Without If without how
A testimony of an Italian group of youth and two parents who have a gay son during the retreat “from the dark to the light” organised by Progetto Giovanni Cristiani LGBT (Italy) from April 30th – 3rd May. A particular retreat done online due to the lockdown measures to fight Covid_19. It was a moment for youth (18-35 years) based on 4 words: Hope, relationship, community and essential; with moments open to parents with LGBT children and adults.
If God is love, and his unconditional love manifests itself in the most varied forms, then perhaps we have really met him in these days of retreat. An atypical retreat, of course, in which we found ourselves separated – or perhaps united – from the screens of our computers; but, despite this physical distance, we think that really Christ was among us, and that he showed us his love through the looks and words of distant but close people, through those parents of homosexual children who told us, homosexual children of other parents , to love us as their own children.
In these days we have experienced the Church as a place of the heart rather than as a physical place; a virtual place where through the screens we met real people, with whom we shared our lives, like the bread of that last dinner, where there was His life broken and shared with all those who were put on the margins . This is what happened in our meeting: we remembered Jesus as he asked us to remember him, breaking the bread not only in the Eucharistic gesture but in our lives; speaking freely, showing our fears and hopes without fear, sharing our fragilities, our tears, wounds and worries; we dropped the mask we wear to protect ourselves, feeling that we counted in the eyes and ears of those who, even if at a distance, were with us, listened to us, understood us without judgments, in true listening, in which the words of the other dug into us fertilizing our lives.
This is the Church experience that we have had together in these days: a Church in which to live the love of God and His Word together with other people who live our same condition, without the incomprehension and diffidence that happens to us to live in the Church which instead sometimes seems to forget us. This retreat allowed us to look at each other with different eyes, going beyond the individualism that we constantly live, to understand what each one of us lives and appreciate what we have. It was an enrichment for the heart and mind. We will resume our lives with the desire to continue to witness what God has taught us and love the other as he is, without “if” and without “but”, becoming an example for all those who still live the conflict between faith and homosexuality.