Many people in our world today seem to have no hope. They feel lost and abandoned, drowning in despair, and alone. They are searching for something that will make them happy. We all are searching for something, and that something is God. But sadly many people never come to the realization that they are and have been searching for God, and they continue to seek out happiness in the wrong places. They try to fill the longing for something more. Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati was a man who reached out to the people who felt lost and abandoned and alone. He visited the sick in his free time without his family ever even knowing. He believed that those who had good health had a responsibility given to them by God to help comfort the sick and to help the poor. He was a man of faith, who was not afraid to live out the Gospel.
One of my favorite quotes from Bl. Pier Giorgio is when he urges us to not only exist, but to live. “To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living, but existing.” Whenever I read this quote, I am always challenged to live my life with a stronger faith in God, fully trusting Him. I yearn to strive for the truth, to become closer to God, and to stand up for what is right and good. But every time I read this quote I stop and think of what it means to not only exist, but to live.
What does it mean to not only exist, but to live? The word exist can be defined as: to be, to be present, or found in a particular place or situation. Anything can exist. Stars and sunsets and oceans and galaxies can exist, but they do not live. Animals and plants and humans live. To live is to be alive, to have life. But the difference between humans and other living things is that we have been found to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31), and that we have souls that will live even after we no longer are alive. But what Bl. Pier Giorgio was talking about was our souls being alive. When we have faith and constantly fight for the truth, and love those who we find hardest to love, we are not merely existing, but living. We are living the way God created us to live. The saints are great examples of what it looks like to not only exist, but to live. We are also called to be saints. We each have our own unique way of living in a way that no one else can. Let us choose to live for God. Let us live to accomplish God’s will, just as Bl. Pier Giorgio did.
So the question that we must ask ourselves each day is: Will I only exist today? Will I seek out the truth today? Will I love today? Will I climb to the top and live for God today?
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!