On July 29, 1923, Bl. Pier Giorgio gave a speech to some young people, urging them to charity "by going among those who suffer and comforting them, among the unfortunate and saying a comforting word to them, because the Catholic religion is based on charity which is nothing other than the most perfect Love."
Once again when we speak of Pier Giorgio we must speak of charity. It seemed incredible to some that, with the full life that he led, he had the time or energy to visit and comfort so many people. It is said that hundreds of them came to his home to honor him on the day of his funeral. But perhaps charity, perfect love, does not take as much time and energy as we think.
“Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”, Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:30. A friend of mine went to visit an elderly neighbor in the hospital recently. He couldn’t hear very well so they couldn’t speak much. She sat next to him and held his hand for few moments. He made a single comment, “Always cold in here.” He had on only a thin hospital gown, so she walked over to the closet and opened it. No clothing of any kind was evident, but there was a blanket. She took it out and wrapped it tenderly around his shoulders. He smiled weakly, “Thank you – much better.” Then he closed his eyes and she kissed him goodbye.
The entire visit took maybe eight minutes, but I think it was eight minutes of perfect love. A small gesture, but I am sure Pier Giorgio was smiling at them both.
What can you do today with eight minutes? Eight minutes to write a letter or send a card? (A real one, not an e-one!) Eight minutes to make a cup of tea for a lonely friend? Eight minutes to call someone and right a wrong? Bl. Pier Giorgio, help us to understand that charitable love is never a burden, but a joy. Help us to always find the time in our lives for that "most perfect Love".
Bl. Pier Giorgio, pray for us!