Communion and Liberation Flyer
As in any other circumstance of life, the recent administrative elections have forced each of us to take a position and take responsibility. Above all this time, it has not been easy to go beyond the appearances and commonplaces fed by the political world and the dominant opinion.
From the start, we have told ourselves that we are Christians and thus before any electoral calculation and before knowing what the final result will be, we want to verify whether faith has something to say on this occasion as well – in other words, if it has an impact on history – or whether it must give up the game, resigning itself to the role of “courtesan” of those who would conquer power or “consoler” of those who would be defeated.
Many accepted the challenge and threw themselves into the verification, concretely, encountering people in the markets, in front of churches, in the neighborhoods, and in places of study and work. What was seen?
A desire for change that was as widespread as it was confused, but also a great deal of skepticism – and not only on the level of politics. At times, there was evident and exaggerated aggressiveness. Above all, there was a sea of needs and solitude.
Where it was possible to make a breach in the wall of prejudices and hostility, how much humanity, wounded and tried by life, emerged! How many people seemed not to hope for anything other than simply someone willing to stay there in front of them!
Thus, these elections became the occasion for listening, for becoming aware of unimaginable needs and dramas, sometimes for reaching out a hand and offering some help. In a few situations just an exchange of phone numbers was enough to reawaken desire and hope.
What made all this possible?
Certainly not political shrewdness and a way with words. A great deal more is needed to break through the incrustations many have covered themselves with in defense against a reality that does not satisfy. Now, in the face of such profound need, the temptation of utopia can re-emerge: the dream that politics – of any color and tendency – can offer a magic solution that eliminates pain, evil, and injustice, that frees and saves women and men. We know well, however, how disappointing it is to rest your hope on such an insubstantial thing as a utopia, which history has regularly exposed for what it is. This is why we repeated, “Let’s not expect a miracle, but a journey,” and shared with everyone the only real thing we have: an experience of human newness that has shown itself capable of giving us fullness and positivity in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
After these elections, Fr. Giussani’s words to a young man at Catholic University in the late 1960s, who believed revolution to be the only way to impact history, seem very current:
“The forces that move history are the same that make man happy. The force that makes history is a man who made His home among us: Christ. The rediscovery of this blocks our distraction as human persons; acknowledging this introduces our life to the accent of happiness, even if it is intimidated and full of inevitable reticence. It is in the deeper pursuit of these things that you begin to touch your own shoulder in the morning and feel that your own body is more substantial, and look in the mirror and sense that your face is more substantial, your ‘I’ is more substantial, and your journey among people is more substantial; it doesn’t depend on the gazes of others, but is free; it doesn’t depend on the reactions of others, but is free; it is not a victim of the logic of the power of others, but is free.”
The elections have provoked in us a greater awareness of what are “the forces that move history” and have made us less gullible about the salvific power of politics. Only faith makes life more human now: it sets into motion a vibration in the face of our needs and those of others, sparks a passion for the destiny of each individual one meets, to the point of opening a possibility of dialogue with people who are indifferent, disappointed, or angry.
Now what? We desire nothing more than the freedom -- for us and for all – to build and share our experience with everyone, beginning with those we have met during these months, beginning with their needs. Will politics – those who have won, but also those who have lost – be able to recognize this newness of life in the present and defend it as a good for all?
When the Movement was born, we asked just one thing of those who commanded at the time: “Send us around naked, but leave us the freedom to educate.” Then as now, Communion and Liberation exists only for this.
Are we asking too much?
Communion and Liberation