The Life of Luigi Giussani.

From Milan to New Zealand

"The Life of Luigi Giussani" has truly accompanied me in these days. I waited for its translation for a long time but it was worth the wait.

The Life of Luigi Giussani has truly accompanied me in these days. I waited for its translation for a long time but it was worth the wait. I find myself really savoring it, and in spite of the sheer size of the volume, I wish it would never end. I feel that I’m going deeper into my understanding of the Movement. Obviously, the Movement was already important to me, since it has touched my life in its most personal aspects. But reading The Life of Luigi Giussani, I find myself digging deeper into the “roots” from which the Movement has sprung forth, like someone who has a beautiful fruit tree in his garden and enjoys its fruit, but who doesn’t know the tree’s origin, who planted it and through bad weather it has endured. It is moving to follow the path of Fr. Giussani’s life in a particular moment in history and to see how his “yes” to Christ coincides with the working of the Holy Spirit. I feel such immense gratitude in seeing the events that happened in his life, full of meaning for the future, and how he followed with the spirit of obedience, even though he didn’t yet know the consequences. In reading about the events in Milan during the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s, I can’t help but see a promise of what one day would find me in New Zealand in the 1990’s. Keeping in mind the concept of the universal dimension of the Movement as a gift to modern man, I was moved this morning as I read about Giussani’s meeting with Pope John Paul II on September 29, 1984. In this audience, the Pope conferred upon Fr. Giussani and the Movement the mandate to go into the whole the world. This morning I read about Fr. Giussani’s answer in the days following the audience. It was a huge task, accompanied by the awareness of his limitations and those of the Movement, but full of hope in obedience to the Church and to the task itself. Here in Ashburton, we are all well. Our days are full of the novelty that a new life brings. Miriam is now three months old, at home with her three older brothers. She’s like a delicate flower that grows in the jungle. On page 656, in reading Fr. Giussani’s words, “There is a nice group going to Ireland,” I felt a great affection for the names and faces and for the providential time I spent there.

Matthew, Ashburton (New Zealand)