A letter of Lanteri to Gabriella Solaro della Margarita, the third of the three letters conserved from this correspondence of spiritual direction. Here Lanteri has just learned of the death of Henry, the little child of Gabriella (possibly her youngest), and writes a note of both human and spiritual solace to the grieving mother and her two daughters, Guiseppina and Gabriella. Translated from Carteggio, III, 197-199.
I have learned from Madame your mother-in-law of how you have lost your little child Henry. In one way, as I think of this, I feel deep sorrow for what has happened to you, since no sacrifice could be more painful for you. He had such wonderful qualities that no one could help loving him, and how much more his own mother. And so, in this sense, you have every reason to feel pain for his loss, and to shed tears for him. Yet, in another way, I share with you a gladness that you that you have very surely gained a protector in heaven, who cannot fail to care for you from his heart, since he is your son. And because you love him so deeply, turn your thoughts to his eternal happiness, share in his glory, and do not imagine that you have lost him; that would not be true, since you have lost him only from sight, and not in reality. Consider that he is at your side like another angel, that he encourages you to dedicate yourself to the things of heaven, and to share in his joy; that he assures you of his efforts before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity on your behalf, as also for his father, for his brother, and for his dear sisters, to obtain for you all great and abundant graces for your eternal salvation. And so, remain in continual and loving conversation with him; speak to him about all that happens both within your heart and without, in the family, and about whatever is of importance to you; be on guard against thinking him uncaring toward you or powerless to help you, since such thoughts would be to misunderstand the immense love and the almost infinite power which each of the Blessed enjoys, with all the other divine perfections which God shares with him in the most abundant way possible.
And so, if before you had no reason to become discouraged in the service of God, so much the less is there reason now. I would add further that, if it were possible for your little Henry to feel any sorrow even now in heaven, it would be to see you discouraged and saddened, whether because of him or because of your own failings, or because of the difficulties you meet in the service of God.
This will be then the remedy for all your feelings of sadness and of fearfulness of heart: the thought that, with the grace of God and the protection of your little child Henry, you will be able to accomplish all things.
I beg you to share some part of these reflections with your respected and worthy daughters, to console them also in their great affliction for the loss of their beloved brother. Tell them that I too take part in their pain, and that I will hold them constantly present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to obtain for them consolation of heart, and their spiritual growth.
I conclude this letter by blessing you all, and I am, with all the esteem and respect possible
From Bardassano, July 31, 1818
Your most humble servant and father in Jesus Christ,
Theologian Pio Bruno Lanteri