I've been making my way, very slowly, through Is It Possible to Live This Way? Volume 2 Hope, by Father Giussani.
Isn't it strange the way something that is given to us at a particular moment is often more valuable than anything we could choose to give ourselves? Maybe no one else has had this experience -- or perhaps it is so universal that everyone else thinks, "duh," when I enthuse about it, but after I rediscovered my Catholic faith (a particular, dramatic moment, while in college), the readings at Mass would always surprise me as particularly and uniquely applicable to me in that moment. This struck me as divine and miraculous, and I always found it surprising. How could these readings, which were certainly not chosen with me in mind, be the precise things I needed to read and hear? This was the first moment when I began to value obedience to Another. If the Church can give me Scripture passages that answer my life better than anything I could have researched myself, better to follow the Church than to keep researching.
Later my sense of following seemed to grow deeper and more mature when, rather than viewing the Mass readings as my own personal property, I began to want to follow them because they were chosen by Another -- that is, I wanted to read and study them so that I could get to know this other Person better -- and I wanted this more than I cared to find answers about/for myself.
Now that I am in Communion and Liberation, I am always amazed that the books we are all reading together seem to be precisely what I need in order to grow and deepen in my conversion to Christ. I seem to be "back" to where I was in college -- needing that sense of my own value in God's great scheme of things. So, perhaps it wasn't a "development" to move from being centered on my own spiritual needs to giving myself to the One who gives... Maybe this movement is my own life is more cyclic? Because I don't feel I've gone backwards!
So, hope. I'm looking at pages 55-56:
...with hope, you can more easily make a mistake, demand, make a claim, establish in advance when something has to happen...This passage strikes me as written, given to me, personally!
Faith founds, makes know, what man is made for, and therefore reveals to man what he desires, and this is hope. Faith feels drawn bumpily along by hope. But the seriousness, the degree of seriousness, isn't given by hope, but by faith. The degree of seriousness is given by the truth, while the degree of zest and fascination is given by hope...
...Hope is like a child who stamps his feet, quivering. Slowly, as one grows up, quivering enlivens even curiosity regarding faith.
So, my self diagnosis is: too much hope and not enough faith. I have been like the child stamping her foot, waiting to see the train. And yes, I have to admit with sadness that I have made mistakes, demands, and claims and have also established in advance when something has to happen. It is nicer to be told that my problem is too much hope, though, than it is to hear that I lack faith!
The wonderful thing would be if I could say that having read Is It Possible to Live This Way? Volume 1: Faith, my faith has increased, and along with it, my seriousness. But: Have I grown up in the past year?
I will need to think more before I can answer honestly.
[Update added after this was posted:]
You know, I was thinking wouldn't it be great to be able to ask Fr. Giussani how to bring faith and hope into balance, so that hope is not always drawing faith bumpily along. Here is the answer I give myself:
To keep reminding myself, with greater attention, that I am not making myself now, and that I am not making the circumstances in my life, either. Than Another is generating me and also giving me these precise circumstances for my good, to bring me to him.
But what answer would any of you give to me? It occurs to me that though I can't ask Fr. Giussani, I can ask you!