Life is only possible with mercy, and when we're called upon to be merciful, it's never in a way we could have anticipated or prepared for. How many of my own quirks, foibles, and delusions other people "play along with" and never feel the need to "correct" or "remedy"? How much patience is needed to accommodate my difficult habits? And to what extent am I willing to break out of my own preconceptions about how to respond to others' "abnormal" behavior? What does mercy look like in real life, in real time?
In a structurally dependent being, as is the human person, freedom always begins specifically as acceptance. The more one knows how to accept, the more active one becomes.
Christ would draw the comparison between the vine and the branches -- the only life that feeds many lives. We can apply this comparison to every true community: the life that keeps everyone together is the power of my freedom that opens itself and gives itself to others.
The greatness of human freedom is such that it will not rest if not in a community of all, a "catholic" community.
• From Luigi Giussani, The Journey to Truth is an Experience