Dearest Bishop Massimo, Fr. Paolo and all of the friends of the Fraternity of St. Charles: in this painful moment, all of the Movement is gathered around you in order to communicate to you our closeness, through our silence, through our prayer, and through the pain we are feeling for the loss of a person as dear to us as was Fr. Anastasio.
But the intensity of the pain cannot prevail over our joy, for Anas has reached the fullness that we are all awaiting: Christ.
We want to express our gratitude to Christ and before you all for the total gift that Anas made of himself to the Lord. It was a gift for all of us to have seen the grace of the charism of don Giussani, which has taken hold of us, come to fruition in him.
Many would have desired to be here physically, in order to pray with us, to give thanks for the preciousness of his person and to say a last goodbye to Anas.
And yet, whether here in person or distant, people is gathered here, a people that feels a strong tie to him, because, within a particular and gratuitous encounter, a recognition took place that led to the birth of an affinity. How many were the persons who felt supported and sustained by in their journey toward destiny, that journey that Anas has now completed! This people, which he helped to generate wherever he was- whether in the periphery of Madrid or in the Niguarda neighborhood of Milan, in Grossetto or in the university – has accompanied him in these months of sickness.
Some words that Anas said about a year ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, sound in this hour like a powerful reminder for each one of our lives: “Today, everything that is superfluous does not count anymore. What counts is what we truly love; what counts is He who loves us and allows us to exist forever. Let us allow ourselves, by looking at Him, to hope for those great things for which we have been made and that today and always are the only thing that can sustain us.”
We ask the Father that, in the memory of his witness, our companionship might continue to sustain each one of us in our daily lives.
As Fr. Giussani reminds us, “Men, both the young and the not-so-young, ultimately, need only one thing: the certainty that their life is positive, the certainty of their destiny.”
It is only in the certainty of the encounter with Jesus that we can face any circumstance – even suffering and death – with joy. Everyone whom the Mystery places at our side is in need of this testimony, wherever we are.