Monday, February 2, 2009

For booklady:

Father Julian Carron, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation (and friend to my dear friend), on the encyclical Deus Caritas Est:

In the first lines of his encyclical, the Pope reminds us that “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” The Pope stresses that Christ takes hold of the whole of human nature–soul and body–and brings it to fulfillment; in doing so, he demonstrates the humanity of the faith, because of which it is reasonable to be Christian. The encyclical speaks of God who lets Himself be so moved by man’s situation that He becomes in Christ “body and blood,” in such a way that “we enter into the very dynamic of his self-giving.” The love of Christ, still today, also makes itself visible “in the men and women who reflect his presence.” Those who let themselves be taken up in this initiative of Christ’s can become witnesses to charity as a moved giving of self, that is, as a sharing in our fellow man’s deepest desire for happiness, and as the attempt to create signs and works of new humanity in the circumstances of life. In these times of confusion, we thank Benedict XVI for reminding everyone of the nature of Christianity, and Christians of the continual need to change, so that faith not be reduced to ideas or to ethics.
Julián Carrón, Milan, January 27, 2006

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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."