Letter to the Fraternity

Fr. Giussani's letter to the Fraternity on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of pontifical recognition of CL.

Dearest friends,

The letter which the Holy Father sent me on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the pontifical recognition of the Fraternity is the most momentous gesture of our history.

In our gratitude for this sign of great fatherhood from John Paul II, we are authoritatively aided to recognize the straight line that our history has followed. “The Movement,” the Holy Father wrote us, “has chosen and chooses to indicate not a road, but the road towards a solution to this existential drama” of man who never stops seeking. “The road... is Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who reaches the per- son in his day-to-day existence.” For this reason, a new beginning is now opening up for us: to demonstrate, to re-demonstrate the evidence of the truth of what, following the Tradition of the Church, we have always said to each other. As the Holy Father also wrote: “Christianity, even before being a sum of doctrines or a rule for salvation, is the ‘event’ of an encounter.”

What an imposing work emerges from this letter! We are starting afresh, always! What has to happen is something new, an extremely weighty step in our history. This is a moment of responsibility whose actions are made evident in time, as the urge to root in our existence the judgment of the Spirit, to which each of us can concur in an orderly and obedient manner or can resist as the claim of one’s own carnality, which becomes the impossibility of defending serenity or fighting against the apparent destruction of what happens. Everything depends on a serene, and thus constructive, obedience on the part of our toil. This toil is at its origin a sacrifice that follows Christ, His death and His resurrection. To follow Christ, to love Christ in everything: this is what must be acknowledged as the principal characteristic of our journey.

This is why we must ask for a great clarity in the face of our responsibility. Because the individual is responsible for the whole Fraternity in which he is immersed, whatever may be his current condition, of health or sickness, of gladness or trial. Reflecting on this helps us to grasp the crucial value of our journey, especially in the work done in School of Community, through which each of us may find evidence of the reason for the miracle of his adherence. God prompts each one of us to be a van- guard for the mission.

The greatest example in this sense is given us by those among us who have been entrusted with the weightiest responsibilities, also in the civil society, so that the newness that runs through our history may be manifest in them through their dedication to their service. And this newness is not judged primarily by the moral behavior of the individual, but by the sense of responsibility that each one feels in his service within the very community where God calls him. Given this, may the Responsible seek in his action to offer a service of charity, because accepting the will of God is a reality that derives from recognition of His ultimate aim for the incrementation of the life of the entire community and of the Church. The charity of those who are responsible is, first and foremost, help offered to everyone in the fulfillment of their task towards the Mystery. This is the criterion of merit for every man who wants to be a brother to other men.

For this reason, the Pope’s letter concludes by relaunching us on our mission: the force of the mission becomes the force of martyrdom (witness). Let us embark on the future freely, even if others were not to accept what we are.

Let us pray to Our Lady for our miseries and those of the world. Within the adventure of every day, there lies a continuing to ignore God’s faithfulness to our history: this is the biggest sin. Our Lady urges us to collaborate in the greatness of God’s plan of salvation for all our brother men.

Joining you with a heart full of adherence and strength, I feel that I am in my place with all of you.

Fr. Luigi Giussani