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Prosperi: Communicating the beauty we encounter every day

The 46th National Day for Life celebrated by the Italian Church. The contribution of the President of the Fraternity in a special issue of the newspaper Avvenire on February 4.
Davide Prosperi

The Day for Life is too often reduced to a clash between a minority that defends the value of life, especially in its most fragile moments (gestation, birth, disability and old age), and a majority that is mostly indifferent but capable of strong claims (political, media and now increasingly also legal) on issues such as euthanasia, abortion, and new alleged rights. They end up not listening to each other and not understanding each other.

The two sides are paradoxically similar in emphasising values such as welcoming, compassion, accompaniment and mercy, but come to diametrically opposed conclusions. The same, albeit in different terms, happens with war or migrants, other topics placed at the centre of the Day for Life: everyone wants peace, but what is the fairest peace? Meanwhile, while this is being discussed, innocent men, women and children are dying. Meanwhile, despite calls for an increase in the birth rate, there are more than 40 million abortions a year, and deaths by euthanasia and assisted suicide are on the rise. Truly ‘voluntary’ slaughter. So many debates and so many good intentions, but in the end the human continues to do what they want: to others and the weakest above all, but to themselves. Wanting to create a world without God, the human puts themselves in the place of God. The outcome is almost always violence, the elimination of those who disturb. It is the same utopian deception experienced with totalitarian ideologies that persists in another form.

The same choice is thus posed to the Christians of our time, which has been perpetuated since the time of Christ: Jesus or Barabbas? God’s power or the human’s power? This, in my opinion, is the heart of the Day for Life: life is a mystery because it is seen and felt, but not possessed. As Fr. Giussani said: “If I am attentive, that is, if I am mature, then I cannot deny that the greatest and most profound evidence is that I do not make myself, I am not making myself. I do not give myself being, or the reality which I am. I am ‘given’.” The problem of God’s presence as the determining factor of life cannot therefore be claimed by reducing it to an ideological opposition. Jesus, who died and rose again for all, revealed God’s loving lordship over existence. It is therefore a matter of imitating Him, bearing witness to “the surprising power of life.”

It is a matter, as Christians, of communicating the beauty that we have encountered and that, even with all our struggles, we rediscover every day. The Day for Life can thus become a great moment of attestation of what the human’s heart needs: Someone to resurrect it, to save it forever. Even in limitation and pain. After all, “everything flows,” as V. Grossman said, but the glory of Christ, humble and suffering on the cross, the same glory of a mother who sees her son suffer in infirmity and accompanies him with tenderness, witnessing the hope of love to him, the glory of the sick person who offers God the mysterious meaning of his illness for the salvation of each one of us, this glory does not fade. And it is this glory that changes the world.

Published in Avvenire