Between war and hope

August 1, 2022 - 12:00am -- Living City

I study computer engineering in Syria. Ever since I was a child, I’ve tried to live the spirituality of the Focolare. For a while however, I felt far away from God, from Jesus and Mary.

I was wondering where God was, and why he allowed the difficulties that we have here, such as the lack of electricity, high prices and the difficult economic situation.

All of this also had an effect on my relationship with others, which were not as peaceful and fulfilling as before.

I recently went to London for a month to visit my sisters, and there I took part in a weekend with the young people of the Focolare. This experience helped me to find answers and to rediscover myself by living the spirituality of unity.

I will never forget the love I found among them, a love that filled my heart. It was as if we had known each other for a long time. This experience impressed me a lot, and as a result I felt that something was beginning to change within me.

As soon as I returned to Syria there was also a meeting in which I took part. Due to the difficult situations of the war, it was the first time in 10 years that we were able to meet. It was a rich experience, characterized by mutual love and lived as if we were all one family.

Inner peace was growing in me day by day. These experiences left a mark in my heart and helped me to once again be that positive person who looks forward with courage and is ready to give.

There are times when, due to the pressures of life, we lose hope… as if it is the end of the world and there is nothing left.

However, if we experience God, with his grace, he allows us to return to him, and we discover that the difficult things we experienced were like our little participation in the sufferings of Jesus on the cross. We realize our pains are small in the face of the sufferings he experienced to redeem us.

And it is up to us to ask for God’s help in prayer. He is always ready to help us, and with great hope, we can start again.

Paolo, Aleppo, Syria