Thanks be to God, the apostolate that we do at Catholic-link (CL) doesn’t only take place at a desk, sifting through resources and commenting on videos. If the online resources and our commentaries serve in any way to lead others to God, it is because we ourselves used them and have tried them out in the apostolic field of real life. Seeing that the heart of what we we are trying to do is communication, we decided to share the first documentary produced entirely by Catholic-link. The author of the video is Mauricio Artieda, executive director of the Catholic-link Project.
This last summer, various members of the CL team set off on an adventure with 68 Italian youth from both Milan and Rome (organized by MVC Italia). The greatest of all adventures, our mission was to serve those in most need. The mission trip lasted 20 days and consisted of various activities, above all the construction of houses for poor families that live a few hours outside the capital, often forgotten and abandoned by the powers at be.
“Where does their joy come from?” “How can they live like this and still smile, still laugh, still love?” “Why is it that they can live such solidarity, something that we never see in Milan or Rome?” Questions like these were constant and heart-felt. Ironically, youth from some of the most sought-after cities in the world became envious of the Peruvian shantytowns which hid treasures that they never before imagined. What’s their secret? “I expected to find people that are frustrated and angry with God. I found the exact opposite.” These questions and observations sprung out from the sincere hearts of our Italian youth. Each one walked his [or her] own path, had his own experience. Not all were able to find the answers they were perhaps looking for, and some didn’t even think that there was much to ask. But afterwards, not one boarded the 747 back to Italy without having asked themselves some of those fundamental questions that we also must pose: What is true happiness? How can I find it? Where I am headed? Am I going to live for just me, or will I open my heart to others?
Perhaps we should all ask ourselves: What is it about poverty and misery that is able to unsettle us in such a way? Just like entering into a desert, poverty strips away everything, absolutely everything except what can never be stripped away, what is most essential to our human existence: our capacity to love and be loved. And this truth can’t be only understood as a theory, it has to be lived. Each one of us must pass our 40 days in the desert – and not just once, but time and time again – stripping ourselves of the banal caprices of our egoism and allowing ourselves to be immersed into the countless grains of sand which are the needs and pains of so many of our brothers and sisters.
We hope that you enjoy the video. Always count on our prayers for your apostolate!