Dear reader, in the texts you will find several footnotes.

Usually footnotes matter little, or only as much as they serve to justify a statement or indicate other sources to expand the topic.


In these publications, it was decided to do the opposite. The text is a framework, or rather a scaffold.

It serves to emphasize the topicality of the subject.

At some points, it is intentionally provocative… FATHER BERNARDO


The problem of every man – when he reaches a certain degree of awareness – is to know who he really is. The search for one’s own identity, as it is commonly said, is the fundamental problem for every human being.

In our Western culture, the search for one’s own identity seems to be oriented exclusively towards the perspective of possession, well-being, having, today especially, power.

Human life is a process of growth. Growth requires many things, various experiences. However, these must be integrated into the personality to achieve a certain condition of wisdom.


What is wisdom?



“This book is a summary, albeit brief, of the view that the Gospel has of man. It is therefore a vision proposed by the word of God and accepted in faith. The one presenting it is a medical doctor and psychoanalyst.

A clear contradiction, then. The psychoanalyst works on very precise psychological situations, with an appropriate scientific method. He has experimentally verifiable data at hand. The proposal of this book, on the other hand, seems to start from statements that, at first glance, do not have any emotional impact and therefore are not experiential, consequently not helpful in solving the problems of modern man.

In my therapeutic work, I encounter various people, each with their own human problems. At the root of these problems, there is a common denominator: fear. Fear of not being accepted, fear of being inferior or being surpassed, fear of not being evaluated, esteemed, fear of making wrong decisions, of not being up to the situation anymore, and many other fears of which we all, more or less consciously, are aware.


My work puts me in contact with people who may have reached the limit of endurance of their situation.


I have never been to Africa, but I have been told about the ‘work’ done by those voracious insects, termites. They hollow out a tree. It remains, apparently, externally intact, but at the first gust of wind or a touch of man, the tree falls. I do not know if this is true.

It could be.

Instead, I have another image in my mind: an old cherry tree. Beautiful, majestic, with branches, despite its age, still promising and very extensive.

It bears fruit, sometimes. When it’s the season, you set up a ladder and then you trust its thick, sturdy branches. As soon as you put your foot on one of them and lean on it, crack!, it breaks. And you are lucky if you don’t find yourself on the ground, perhaps with a broken rib or two.

When you recover from the fright, you remain amazed that such a large branch broke for so little. You look in astonishment at the large broken branch and see that of the robust branch, which inspired solidity and security, there is only the bark left; inside it is completely corroded.

Could this not be a metaphor for many Christians?


The comparison between the Church and culture has become a fundamental issue of contemporary Christian life. A century ago, at the time of the First Vatican Council, the comparison was seen in terms of reason and revelation, of science and faith. Then, during the crisis of modernism, there was talk of the relationship between natural and supernatural, between religion and faith; moving towards the 1950s, the opposition of God and man, sacred and profane, anthropology and theology was discussed (those were the years of theologies of the ‘death of God’). Today, the comparison has extended to culture, understood as the sum of the components of individual and social human life, and we talk about faith and culture, Gospel and culture, religious life and culture.

Modern culture, over the last centuries, presents itself in many ways as a progressive presumed separation from the Church and faith.”

“A secular culture has thus arisen, which has taken precedence over Christian culture, first among the intellectual classes, then among the working classes, and eventually reaching all layers of the population through mass media, corroding, and even eliminating, the traditional instructions that served as popular and social support for faith. Each person can be an unwitting carrier of this culture, as particles of it adhere to the skin of those who breathe and live in this atmosphere. ‘In the same person,’ I recently wrote, referring to the average citizen, ‘can coexist elements and suggestions of different and even contradictory cultures. One can be nominally Catholic in religion, liberal in economics, communist in political choice.’


This book on “Lectio Divina” contains ‘simple notes.’ Annotations that do not analyze the biblical text for intellectual understanding, but simply give indications to the Christian on how to ‘take off their shoes’ to approach the burning bush of the Presence of the Lord Jesus, who ‘manifests’ himself through his Word. They are not offered to the criticism of the ‘learned,’ but to the ‘sensus fidei’ of the ‘simple.’ Simple, that is, those who have not forgotten the anointing of the Spirit that has ‘marked’ them with baptism and confirmation, for the day of redemption.


This book is not one of the many on Liturgy with which one can seek an explanation, some insights for reflection, to understand the theology of the Liturgy. Although the outline and language might suggest it, this book is not a theological or exegetical commentary on the Constitution on the Liturgy that the Second Vatican Council gave to the Church. Since it speaks of the sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist – one might suppose that there is an explanation of these sacraments there. The title, then, might suggest…


In September 2013, to the Postulator of the Order, Mother Augusta Tescari, who asked me to become Vice Postulator of the Cause of Father Romano Bottegal, I objected that she should rather turn to the Abbot of Tre Fontane, Dom. Giacomo (Jacques Brière), who, however, when consulted by me, deemed it appropriate for me to assume the interim position, given the difficulties not only his but also the community’s in dedicating themselves to this task. To partially fulfill the task of disseminating knowledge of Father Romano, I tried to study him myself in the documents concerning him, particularly in the official acts of the SD cause, where, with pleasant surprise, I read that ‘at the end of the debate, the Consultants voted, 9 out of 9, unanimously, ‘affirmative’ – something that has rarely happened in the last forty years – and they concluded with the hope ‘that the Servant of God Romano Bottegal, a model of evangelical radicality, virtuous monk and hermit, may soon, if it pleases the Holy Father, reach the desired Beatification.’