- Monday, 22 February 2010 08:24
Five years ago today Monsignor Luigi Giussani died after suffering the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. I continue to miss his voice and witness to faith we profess in Christ.
O God, the Lord of mercies, grant to the soul of Thy servant Luigi Giussani, priest, whose anniversary we are keeping, a place of refreshment, rest and happiness and the glory of Thy Light.
- Sunday, 21 February 2010 13:11
Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of death of the great priest and founder of Communion & Liberation, Monsignor Luigi Giussani. More on that later. However, the NY community of Communion & Liberation gathered at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for the Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by the Archbishop, Timothy M. Dolan. Among those in the sanctuary were Bishop William McCormack (retired auxiliary bishop of NY celebrating 51 years a priest today) and Bishop Gerald Walsh (NY auxiliary bishop and rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary), Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Carmelite Father Eugene and Father Daniel O’Reilly with the seminarians from Dunwoodie and the collegians from St John Neumann Seminary Residence.
A few times in the course of the Mass and following, Dolan expressed his gratitude for the presence and witness of Communion and Liberation in the Archdiocese of NY. Today’s Mass joins many others around the USA and in others parts of the world praying for Giussani and for the good of the movement. See where Mass is being offered here
In his homily, Archbishop Dolan reminded us of the deadly sins that cut us off from God, the Church community, others and ourselves. The gospel for today (Lk 4) is a stark reminder is that the Lord was tempted, but didn’t capitulate to the temptations demonstrating a supreme trust in His Father. This he did by speaking of the Logic of Lent: the pilgrimage during the season of Lent is a movement away from sin and sinful tendencies inching toward life with the Trinity, the living God. In order for us to live holiness of life we need to live as those Christ matters, as though the truth the Church teaches does, in fact, set us free. We are made for communion, interpersonal relationships first with God and then with each other; selfishness and pride divides us. Ultimately, we have to take seriously the Scriptural warrants for life with God: purity of heart, humility of personality. The Christian life is not “my will be done,” but it’s the other way around, “Thy will be done, God.’
How do we decapitate sin? How do we live more intently this time of faith in Christ?
The 3 ancient Christian practices:
1. Prayer: the posture is the recollection that without God nothing is possible
2. Penance: self-denial to curb the human drive to disordered pleasures
3. Charity: mercy and self-gift as acts of love to live in a dignified way as God wants us to live.
When we do our part in self-emptying ourselves of sinful tendencies, God does His part in giving us what we need: true and lasting happiness.
The proffered the hope that Msgr. Luigi Giussani would be made a Doctor of the Church. I hope the Archbishop’s words were heard in heaven!
A 12th century anthem was sung at the Preparation of the Altar at Mass, “Ave Regina Caelorum,” musically arranged by Gregor Aichinger. Typically this hymn is sung after Compline from the feast of the Presentation of the Lord until Holy Thursday. A version of the text in English follows:
Hail, Queen of Heaven!
Hail, Mistress of Angels!
Hail, root, hail portal,
From which the Light for the world has Risen.
Rejoice, glorious Virgin,
Beautiful above all others.
Farewell, most gracious,
And pray for us to Christ.
A fitting reminder of the beauty of Mary, Mother of God and her role as intercessor for us before her son, Jesus. May she also intercede for Msgr. Luigi Giussani and for Communion and Liberation.
- Saturday, 28 November 2009 10:59
The Christian event is the answer to the demand for the infinite which is the heart of man. So that man may walk along: “homo viator,” a man who draws near by the movement that has been put into him, that has been brought forth in him by the Mystery which makes all things and of
which he is made aware by the encounter, the encounters of life.
Monsignor Luigi Giussani
Founder of Communion and Liberation
- Wednesday, 11 November 2009 16:16
Monsignor Giussani, with his fearless and unfailing
faith, knew that, even in this situation, Christ, the encounter with Him,
remains central, because whoever does not give God, gives too little, and
whoever does not give God, whoever does not make people find God in the Fact of
Christ, does not build, but destroys, because he gets human activity lost in
ideological and false dogmatisms. Fr Giussani kept the centrality of Christ
and, exactly in this way, with social works, with necessary service, he helped mankind
in this difficult world, where the responsibility of Christians for the poor in
the world is enormous and urgent.
(Pope Benedict XVI, Funeral Homily for Msgr Luigi Giussani, 24 February 2005, Milan)
- Saturday, 04 July 2009 15:15
When I first met Msgr. Giussani 16 years ago, I had no
idea what we would talk about. I flew up from Rome to Milan to have lunch with
“Don Gius” and a mutual friend who had arranged the meeting. I thought our
friend would guide the conversation, but the day before the meeting I learned
that he would not be there. It would just be a lunch meeting between Giussani
and myself. On the flight to Milan, I browsed through a book by Giussani that I
had picked up in order to have it autographed (L’Avvenimento Cristiano, The
Christian Event), and because our friend had told me it would help me understand
what Giussani was all about.
Paging through the book, trying to find common
interests that we could discuss, I found the following remarks by Fr. Giussani:
“‘The Redeemer of Man, Jesus Christ, is the center of the universe and of
history.’ When I heard John Paul II repeating these words during his first
speech (and the same sentence was literally, my friends can witness to it, the
usual text of our meditation), the emotion I felt reminded me of the
dialectics developed between me and my students at school, and the deep tension
with which we gathered in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit.” I was amazed because he seemed to be describing the same reaction
I had when, for the first time, I read Pope John Paul II’s first encyclical,
Redemptor Hominis, thirty years ago (March 4, 1979). RH begins with this
affirmation: “The Redeemer of Man, Jesus Christ, is the center of the universe
and of history. To Him go my thoughts and my heart in this solemn moment of the
world that the Church and the whole family in present-day humanity are now
Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, Traces, April 2009