Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Expectant Waiting, the Desire for Him

Eugène Burnand, The disciples Peter and John came running to the tomb ...
"'Press on to make Him my own.' Who of us would not want to be here this evening with the same face, wholly open, striving, desiring, full of wonder, as that of Peter and John running toward the sepulcher on Easter morning? Who of us would not desire to be here with that striving to seek Christ, that we see in their faces, with a heart full of expectancy to find Him again, to see Him again, to be attracted, fascinated like the first day? But who among us truly expects that something like this can happen?
Like them, we too struggle to believe the announcement of the women, that is, to acknowledge the most overwhelming fact of history, to give it space within us, to welcome it in our hearts so it may transform us. We too, like them, feel the need to be seized anew, that all our nostalgia for Christ be reawakened. Let us ask the Holy Spirit together to reawaken in each of us the expectant waiting, the desire for Him." - first paragraph of the Spiritual Exercises of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Fr. Julián Carrón
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I want to "be attracted, fascinated like the first day..." I want to give space within myself, so that I may be seized. I, while sitting beside my friend Pam, heard the above words on the Vigil of the Feast of the Visitation,. I was struck by the fact that this is precisely what Mary and Elizabeth did: they made space in their bodies, to welcome within themselves, something they didn't plan and something they could not control - something that transformed them. I thought of how so many with whom I share in the charism of Fr. Giussani are also mothers - young and old - and how we also practice hospitality (both hospitality for the Miracle, whom we ask to enter and enliven our flesh, and hospitality for our neighbors, whose flesh has been preferred for the task of bringing Christ to us).

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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."