December 17, 1991 - Letters by Luigi Giussani

December 17, 1991

On the occasion of Advent

Dearest friends

From the particular condition the Lord asks me to embrace I send you my Christmas greetings.

What a great thing happened: God was born of a woman like any of us, and this is why to this woman we entrust ourselves like a great nest of young to its mother! What a great thing happened: this God-man is among us both in the Eucharist and in our communion!

As I meditate on Advent, three things struck me most:

1) St Paul to the Ephesians: (Ephesians 4:31-32)
"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Of course! If the Lord has loved us to the point of coming to us and embracing us to make us one thing with Him, we cannot but desire to deal with each other as St Paul says, and we shall manage according to the grace given us but also according to the good will of our heart.

2) Among the beautiful prayers of this time let me pinpoint that of the second Wednesday of Advent: "Almighty God, you call us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord, let us not tire of waiting for the consoling presence of the heavenly doctor through the weakness of our faith." That we may not tire of waiting, that is, that we may not get tired of entreating. Entreating for what? For His presence to free us, making us more affectionate towards Him; and our life will be more whole, outstretched to the Father's will, and therefore to forgiveness and mutual help.
Our weakness can become an excuse to give up entreating in the face of all our forgetfulness and all our mistakes: as if Christ were not always a present spring of a greater energy than our fragility.

3) We've read in the Advent Hymns: "In the glorious Advent at the end of time let your mercy save us from the enemy", and "When at the end of time Christ comes in glory, let His grace free us from His terrible judgement." Christ's mercy saves us before and above our capabilities and our valour. He has come to save us, He is going to save us: our heart must ask continually for His mercy.

Thus the love among us human beings, springing from the tenacious and affectionate faith in Christ, makes us witnesses to Christ, the Redeemer of man, before this bewildered, merciless world which is yet so worthy of being loved if God loved it to the point of becoming a man Himself.

I embrace you one by one, I ask your forgiveness for what I cannot do, and entrusting myself entirely to the generosity of your prayers, I feel a more and more faithful communion with each of you, whether I know you personally or not.

Fr. Luigi Giussani

Milan, December 17, 1991

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