Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fourth Anniversary of Fr. Giussani's death

I might not have time to do my own post in Fr. Giussani's honor today, so below I am copying what my friend Sharon posted on her blog, Clairity Daily. Make sure to check out the short video in Fr. Giussani's honor.

UPDATE: Check out Deacon Scott Dodge's tribute, too: Don Giussani, pray for us

Fr. Giussani's Ongoing Friendship

Today is the fourth anniversary of Msgr. Luigi Giussani death, founder of the Catholic movement I belong to, Communion and Liberation . See a brief video on his life here.

I never met Fr. Giussani personally, but his charism and the community he founded has defined my life, particularly over the last decade. The exercise of charity, which is first forgiveness, with the rigor of that good and narrow way, of continual prayer and offering and recognition, holds all the circumstances together in a way that defies all pessimism.

And I am grateful for a particular grace granted for our family. I think of those ten lepers who were healed by Jesus, and only one came back to give thanks. It's hard to sympathize at first, but then they were human like us. Many of our sufferings are secret, or we would prefer them to be so. Those ten, shunned by family and society, must have been too glad to be suddenly delivered and given their lives back. They would naturally have preferred to get on with their business and would not readily return to the scene of their shame to offer humble gratitude. At least most did not, though one of them did.

The summer after Fr. Giussani's death, my husband and I and two friends went to Italy and had the privilege to visit his grave. We had a particular and urgent request, and we four prayed for that intention. Even if that ongoing need requires more knocking and begging, a significant intervention occurred that may well have saved the life of a dear one.

The friendship of the saints is a reason for joy and comfort.

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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."