Communion and Liberation - Spain Flyer
“Beauty is the great need of humanity.” Who doesn’t identify with this statement? It summarizes everything for which we move, work, or love. With this statement, Benedict XVI presented himself before us, showing his passion for real humanity, those who love reason and freedom, who desire happiness, and aspire to beauty.
He did so in a concrete way, indicating a place of beauty, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral of Barcelona, a work that surprises and fascinates millions of people. Who, entering that shrine, has not felt wounded by its beauty, even if only for a moment? In opening “his spirit to God,” Gaudi, the architectural genius, “was capable of creating in this city a space of beauty, faith, and hope that leads men and women to an encounter with Him who is Truth and Beauty itself.” In addition, “beauty also reveals God because, like Him, a work of beauty is pure gratuity; it calls us to freedom and draws us away from selfishness.”
Unfortunately, in our country, God has been perceived as an enemy of reason and freedom. The conflict between faith, at times reduced to moral and social regulations, and modernity, which easily degenerates into anticlericalism, has been a tragic experience in Spain. This is why Benedict XVI wanted to present Gaudí as an example. Gaudí achieved “one of the most important tasks: overcoming the division between human consciousness and Christian consciousness, between living in this temporal world and being open to eternal life, between the beauty of things and God as Beauty.” Thus, one can understand the task that the Pope has entrusted to us, affirming that our country is the paradigmatic place where “faith and secularism” may meet once again. But how?
Gaudí did not achieve this task “with words, but with stones, lines, planes, and points.” Here begins the true dialogue with modernity to which the Pope invites us, before the beautiful works that force people to question themselves, works that are “a visible sign of the invisible God.” On the contrary, an ideological position is closed to everyone, except those of one’s own group. It does not challenge; it poses no questions to the other’s reason or freedom. If the people who encounter us cannot see and touch this beauty in our humanity and our works, dialogue will be impossible. This is the great indication of method for all of us. This is the road for overcoming the drama of the separation between faith and reason that is the affliction of our era.
It has been this way since the beginning. Jesus set Himself before society with a capacity of attraction that fascinated the people of His time. The yearning for beauty found its fulfillment in Him. And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us (Jn 1:14). Or, in other words, the reason (Logos) that gave all things their order, the Beauty that manifests Itself in all beauty, the Goodness that shines in the most human gestures, was made flesh in the humanity of Jesus of Nazareth, and lives today in the Church. This is the new, attractive humanity the world needs so much.
For this reason, the Pope invited the Church to “become a transparent sign of Christ to the world.” He calls us to participate in the “profound human desire,” for “[i]n his deepest being, man is always on a journey, ever in search of truth … yearning for complete fulfillment.” These needs and yearnings are not a stage of the Christian journey that we have gone past or should go past. Only those who have joyously recognized the truth in Christ, who embraces our painful humanity, can go toward humanity in search of truth. This passionate task needs people who desire to be protagonists in the history of our country.
Communion and Liberation