Friday, January 4, 2008

Angelo's Witness

Given at the Washington, D.C. Communion and Liberation Summer Vacation, 2007:

  • I asked myself, what is the thing that is most precious -- either I was the owner of my life, or someone else was the owner.
  • I had a conception of happiness according to an image.
  • But the pearl of my life, for which I would sell everything, was Christ.
  • I have been put very close to the Mystery in a not very discreet way.
  • I am only in peace if I am faithful to him.
  • He is the one who is my happiness, not my ideas.
  • Since Christ is the one who is giving my life everything, I have to give it to him.
  • Vocation is the modality with which Christ wants you to enter into relationship with him.
  • There is a great battle for Christ and your freedom.
  • Nothing corresponds as much as following him.
  • There is a total coincidence between my life and my vocation.
  • Christ is Life and Life is Christ.
  • In any case, Don Giuss told us once at a Memoris retreat: "I love Christ because I love life and not vice versa."
  • There is the possibility to love life.
  • Allow the flourishing of what I want.
  • Love of life is in my bones -- I was born for it.
  • Either Christ coincides with my life or -- it is not possible -- take away the gladness and joy that is promised to a child.
  • I'm aware that I carry within me this secret of the world -- because he is what everything else strives for.
  • Love of money, success, everything cries out for him.
  • To be chosen to be one who says "Yes, everything cries for it."
  • To carry the awareness of this is something that makes me cry -- I'm unworthy and I did nothing.
  • To serve the All is to be aware of the meaning of everything in daily life.
  • This kind of awareness can become visible in moments.
  • The quality of life in Rimini, for example. I had to start the cultural center.
  • To be educated to stay in front of things that happen -- a positive hypothesis.
  • Everything that happens and only in what happens is the place where I meet Christ.
  • Have to be a little more open to correction.
  • Nothing that cannot be for you -- you embrace more, live more. You see more things. Why? because if Christ is the center of your life, what I need everyday is to see signs of his victory -- waiting to see his presence and to speak with him.
  • You live from miracle to miracle -- it doesn't matter if they happen because of you. You enjoy it more -- you are more able to live.
  • You start really to love -- 2 aspects of this love: 1) you have been preferred, and 2) precisely because you have been so preferred, you recognize that the other is infinitely other.
  • What was existing in me was the reactions others provoke in me.
  • My reactions to others are one billionth of what they are.
  • Exactly because they are different -- keep the right distance -- not too close.
  • What you see that is lovable is the need for Christ. Less afraid of the fact that others need.
  • Precisely because someone looks at me and is not afraid of my need, I am finally myself.
  • To affirm them in their need.
  • Impossible unity -- it is possible to love.
  • Is it possible to live this way? Yes, and beautiful.

I did not include Angelo's last name because he hasn't had an opportunity to check over these notes to make sure that they accurately reflect what he said.

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."