Some choices are made for us and some choices we make for ourselves. Today, one was made for me. Because yesterday was such a gorgeous day, I was planning on more of the same weather today and had decided that today I would attempt to climb to the top of Mount Mucrone. It was all arranged last night with my Polish friends who, although they did not want to climb the mountain, wanted to go as far as the Sanctuary of Oropa where they expected to find a Sunday market with clothing from many countries. But when I opened my bedroom window this morning, both the sun and the mountains were hidden from view by a very heavy layer of fog. Mountain climbing in these conditions would be both dangerous and foolish. I joined the others on the trip to Oropa, hoping the fog would lift. Instead, it has turned out to be a drizzly, dreary sort of day. On top of that, there was no Sunday market! We still managed to have a nice time just walking around, looking in the shops, drinking cappuccino in Caffé Oropa and learning more about each other. I joked with them about how we had made our plans but the Lord had made other plans for us.
Just a week before he died, Pier Giorgio wrote out his exam schedule and made his final plans for completing his college degree. The Lord, of course, had other plans for him. I have read story after story of the numerous acts of charity he performed right up to the day of his death; every one of them was a choice he made, a decision to take advantage of the opportunities God placed before him.
In Pollone, there is an interesting crossroad where, in some sense, two worlds collide. It is the intersection of Via Pier Giorgio Frassati with Via Senatore Alfredo Frassati. At that intersection, there is a monument on a small plaza erected in honor of Pier Giorgio’s father. Much further down the road, across from the cemetery, there is a monument on a small plaza erected in honor of Pier Giorgio. Two great Italian men from one small town. Both were given many talents and virtues and opportunities to place them at the service of their countrymen. Both faced many crossroads and had many choices to make. One became the ambassador for Italy. The other, never having the chance to begin a worldly career, became something much greater: the ambassador for Christ. ///cmw