Today, I challenge you to a pop quiz. Ready… Set… GO!
1) How do the saints inspire us?
- A) Through obstacles that they overcame with faith and grace.
- B) Through their total dedication to Christ and the Church.
- C) Through their courage in defending and sharing their beliefs.
- D) Through the way that they were so much like us, yet so extraordinary because of grace.
- E) All of the above.
The correct answer is E! As you could have guessed, all of the above are things that we can find in the saints’ lives. In each of them, we can point out a particular event or fact that applies to each of the above choices. In them, we find endless amounts of inspiration, and they lead us to our Lord! We see this among all the saints, but Blessed Chiara Badano’s life shows us these five things in a very special way.
In 1971 Chiara was born to an Italian couple…. Isn’t that just incredible? She is the first person to be beatified from this generation! She is such an example to today’s teenagers. Especially since the world she grew up in was not terribly different from today’s world. Well, this modern saint was very special from a very young age. Even as a little girl, she had an inclination to always help those in need, to always love and serve. She grew up and lived the life of any typical teenager. She loved sports, was always surrounded by friends, and greatly enjoyed to sing and dance. Although, through her everyday life she aimed to show Christ through her actions. During this time, she also began to feel a call to religious life.
But at the age of 17, Chiara was diagnosed with a terrible form of bone cancer. The treatments were all very painful and unsuccessful. She was suffering greatly. But it was here, in her suffering, which she encountered Christ the most. She felt closer to Him, and knew that He was with her in her suffering. This inspiring teen always had a spirit of joy and faith even through these terrible times. This is even seen in her photos. She “glowed” with a love for Jesus. This acquired her the nickname “luce” , which mean “light” in Italian.
She soon became paralyzed. Even in this now deteriorating state, she still wrote letters to those in her youth group and inspired through love. In 1990, she died at the age 19. Her shot, yet powerful, life left a legacy of joy and love. She was so trusting of God’s will, even in her suffering. Let us pray for this grace. The grace to see that just as Christ suffered we can unite our suffering with His. That he is truly present in the tough times. Let us pray for the grace to trust Him, even when we suffer. To always find his hand there and always remember His great love for us. To always allow this to be our joy. Let us pray to always be a source of the love of Christ, and to show Him through our actions
Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, pray for us!
“I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love.” – Bl. Chiara towards the end of her life
God Bless You!