Sabtu 25 September 2010 yang lalu , seorang gadis muda, Chiara Luce Badano, telah dibeatifikasi (diinisiasikan oleh Gereja Katolik sebagai yang berbahagia) , tepat dua puluh tahun sesudah meninggalnya. Chiara yang adalah gadis biasa, yang begitu menyukai kegiatan olahraga, menari, dan menyanyi; hingga hidupnya berakhir karena kanker yang dideritanya; di usia ke 18. Sosoknya yang masih sangat muda (lahir 1971) telah menjadi teladan kesucian hati dan iman yang mendalam di tengah jaman.
Biographic profile of the Venerable Servant of God Chiara Badano
Chiara Badano was born on October 29, 1971, in Sassello, a lively town in the Ligurian Apennines, part of the diocese of Acqui, after her parents had waited for her for 11 years. Her arrival is considered a blessing from Our Lady of the Rocche, to whom her father had pleaded with humble and faithful prayer.Chiara (which means clear) in every sense of the word, with big, clear eyes, a sweet and communicative smile, smart and balanced, lively, happy and athletic, she is educated by her mother – through the Gospel – to talk to Jesus and to.“always say yes” to him.She is healthy, loves nature and playing, but from the beginning she stands out for her love for Jesus and the Blessed Mary; she is particularly attracted to the«“last ones”», whom she fills with attention and good deeds, often giving up her free time. She is a normal girl, with something more: she loves Jesus passionately and she drags her parents and all those who come near her into that passion. The only difference between her and other children: she is docile to God’s grace and to His plan for her, which will slowly reveal itself to her. On the day of her First Communion she receives the book of the Gospels as a gift. For her it was a «magnificent book» and «an extraordinary message»; she stated: «As it is easy for me to learn the alphabet, so it should be to live the Gospel!». At the age of nine she becomes part of the GEN Movement and especially from that moment on her life is an escalation, a search for «putting God in first place». She continues school up to her classical studies in
high school, when at 17 years old, she suddenly feels an excruciating pain in her left shoulder, which through painful examinations and useless operations will later reveal an osteosarcoma, initiating a Calvary that will last about three years. When she is given the diagnosis, Chiara doesn’t cry, she doesn’t fight back: she immediately becomes silent, but after only 25 minutes she proclaims her “yes” to God’s will. She would often repeat:«If you want it Jesus, so do I». She doesn’t lose her luminous smile; holding hands with her parents, she faces extremely painful therapy and drags into that same Love everyone who comes near her. After refusing morphine because it takes away her lucidity, she gives everything to the Church, the Diocese, the youth, those distant, the Movement, the missions… staying serene and strong, convinced that«embraced pain makes one free». She repeated: “I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love”.
Her room, both in the Turin hospital (Regina Margherita) and at home, is a place for meeting, Christian growth, and unity: it is her church. Even the doctors, sometimes non-believers, are overwhelmed by the peace that surrounds her, and some of them get closer to God. Still today they remember her, speak of her, and praise her.
When her mother asks her if she is in a lot of pain, she answers: “Jesus takes away all my black spots with bleach, and bleach burns. So when I get to Heaven I’ll be white as snow“. She is sure of God’s love for her: in fact she says: “God loves me immensely“, and she reconfirms it with strength, even though she is in extreme pain: «Yet it’s true: God loves me!». After a very troubled night she came to say: «I suffered a lot, but my soul was singing…».
She would say to her friends: “…You can’t even imagine what my relationship with Jesus is like now… I feel that God is asking me for something more, something greater. I could be confined to this bed for years, I don’t know. I’m only interested in God’s will, doing that well in the present moment: playing God’s game”. And again: I was too taken by ambition, projects, and who knows what else. Now they seem meaningless, futile and temporary… now I feel a part of a wonderful plan that is slowly revealing itself to me. If I were now asked if I want to walk (the operation paralyzed her with extremely painful and constant leg contractions), I would say no, because this way I am closer to Jesus”.
She doesn’t expect the miracle of healing, even if in a little note she had written to the Blessed Mother: «Heavenly mother, I ask you for the miracle of my healing; if this is not God’s will, I ask you to give me the strength to never give up!» and she was always faithful to this promise.
Chiara lives her Christianity well, participating at daily mass, where she receives Jesus, whom she loves so much; with the reading of the Word of God and meditation. She often reflects upon Chiara Lubich’s words: “I’ll be a saint, if I’m a saint now”.
Ever since she was little, she had committed to “not give Jesus to her friends with words, but through behavior”. All this is not easy; in fact sometimes she would say: “It is so hard to go against the current!” And to overcome every obstacle she says, «For you, Jesus!».
To those who visit her she expresses her ideals, always putting others first. She shows a particular affection for “her” bishop, Mons. Livio Maritano; during their last, short, but intense meetings, a supernatural atmosphere embraces them: in Love they become one; they are Church. But her illness gets worse and the pain increases. Not one complaint from her lips: “If you want it Jesus, so do I“.
Chiara gets ready for the final meeting: “It is my Spouse who comes to visit” and she picks out her bridal dress, the songs and the prayers for her Mass; the service must be a feast.
Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist for the last time, she appears totally immersed in Him and she asks that they “recite that prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, send us a ray of your light from Heaven“.
Nicknamed LIGHT by Chiara Lubich, with whom she has an intense mother-daughter-like relationship ever since she was a child, is now truly light for everyone, and soon she will be in the Light. She is not afraid to die and never has been. She had told her mother: “I’m not asking Jesus to come and get me to bring me to Heaven anymore, because I still want to offer him my pain, to share his cross with him“.
And her Spouse comes to get her at the dawn of October 7th, after a very difficult night. It is the day of the Virgin of the Rosary. These are her last words: “Mom, be happy, because I am. Bye“. Then, another gift: her corneas.
Hundreds of youth and many priests rushed to the funeral celebrated by the Bishop. Members of Gen Rosso and Gen Verde sang the songs she had chosen.
Since that day, her tomb is a pilgrimage destination: flowers, stuffed animals, donations for the African children, letters, requests for miracles… And every year, in the Sunday around October 7th, youth and people present in the Mass in her remembrance increase more and more. They come spontaneously and the invite each other to participate in the rite that, as she wanted, is a moment of great joy. The rite is preceded by an entire day of “feasting”: with songs, testimonies, prayers…
Her “fame for sanctity” has extended in various parts of the world; many the “fruits”. The luminous path that Chiara “Luce” has left behind her brings one to
God in the simplicity joy of abandoning oneself to Love. It is a desperate need in today’s society and especially for youth: the real meaning of life, the answer to pain and a hope for an “after”, which will never end and that will be the certainty of the “victory” over death.
Jika Kau mau Yesus, akupun juga.
http://www.chiaralucebadano.it/, August 18th, 2010.