Fr. Julián Carrón (Photo: Pino Franchino)

Carrón: "Fr. Giussani: His legacy is the experience of Christ in his life"

Closing address from Fr. Julián Carrón at the Mass for the centenary of the birth of Fr. Giussani. Milan Duomo, February 28, 2022

Your Excellency,
I, too, wish to join in the gratitude already expressed by Davide for having been able to celebrate with you the centenary of the birth of Fr. Giussani, right here, in the Duomo of Milan, where he was ordained an Ambrosian priest and where Cardinal Ratzinger celebrated his funeral.
We began to love what is Ambrosian–how could we not think of this land where his faith was generated?–thanks to Fr. Giussani, who introduced us to it through his experience.
How many times have we heard him remember his beloved Seminary of Venegono and the professors who communicated the Tradition of the Church to him not as a word from the past, but as a present event, as the “beautiful day”–as he called it–the encounter with Christ, which responded to the restlessness of his heart?

Responding in turn to the gift he received, he followed that grace. He expressed it on so many occasions through the formulas of the Ambrosian Liturgy. I think of the countless times we relived those great words thanks to the way he witnessed to them with his life! He often repeated, “Lord God, in the simplicity of my heart I gladly gave you everything” (Antiphon at Offertory of the ancient liturgy of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Ambrosian Missal. From Easter to Advent, Milan 1942, p. 225); or, “I will make my presence known by the joy on your faces” (Confrattorio of the IV Sunday of Ambrosian Advent, Ambrosian Missal. From Advent to Holy Saturday, Milan 1942, p. 78). That was what we saw in him when he communicated to us what had happened to him in following the grace that he constantly received. And I remember how moved he was listening to the Ambrosian fifth century chant for the dedication of the Temple “Christe, cunctorum dominator alme!” “Here, O Christ, You free us from our guilt, every fear and sadness is expelled. [... ] Let no storm disturb our life, let our days be happy and our nights calm.”

We hope to become more and more children of Fr. Giussani. The experience of Christ’s presence in his life is the legacy and the responsibility to which we are called before our brothers and sisters in humanity, in this troubled time to which you referred in your Homily and which we ourselves are living.
The only brief words I would like to add, thinking of the troubled situation our world is going through today, are those Fr. Giussani spoke in his intervention to the Synod on the Laity in 1987: “Today’s men and women await, perhaps unconsciously, the experience of the encounter with people for whom the fact of Christ is such a present reality that their life is changed. What will shake people today is a human impact, an event that echoes the initial event, when Jesus raised His eyes and said, ‘Zacchaeus, come down quickly. I am coming to your house.’” (L. Giussani, L’avvenimento cristiano [The Christian Event], BUR, Milan 2003, p. 24).

We hope that we, too, can communicate this impact through our changed lives, that anyone who meets us might experience that “beautiful day,” and that, consequently, we might collaborate in giving hope to such a troubled world.
Thank you, Your Excellency!