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The fragrance of the Saints makes the Heavens and the Church rejoice

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Dear reader, I hope you will not resent the fact that my notes remain as they are and do not have precise associations, sometimes missing the nexus. I want to write something, and not a thing.

The anniversary of November 1st is remembered by most people as the feast of all those who have been proclaimed as saints by the Church and who are now in Heaven. What a mistake! Luisa was already a saint from birth! What do we have in common with this feast? We must not forget that it is up to us to perform supplementary acts to those that have not been accomplished by the Saints of Paradise (Vol. XIII, August 9, 1921).

We should realize that our holiness is so important that it is a joy for those who are already in the Heavenly Court (Vol. IV of 01.06.1902). To be Saints means to bring Christ to life, to continue His earthly life. To be Saints is not a reward or a medal that is awarded to us, ‘a posteriori’, for the great endeavors accomplished when we were alive. Holiness is a link with the present and ever more with the past. Through the merits of the past we can be canonized by the Church, but this is not holiness. Sanctity is living the present by working in the Divine Will, so as to double the preciousness of Christ’s work. We must not repeat the life of Christ, but continue it; nor are we Christ’s double, yet we can help to double what He accomplished.

Is November 1th our feast? It has to be so.

The saints are the creators of heavens filled with sweet odors. All the Saints are none other than many fragrances (Vol. 4, January 6, 1902). However, modern cities suffocate us and block the visibility of the sky in every direction; they prevent air from reaching us. Where is Heaven? We have completely lost the aerospace coordinates. The wastes, dirt and pollution eliminate all the fragrances. The countryside bears fruits that do not perfume, and we sell flowers that smell of nothing.  We do not perceive scents anymore. Now the sky is no longer in the sky and scents do not have a pleasant smell. Thus, the primacy of heaven and of fragrances is conferred exclusively to the holy man .

It is man’s interior which is in greater need of being redone (Vol.15, August 20, 1923). And it is the interior of man that is sick. The World Health Organization has declared that by 2020 depression will be the first most common disease in the world. Some people have demons that they consider as gods, while others are deprived of everything and completely empty, parasites of their every breath.

What holiness can contemporary Western man aspire to? Can we build hospitals like St. Pius, orphanages like St. Hannibal, churches like St. Francis, and schools like St. John Bosco? Can we fight against political atheism as St. John Paul II did? Not anymore. Hospitals have closed because a patient who is treated with medication is more profitable than one who is in the hospital. Orphanages and schools are more than sufficient given the low birth rate. Churches are also too many. There are no great theories and absolutist political factions; everything is limited and nothing is so important as the present moment. In short, today, how can we be sanctified in the West? Our sanctity is not an individual sanctity exemplified by doing good in certain places, to certain people and at certain times; rather, it is a sanctity which must do good to all, at all times and in all places (Vol.16, August 20, 1923). How many times do we feel the most abject and insignificant, unable to do anything good, while the Saints did sensational things and performed unprecedented miracles. And yet, living in the Divine Will leaves all the Saints behind (Vol.16, August 20, 1923)!!

Ours sanctity consists of ‘no’ and ‘yes’; our holiness is a living prayer, it is being bare and helpless. It is the holiness of a shipwreck (Being shipwrecked is sweet to me in this sea...), it is a divine art and poetry (you were not made to live like brutes...), it is a real and virtual meeting. Our holiness lies in frugality, in disappointments, in senseless losses, in being rejected by fools, in the oppression of the clever man, in the reproach of the intelligent, in born and unborn children, in good marriages, in unused and virtuous education, in the genius who is oppressed, in staying and not going, in not taking the second step before the first, in the disgust of pornographic satisfaction, in becoming sad for unpleasantries that persecute us; our holiness lies in every moment lived by us.

The saint is a dreamer. The Gospels tell us about many famous nights that accompanied Jesus! The Savior was born in a night of stars, while the shepherds were half asleep and dreamed of new days to come. The Passion of Jesus began during a night of white-washed clouds on a surface exposed to the sky, and of dark brown color on the side above the ground, while the apostles dreamed of new seas and new lands to explore with their Master. The night in the tomb was made of pitch black, outside the tomb were the Roman guards who dreamed of children and wives in new days and new lands. On the night when the apostles had a choice to make, there was a full moon in a completely clear sky. Jesus dreamed, He dreamed of His saintly men, He dreamed of them one by one, ... and He dreamed of each one of us.

A saint is a man looking for a place where he can place his heart: "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21). A saint accomplishes this with the same attention of a clown who paradoxically falls and fails the more he struggles; he has his same thought: "I'm small in comparison with everything that is infinitely big (even to walk is a difficult undertaking for a clown wearing boots in a sorry state). Like a clown, the saint finds no difficulty; he perceives the complexity and persists, although risking, to complete his acts; he has his same patience and gentleness that often makes others become nervous. The saint is just a clown child!

The saint must have the desire to tell fables after all. The truth is in Christ who told parables (useful stories to give a moral teaching).

Once there was a camel that was carrying on his back a man who slept peacefully and dreamed about the sea. While the camel slowly proceeded, a snake, like those big ones living in the desert, suddenly appeared from the sand. Standing up and hissing, the snake said: "Are you not ashamed to have those flaccid humps? What do you need them for? A short time ago a camel went by. It had only one hump which was beautiful, tall and majestic, and it stayed straight on its back. It was so impressive that it covered the sunlight. The camel carried the hump with elegance and pride ... " "It's true - the camel replied - but that camel was alone and didn’t carry anyone. My two humps allow me to carry a passenger comfortably. My wayfarer sits securely without the risk of falling and encountering poisonous snakes like you. My back is so comfortable that the traveler can rest and dream all along his journey." Swaying slightly, the camel went on its way in the desert, while the snake full of rage sank quickly into the sand.

It’s time to prepare ourselves for the most glorious moment of our earthly life, which is death. We must be able to die young in body, naked and beautiful and not allow disease to wound our soul by falling into a lifeless state. We must fight the battle to the end not against death, but for life. We must prepare the final words and not die silent. Sooner or later we will desire to say them and will look forward to being able to speak them. The most beautiful gift that we can give to Jesus is our desire to die to join Him, not as a fool “kamikaze”, or not full of explosives but covered with dew; not holding a Kalashnikov but a Rosary in our hands, not shouting in a detestable way but speaking placid, sublime and ever new words.

There is still so much to say, but I will end here. November 2nd, the day for commemorating the dead has arrived "And suddenly it is evening".


Francesco Martinelli
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