(Photo: pellegrinaggio.org)

The beginning of the otherwise impossible unity

The message of Davide Prosperi, President of the Fraternity of CL, on the occasion of the Macerata˗Loreto Pilgrimage, June 11, 2022.

Dear friends, I have no other entitlement to address you than the life I share with each of you.
The pilgrimage reminds us that we are on a journey. At this moment in our history and in the history of the world, what is asked of us? First of all, that each step, personal and communal, may entreat Our Lady to make ourselves available to the Mystery that reaches us through the companionship in which He is present. This is the great responsibility to which the Church calls us. Let us not be distracted by other concerns, which do not respect the method chosen by God to lead us to destiny.

The figure of Martha shows us the way: only her encounter with Jesus truly changed her, enhancing her humanity like nothing else. From the day He entered her home, everything Martha did was a response to the preference of the One who had reminded her that only one thing is necessary to live: to recognize and follow the Presence that knocks at the door of her, and our, humanity.
And now, in this dark moment of history, in the face of what seems almost impossible to achieve, that is, peace, what do we need most of all?

Alone, even with all our good intentions, we are not capable of doing justice. We are poor souls, and we must never forget this: “Those who do not have the consciousness of being a sinner at the back of their minds lack an accent of truth in their relationship with anything” (L. Giussani, Un avvenimento nella vita dell’uomo [An Event in the Life of Man], BUR, Milan 2020, p. 23). Like Martha, who fretted over a thousand things, we too lack the one necessary thing, the one thing that Pope Francis never tires of asking as the answer to everything that is happening: the living Christ, “the source of true peace.”
Let it also become our question during the pilgrimage, so that these words of Fr. Giussani may become tangible in our days: “The impossible peace between man and woman, the impossible peace between neighbors, impossible fraternity, impossible service, impossible hospitality, the impossible acceptance of pain, of sacrifice, of death… The word “impossible” has become a joy for us and even a promise: what is impossible for man is not impossible for God” (“Litterae Communionis CL,” 1991, no. 10). He alone can deliver us from evil.

But how often this seems too little to us! In words we declare that with God all things are possible, but in practice we live as if this were an illusion. Let us at least desire it! And let this be the content of our dialogue with the Mystery along the way or in our homes: “May prayer become, on the edge of our horizon, the outpost, the outpost of our humanity, of our embattled humanity, because the condition of battle is inevitable and inexorable; indeed, for the Lord it was the cross. […] May no errors of any sort, no repetition of our errors stop us–not stop us, because God is mercy. […] Our Lady, help us, you who were made the Mother of your Son! […] Help us, Our Mother, to be sure in whatever becomes evident in the day that we have to live: pain or joy, or pain and joy” (“Litterae Communionis Traces,” 2002, no. 9).

As Fr. Mauro˗Giuseppe Lepori reminded us at the recent Fraternity Spiritual Exercises, “the newness that Christ has brought to the world […] is a newness of relationships, a fraternity, a new brotherhood, a friendship that is inconceivable to the world, and above all impossible without Christ.”
May we begin to look at our fellow companions on the journey in wonder, as brothers, because Christ is there; this is the beginning of the otherwise impossible unity among men, for us and for the whole world.
During this centenary of his birth, may the grateful memory of Fr. Giussani–who bore witness to “Christ, life of life”–make us ever more active collaborators in the Church’s mission led by Pope Francis, willing to give our lives for the work of Another.

With friendship
Davide Prosperi