Daniel Maria Piras is a young Franciscan currently in formation the Province of Umbria. He is 32 years old and a native of Carbonia, Sardinia, home to his parents, Carlo and Graziella, and to his sister, Sr. Chiara Redeemed, who is a Poor Clare at the Monastery of Iglesias.
The religious vocation of the Br. Daniel is a story marked by suffering, faith and the power of God. It is a story of good news, the Gospel: Christ, our hope, is Risen! Christ loves me and he gave himself for me. His Spirit is at word in us, crying out: “Abba! Father!”
We asked Br. Daniel to share something of his story with us.
Early on in life you knew hardship and pain …
Ever since I was little my family, especially due to financial problems, experienced a lot of relationship difficulties, especially between my mom and dad. When I finished middle school, I started working with my father at his construction company. At the same time, to escape my family problems, I started keeping “bad company”: to keep up with them, I began to drink, to use soft and then heavy drugs. I also did it to dull the pain I was carrying in my heart. … At 16 I was addicted. For seven years I couldn’t escape that bondage. I knew I was making a mistake, but I’d gotten into a vicious cycle, and I couldn’t help it anymore. I was too weak, and even if I wanted to get out of it, I realized it was too late and my will was too weak. [I spoke with] with psychologists and tried to take medication for abstinence, but with few results.
How did the Lord manifest himself to you amid all this?
Initially I managed to hide my difficulties. Then I grew worse and my parents became aware of what I was going through. My mother encouraged me. She stood by me and she loved me just as I was. As a young woman, after receiving the Sacraments, she distanced herself from the Church. But in recent years she had come back, because of the painful relationship she was going through with my dad. Their relationship was her cross. That cross had a name and a face: my father, Carlo, who was left in a very difficult situation after he lost his job. My mother found consolation and a listening ear in a group of friends who prayed the rosary. So Mary led her back to her Son: in prayer, in the Word and in the Sacraments my mother drew the strength she needed to remain in a painful situation. She decided to stay close to my dad and love him as he was, despite everything. She embraced the cross the Lord was asking her to carry.
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