The Jesus of Father Oreste was a living person. He always told us that Christ was not an ideology, a philosophy, but a living person with whom we were to enter into a relationship as lovers. He invited us to be “non-porters of Christ, but in love with Christ.” He showed us the whole inner life of relationship, to speak with Christ on daily life situations, on the encounter with the poor. Christ really was the center of his heart and he wanted him to become the world’s heart. When he came back from his travels, the first greeting was to Jesus Eucharist before whom he prostrated himself like a tired but joyful wanderer.
It’s true, his passion was Christ. And so his spirituality was this living relationship with Jesus, poor suffering servant, who takes upon himself the sins of the world, the suffering of children, of the poor. He truly lived this intimate union with Jesus. He truly lived this intimate union with Jesus, to be a heart to heart with Jesus. This was his strength, and then go around the world, also in the various realities of the border, in discos, on the road, to meet young people with his totally transparent heart and spirituality, a smile that won everyone over, even his enemies, even those who disagreed with him was conquered by this authenticity, this purity of heart. But especially young people were won over his authentic and joyful disarming simplicity.
He taught us that all is grace, all is guided by the wisdom and providence of God, so even the hostility, even the difficulties, the opposition enters into the plan, in the pedagogy of God. In fact, God forms us, he forges us the spiritual, the spiritual identity. Even the charisma of the Community Pope John was forged by these contradictions. He had a priestly heart, a great tenderness and mercy, to meet knew people and he knew especially value the positive part of the person. So who met him he made out the good that is inside ourselves.This without neglecting the evil that must be eradicated. His battles next to the poorest have always been a no go along with the violent.
He was on fire with love for the Church of Christ, said: “The Catholic Church is the one true Church of Christ, and the holy people of God, who should have its own identity and must proclaim Christ as a people.” That is how you will know love, they will know that you are my disciples. In this people the weakest are the most necessary, as well says Saint Paul in his letters. So he showed this great love for the Church of Christ, even to the shepherds of the Church, with whom he had a beautiful, relationship of trust, but also of extreme obedience.Even in the most courageous decisions, most of the border, he said that the last word belonged to the shepherds, in discernment. But we have to act as a people, in which the weakest members – so children with severe disabilities, mental patients, street girls, are not only an object to assist, but they are the protagonists of the Church’s history.
He was in continuous contact with non-believers, because he said that there is no atheist, but only the people who may have problems with God; and so he constantly conversed. One of its main features was the great humanity, the human richness of being able to meet and to be able to propose a friendly encounter with Christ, especially young people, adolescents and in the developmental stage they are looking, they are asking about the meaning of life. He said that inside each one there is this spark that God has placed and you just bring out; no one is against God, but you have to let him meet with the God of Jesus Christ, the God who loves us.
Don Oreste always mentioned Giobbe: “If we accept good from God, because we do not accept evil?”.He said:” The only evil is the sin. Everything else in this life is the acts of God’s infinite mercy towards us; Also, what is an apparent disorder, it becomes an infinite order, everything falls in God’s love. The only thing we have to avoid is sin.
He was cozy, he was so firm in the principles of loyalty to Christ, the doctrine, the Church’s tradition. His was a voice above all in defense of truth, truth refers to the doctrine, but also in social life. He will not bow down in front of the powerful, but also in the solitude he screamed like a voice in the wilderness.
He said recently that when he would ascend to the heavenly Father, he would not stop and he would not leave us in peace. Actually the “don” is very present and we can invoke him whenever we want. And again he will bring us to Christ.