Friday, November 13, 2009

"Today my face has changed."

Speaker: I work at a school [I am a secretary], and this month a young woman has come to work
with me to help organizing the archives. During this time we got along very well and we
became friends. The other day she found out that her job with us was ending, and we
went home feeling pretty sad. The next morning I got to the office and she told me: ”You
know, I decided to go to Mass in Trivolzio” [note: Church of Trivolzio near Milan, where
the body of S. Riccardo Pampuri is buried and venerated]. She is not a religious person
and she has nothing to do with us, but after hearing me talking about Trivolzio at school,
she had felt the desire to check the Trivolzio internet site and she read everything. She
had looked at the entire Trivolzio site and the entire CL site! After a moment of silence
she added - these are her exact words-:”It is too beautiful. Actually, if you look at me you
see that my face is different”. I was deeply moved because the day before she had been
fired and nevertheless, the things she had heard, often not even addressed directly to her,
corresponded so much to her desire, that this beauty prevailed even over the loss of her
job. In front of this my heart truly jumped, and to be honest, for the first time my thought,
not tacked on, not invented, was: ”It is Him, it is Jesus!” It could not be anybody but
Him, so attractive that my friend could meet Him even through my limited person, and He
could be far more fascinating to her than the seemingly more important desire for her
job. From that moment when I get up in the morning to go to work my first thought is for
Him: it is this enormous curiosity to see where and how, again, today, He will make
Himself known to me. I understand that this is possibly the beginning of experience
because it identifies a step from which one cannot go back any longer.

Fr Julián Carrón: That is, judgment is the least artificial thing that exists.

Speaker: Yes, because it is a recognition, it is like saying: ”Wow, it is really Him!”

Fr Julián Carrón: “Today my face has changed”: if you do not arrive to this point you miss the best of experience, because the sign that one has recognized something when circumstances do
not change - as in this case, it’s not that she found a job – is the change that happens in
the person. Then she will have to discover slowly all that is inside that first jolt. This
research she has done is already something, she has intuited something, but she will have
to look more deeply into what has already happened, the nature of what happened,
become aware of all of this. Thank you.

Now that Fr Carrón has decided to publish translations of the notes/transcripts of his School of Community on the CL website for the US, we have such a precious gift! To think of how technology has advanced our access to so much richness! Now there is document after fascinating document available to anyone with an internet connection.

The above excerpt provides a simple and compelling example of judgment; it is clear that the speaker has had an experience. "Then she will have to discover slowly all that is inside that first jolt" -- this was Fr. Carrón's observation about the speaker's new friend. And our work -- of discovering slowly what is inside the first jolt for us -- lies in steeping ourselves in these new gifts. Tonight my heart is full of gratitude for all Fr. Giussani has left for us and for the care and tenderness with which he continues to accompany us.

1 comment:

Coco said...
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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."