I was listening to the radio when, in the middle of the news, the voice of the Pope captivated me. It was a real dialogue, an historic one, in St. Peter's Square, between him and the thousands of young people gathered from many parts of the world to celebrate the World Day of Vocations.

First there was a simple question: "I want to ask you: have you at times heard the voice of the Lord through a desire, a restlessness, an invitation to you to follow more closely. Have you heard it?" Then the impression of a true dialogue: "I don't hear you! Have you had the desire to be apostles of Jesus?" The roar in the square was moving. In that roar, I felt many things, I felt the full force of my yes as a man and all the tenderness for the dozens of people I meet daily and for whom that yes has yet to be said. Because when the Pope asked these questions, he did not wish to provoke an avalanche of priestly or religious vocations, but wanted to make it clear to each of us that life, every life, is a vocation.

Every life story, large or small, weak or strong, has a destiny, is for a purpose. But not only that: God calls each one of us on a road, and he doesn't stop, he pursues us, until he hears our yes, loud and clear. Because our vocation, the real one, is realized in the yes of God and in the yes of my "I". This is why the problem of life is not the things which happen, but destiny, the purpose of what happens. Therefore, two young people who feel a bond between them growing, a sentiment, do not have to worry about what furniture to buy for their future kitchen, attributing to their life an ending which is already delineated, but rather to understand what is given in that sentiment.

In our Hollywood era, the Pope says, it is easy to think that things have only one purpose, one and the same meaning, and it is easy to believe that that purpose and that meaning is the right one. But life does not work that way. Life is a journey in which God calls us through things, on a road where everything that happens calls for a work of awareness, of judgment, of choice. Otherwise, in a marriage, it would be enough to prove an attraction for another person and it would be perfectly right to cut off any kind of preceding bond. Instead this is not so. Every attraction has a meaning, every feeling has its own reason. It is not enough to desire to discover it to live it with truth and maturity.