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“Becoming travel companions of Jesus”: it is not a phrase of Maria Valtorta, nor does it come from Heaven through her, but it seems to me that it has every requirement to paint all those who read with joy and continuously the writings of Heaven that came out of that room on the ground floor of via Antonio Fratti 257 in Viareggio.
Many have repeated that life is a journey, although not all in the same way: there are those who blessed this journey and, unfortunately, there are also those who cursed it. In any case, it is always a question of travel. It starts any day of any year in any place, and ends – usually – in much the same way. There is no need to subtlety; however it is! We still have to make this trip; it cannot be avoided. Plato, a brilliant philosopher, had thought of a raft to indicate the metaphor of the useful tool for crossing the sea of life. It is obvious, at least today, to think of a safer, more solid and peaceful means for this journey. However, what matters is that to make this inexorably advancing crossing, each of us should choose company. Leaving aside the very particular conditions of slavery, in its infernal variations, the company is always there, because, even if made only by ourselves, it remains true that we are the company that accompanies us. Therefore it is best to choose a company that is really helpful. Who to choose? Not a raft prepared the Good Lord for our journey; to always be safe He gave us a big ship. He showed it to Saint John Bosco in a famous dream. This ship is the Church of Jesus. This is the Ark of the New Covenant, which – even if constantly fought by its enemies – advances towards its safe harbor. The commander is He, Jesus, the Lord of Glory. He is at the helm; He is the guide; indeed, He himself is the beginning, means and end.
The Valtortian writings are where, in my opinion, they fit. It is here that the gift that Heaven has given to Maria Valtorta enters the scene and that it was painfully and joyfully served by her. In fact, they are a complete offer to walk with Jesus on His ship. This is not an ideological or papier-mâché Jesus, or something like an oleographic painting; but He is alive, true, walking, sweating, getting tired, never tame, always exciting.
A slogan went around the world a few years ago: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. If understood correctly, it is a phrase that also comes out of the writings of Maria Valtorta. One must be ”hungry” for the knowledge of Jesus: ever deeper, ever more extensive, ever more true and adherent to reality. Consequently it means having a ”hunger” for souls, to say it with Jesus and all the saints; and a ”hunger” to imitate Jesus himself, according to the path that our Ceator traced for us. Therefore reading, meditating, contemplating ”the illustration” that Maria Valtorta made of the life of Jesus, necessarily pushes us to become His travel companions, walking with Him, toiling with Him, dreaming with Him; in the rain or the cold or the heat, at any time, night and day, day and night, as “The Words of Life“ written by Maria Valtorta tell us what Jesus did. And then you must also be “foolish”! Not of that poor, wretched and miserable human madness, typical of those who somehow seek only – or mainly – “money, sex, drugs, rock and roll and power”, but the holy madness of the saints who had in the imitation of Jesus and their state of life in the radical application of the beatitudes. With the Valtortian writings we have a great tool to remain fixed in the center of the ship and next to the One who guides it.
Fear? Trepidation? With St. Peter, we too must say: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Only you have the words of eternal life”. With Maria Valtorta we will learn to see Him day by day in action, and we next to Him on our journey towards the great goal that awaits us.
This is also our wish for a holy year 2022!
– don Ernesto Zucchini