Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"A higher form of respect."

Joseph H. H. Weiler, professor of Law at New York University

WEILER/ In Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Rimini Meeting in Italy

The Meeting is not a “place”, an “event” – it is an “Experience” unlike any I have had, and I assure those of your readers who have not attended, unlike any you are likely to have had either. Any person of culture should make a point of attending the Meeting – at least once.

What is the secret of its success? After all, 700,000 visitors in one week, repeated year after year – and many, many of them not particularly religious persons – must have some reason to go, and clearly only a small fraction of them are Members or adherents of CL.

When I was invited the first time in 2003, and I knew it was going to be interesting because many of my Italian friends said to me, “How could you accept to go to that “Meeting?” organized by those people. And then, in the same breath they said, “How does one get invited?”... [read the rest here]

- From Il Sussidiario

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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."