- Thursday, 05 January 2012 16:19
“Christianity is a new life, it’s a new way of living, which is to say of perceiving, of judging, of feeling, of reacting and of manipulating things. It is a new way of life, a new way of living, not individually but essentially as a community. So, that the Church is present in an environment means that in that environment the Christian community is present as life, that the Christians live the life of that environment in everything, honestly, in every detail, lives the interests that make up that environment, but from another point of view.”
Father Luigi Giussani, to GS students, 1964. Printed in the July/August 2005 Traces
- Monday, 17 October 2011 10:30
On October 8, 2011, a film series co-sponsored by the Siena Forum for Faith and Culture and Crossroads Cultural Center on extraordinary Christian lives concluded with the showing of the documentary conducted by Elena Guarnieri of “Vita Straordinarie: Don Luigi Giussani” (Extraordinary Lives: Fr. Luigi Giussani”) on the life and work of Monsignor Luigi Giussani, called: the priest wounded by beauty by Pope Benedict when he offered the Sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of Giussani’s soul on 25 February 2005.
Dominican Father Peter John Cameron gave his commentary the film 150 people watched at New York’s Church of Saint Catherine of Siena (E. 68th Str.). Watch it… Cameron’s insights are good to reflect upon
- Thursday, 18 August 2011 11:23
The daily grind makes us weary of the task at hand and sometimes we’re also weary of the “nonsense” of other people. There are times in which we are just ugly. Our own fragile and sinful lives can get in the way of things. Sadly, sometimes we get hurt, and we hurt others.
I was re-reading parts of Luigi Giussani’s Religious Sense this morning and then I saw that a friend made note of the Good zeal of monks (noted below) and I wondered… Why is it that we allow “wicked zeal of bitterness” to infiltrate our spirit and our relationships? Saint Benedict perceived a lack of coherence of what human beings say they believe and the lives lead. No doubt this same question/thought ought to concern every reasonable Christian if we are serious about faith in Jesus Christ and ultimate salvation. The tough thing about the Christian way of life is making sure that our faith informs our works and that we don’t replace faith with good works thinking that what we do will absolve our poor behavior. The good zeal Benedict exhorts his monks to have is really applicable to all baptized Christians and not merely the “professional Christians.”
Do we pay enough attention to reality? Am I too alienated from my own desires when I uncritically accept the ideas of others without doing the hard of work of verifying the truth of these ideas? Have I allowed wonder to take a back seat when looking at the reality I’ve been given by God? Have I sufficiently observed and understood what is in front of me? Have I love the Infinite, that is, the Triune God, to the best of my ability and without reservation? Where is my heart right now?
The Rule of Saint Benedict is insightful with regard to human nature: laziness, mediocrity, will not lead to ultimate happiness. That we have to put aside bitterness and that which does not build a deeper communion with God and neighbor. As Holy Father Saint Benedict and Father Luigi Giussani both said but in different ways: do we love?
Here is what the Rule of Saint Benedict says,
Just as there is a wicked zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so there is a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God and everlasting life. This, then, is the good zeal which monks must foster with fervent love…. (72.1-3)
- Monday, 15 August 2011 07:56
In the Ascension, the Lord, with His Resurrection, has
become the Master of the World. Therefore, there is One among us who will save
everything that we are, who is so powerful as to save our life, as to preserve
it entire in order to give it back to us whole by forgiving our sins. The
demonstration of this is the mystery of the Assumption, when He took Our Lady’s
humanity and did not leave her in the clutches of death even for an instant.
the mystery of the Assumption, the Lord says, “You see, I will not let you lose
anything of what I have given you, of what you have used, of what you have
tasted, even of what you have misused, if you are humble with me. Blessed are
the poor in spirit, that is to say: if you acknowledge that everything is
grace, that everything is mercy, because your criteria are nothing, my
criterion will be everything.” Our Lady is already at this ultimate, profound
level of Being from which all beings draw substance, life, and destiny. This is
why she was bodily lifted into heaven, where the Mystery of God dwells: so that
she would be for us, daily, the Mother of the event.
The glorification of Our
Lady’s body indicates the ideal of Christian morality, the valuing of every
moment, every instant. Therefore it is the prizing of life, of our existence,
the life of the world’s body, it is the exaltation of matter lived by the soul,
lived by the consciousness which is relationship with God. It is the prizing of
our earthly life, not because it is a lucky one due to particular
circumstances, but because through even the smallest things is borne our
relationship with the Infinite, with the mystery of God
(Luigi Giussani, The