Saturday, September 5, 2009

San Carlo seminarian's judgment: Meeting in Rimini

Seminarians from the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St.Charles Borromeo
(The author, John Roderick, is to the far right in the picture).

By John Roderick:

[...] We have all been given the mysterious gift of life and ought to be good stewards of this gift by becoming protagonists and seeking out the full truth and knowledge of ourselves, the people we have been given to accompany us on this journey, and of the wonder of the material world. The Rimini Meeting sought to make this proposal to all of its attendees, that man is capable of arriving at true knowledge of himself, others and the world, and it is an exciting and worthwhile mission. We ought to make this journey as friends, and friendship is the heart and form of what we are called to live, to discover the truth of ourselves, others and the world through a loving companionship. As the 30th International Rimini Meeting for Friendship among Peoples winded down and came to a close, its attendees returned to their families, homes and work environments with the desire to continue and deepen the experience lived together during the days together in Rimini. We can live the experience of the Meeting in our respective circumstances and life situations if we remain faithful to the proposal and method of acknowledging and following the exceptional presences we stumble upon. And through them to seek out the full knowledge of ourselves, the friends and people we have been entrusted in our daily lives, and the mysterious world around us, and to remember that we can only do this work and mission together as a people. [Read the whole thing here]

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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."