Traces N.1, January 2009

A Friend who Tells You, “Look!”

‘Whatever the crisis, the first question that arises is: ‘Who are you?’” Bernard Scholz, President of the Companionship of Works Association, recently wrote this in a letter to the directory of the association, made up of 34,000 companies (suffering like everyone else from the present hard times). He is right. Despite all the problems of budgets and salaries–or, better, amidst all these problems–the crisis is, above all, an opportunity. “It is a test of the education we are receiving,” Fr. Carrón said in a recent meeting with some CL responsibles. “We see that the faith can really help us face life, when someone is able to stay on his feet before an occasion like this.” We see this when someone finds himself free, able to breathe deeply–in a word, victorious, even in such a situation–because he is certain of the experience he is living, full of meaning.
Experience is the place where this is tested. If you lose your job, a “correct” understanding of work is not enough. You have to have your feet on solid ground. It is not even a question of technical competence, of being good at your job, of what you are able to do. A person is truly competent if he can face up to life, if he witnesses to a more human way of facing up to tough situations.
Experience and witness is something that can be seen and that, therefore, unlike discourses, helps everyone. This is why we went into the backstreets of Naples, where we met an experience that is victorious even in a difficult environment; then to London and Washington, where the crisis is burning, but where there are people who witness to the same thing. There will be a follow-up over the upcoming months, in search of facts and witnesses that can help everyone.

What you are reading is Traces with a new face. It’s by no means a revolution. There was no need for that. If anything, we needed to keep going along the same road marked out since the magazine began and which, in recent years, under the direction of Alberto Savorana, became clearer and clearer, as well as richer. Traces informs, explains, and develops. It tries to “test everything; retain what is good,” acknowledging what is good and true in what we meet, wherever it comes from. It tells of the Christian experience of Communion and Liberation, offering as a contribution to everyone’s life–and putting at the service of the Church–what the charism of Fr. Giussani gives rise to. Finally, it is an instrument for an educative journey, “a gaze that educates us about reality,” as the ever more pertinent slogan accompanying the magazine says. The new graphic design aims at helping us to read and to look, making everything more essential, so as to bring out more clearly the value of the contents, which, as you can see, are the same as before: stories, witnesses, the life and the judgements of the Movement, and the instruments for working on this journey.
Traces is, above all, this: witness to an experience, like a friend who, despite his limitations, is astonished at the grandiose way the Mystery is at work. So he nudges you and says, “Look! Look what great things Christ is doing before our eyes. Let’s help each other to see them better, and judge them.” Let’s help each other to know Him. Happy reading!