"Make it up, dammit! Just lie! How can you expect to become a physician if you don't learn how to lie?" I used to recommend to junior medical students the first day they walked into a ward. I shared the wisdom accumulated in more than thirty years. I had survived thanks to a carefully woven web of lies. The mother of all lies holds there is an objective good, such as money, power, or prestige. We are expected to pursue it at the cost of denying ourselves, our unique living truth.
This book narrates the journey of Lodovico Balducci in his discovery of the living truth: the ability to give and receive unconditional love. "Agape" is purposeful, determined, and committed love inspired by our own mystery, the most intimate needs and inspiration. Agape allowed Balducci to convert his worst liabilities, such as depression, into his most valuable assets when ministering to the suffering. Agape showed Balducci that he was "sacred," that is, endowed with a mission only he can accomplish, that "sacrifice" (the recognition of one's sacredness) is the meaning of existence, and that redemption (the paying of somebody else's debt for the common good) is the goal of personal sacrifice.