Traces N.2, February 2008

The Adventure of Knowledge

Here, we publish the letter that Fr. Julián Carrón wrote to the Movement after the participation of so many people in the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square–as a consequence of the canceled visit of Benedict XVI to La Sapienza University in Rome and on the occasion of the eginning of the School of Community (on Fr. Giussani’s book, Is It Possible to Live This Way?)

Dear friends:
On Sunday, January 20th, in a spontaneous gesture which rose up, as it were, from the depths of our hearts, many of us went to Saint Peter’s Square as a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome, who, because of well-known events, declined to participate in the inauguration of the new academic year at La Sapienza University, to which he had been invited. No doubt, this gesture of yours was the fruit of being educated by the Movement to respond to reality’s provocations.
We must thank God for the readiness of your response, because it is the sign of our having been penetrated by “that form of teaching to which we have been committed” (J. Ratzinger). Indeed, there is no other explanation for this spontaneous mobilization than the awareness of the value of the figure of the Pope for our lives. In him, the risen Lord communicates His victory in the time and space of human history.
Without the authoritative testimony of Peter’s Successor, we would be lost, like so many of our contemporaries. Last year’s March 24th audience was the imposing proof of this, and it will forever mark our history. To follow the Pope thus means following the repercussions of His presence. And it demands that we engage reason and freedom.
We were able to touch this with our own hands when the speech that Benedict XVI was to have delivered at the university was made public. In him, that “task to safeguard sensibility to the truth” shines forth. It is his unshakeable testimony which constitutes for us the hope of not succumbing to the danger of the Western world against which he warned, the danger of giving up on “the question of the truth,” for we know well that “if reason... becomes deaf to the great message that comes to it from Christian faith and wisdom, then it withers like a tree whose roots can no longer reach the waters that give it life,” and it surrenders.
This great witness of the Holy Father constitutes an exceptional appeal to each of us to use reason this way. He has offered it to us just as we begin the new School of Community on Fr. Giussani’s book, Is it Possible to Live this Way?, a book whose first pages deal with faith as a “method of knowledge.” We are the first to sense the need for an education that allows us to know reality in-depth, that allows us to recognize the urgency of beginning a journey of knowledge that makes the Mystery familiar to us. Three years after his death, we ask Fr. Giussani to continue to accompany us on the path that he marked out for us.
By following the proposal made to us by the School of Community, the gaze which we admire in the Pope, one that is completely open upon reality, can become ours more and more. Only by traveling down the same path can we truly know, by means of witness, the reality of which the Christian faith speaks.
This passion for the reasonableness of the faith is so familiar to us because Fr. Giussani never cheated us; he encouraged us to go toward truth so that our adhesion to the faith dignified for our nature as men.
United more than ever in this adventure,

(Milan, January 28, 2008)