In the School of Community Sunday evening –the weekly catechetical meeting for members & friends of Communion & Liberation– we discussed Traces‘ April editorial, “Greater than Sin.” The editorial is an attempt to put words to an experience and to remind ourselves of the workings of grace and sin.
No Catholic should be surprised that there is filth in the
Church for Our Lord Himself told us that this would be so in the parable of the
weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). AND it’s no surprise that the
Church is full of sinners, sinners who commit grave sin. And yes, some
who claim to follow Christ commit evil and everything possible must be done to
stem the evil and to make amends for that pain generated by that evil.
no Catholic should be surprised that the Faith should once again be attacked
during Easter because this is an annual event. However, this year’s
annual Easter attack on the Faith has taken the form of one upon the person of
the Pope, Benedict XVI, himself.
What truly saddens me, however, is that there
are many within the Church herself, those who should know better, that are once
again attempting to create a Christianity without Christ. But if we
forget Christ, if we do away with the wholly different measure that He
introduces into the world now, through the Church, then we no longer have the
terms on which to judge the Church.
The Secretariat of State of the Holy See has asked me
to convey the following message:
Around the world in past 2 weeks Communion and Liberation’s Schools of Community have been praying for the good of Communion and Liberation while remembering the fifth anniversary of death of Monsignor Luigi Giussani. In the Archdiocese of Ottawa last Monday (February 22) Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ celebrated Mass for CL-Ottawa and here is a portion of his homily. One of the touching points in His Grace’s homily is the phrase, “to follow Christ.” The same phrase I used for my coat of arms; see above.
Five years ago today, Don Luigi Giussani, the founder of a movement that came to be known as Communion and Liberation was called home to God by the Lord Jesus Christ. Cardinal Ratzinger, our present pope was sent by Pope John Paul II as his legate to the funeral ceremony in Milan. On that occasion, he testified to the way in which Don Giussani had allowed himself to be led by Christ in a loving relationship from his earliest years, just as Peter had from the moment of his first encounter with Jesus: “This love affair with Christ, this love story which is the whole of his life, was however far from every superficial enthusiasm, from every vague romanticism. Really seeing Christ, he knew that to encounter Christ means to follow Christ. This encounter is a road, a journey, a journey that passes also-as we heard in the psalm-through the ‘valley of darkness.’ In the Gospel, we heard of the last darkness of Christ’s suffering, of the apparent absence of God, when the world’s Sun was eclipsed. He knew that to follow is to pass through a ‘valley of darkness,’ to take the way of the cross, and to live all
the same in true joy.”
St. Francis Xavier expressed this in a lovely poem, “O Deus, Ego Amo Te,” translated touchingly by his brother Jesuit, the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins:
O GOD, I love thee, I love thee-
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.
Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails, and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
And thou couldst see me sinning:
Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesu, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake;
not to be out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and I will love thee:
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen.