As you all know by now, Pope Francis has granted our request for an audience in Saint Peter’s Square for the tenth anniversary of Fr. Giussani’s death and the sixtieth anniversary of the beginning of our Movement. The gratitude that invades our life for the Holy Father’s gesture of paternity is such that we do not want to come to the gathering without having prepared our hearts suitably. Therefore, I encourage you to start now, personally and together, to pray that the Holy Spirit prepare us for this great event, so that each of us can be in the best conditions for embracing what he will tell us for the personal and communal journey that awaits us. We have all been educated to recognize the figure of Peter as the foundation of our faith. “The face of that man [Jesus] today is the unity of believers, ... His mysterious Body, also called ‘the people of God,’ guided and guaranteed by a living person, the Bishop of Rome” (Fr. Giussani). We are happy to be able to express to the successor of the Apostle all our devotion and gratitude for the way he supports our faith every day with his continual testimony and through his magisterium, so pertinent to the challenges of the present. Without his figure, which manifests the apostolic succession so eminently, our faith would be destined to succumb among the many interpretations of the Christian fact generated by man. What simplicity is needed to recognize and accept that the life of each of us depends on the bond with a man in whom Christ testifies the perennial truth of today in every historical moment! How disproportionate it seems that everything should have its substance in the bond with the fragility of a single person, chosen for this mission! And yet, our own experience of how life blossoms in the degree to which we follow him, precisely this confirmation constitutes the greatest resource for our unconditional adherence to the Pope, one necessarily expressed in the sincere and humble desire to follow him in all simplicity, so convinced are we that in following him, we follow Christ.
The more I delve into these reflections, the more my thought goes to Fr. Giussani, who educated us to look to the Pope because of his unique importance for our life. As the years pass, so grows our gratitude for the gift of his person, his testimony and his total dedication in accompanying each of us so we may become increasingly mature in the faith. This is how he has drawn us to Christ, making Him ever more fascinating, so He becomes the dearest Presence in our life. The time that passes, the historical circumstances we find ourselves facing, our willingness to be “guided” by Fr. Giussani, make him ever more authoritative in our eyes. Living intensely the reality in which he was immersed, he gave ahead-of-his-time judgments and offered us precious indications for facing questions and scenarios that are before the eyes of all today but were unimaginable before. How could we not spend this tenth anniversary of his death overflowing with gratitude to him for having introduced us to an undreamt of fullness of life! Our sequela of the charism that fascinated us can become increasingly faithful through our sequela of the Pope and the bishops united with him. This is why we are going to Rome. Not for a celebrative encounter, but only out of the desire to learn from Pope Francis how to be Christians in a world in such rapid transformation. I am sure that the Pope’s knowledge of Giussani through his writings will enable him to offer us points of judgment, indications and suggestions consonant to our journey. I beg you to pray to Our Lady every day that each of us may be ready to receive every indication the Pope will give us for living ever more deeply the charism that seized us, so the goal for which the Spirit kindled the charism in Fr. Giussani can be accomplished: making present in every periphery, that is, every sphere of life, the fascination of Christ, His unique attraction, through the materiality of our existence. “Christ draws me completely to Himself, such is His beauty” (Jacopone da Todi). I also ask you to continue praying daily for the Pope, according to his intentions.
With deep friendship,
Fr. Julián Carrón