Traces N.3, March 2010

The Thread

What freedom we breathe when we find out that life has unity! We can live without fractures (which eventually become fissures) in our daily lives, without separating facts from aspirations, desires from circumstances, faith from reality... Life is one, it can be one. It is what we most desire. And those who are following the path traced out by Fr. Giussani in Is It Possible to Live this Way? (the book thousands of CL members and sympathizers are working on daily) are, little by little, discovering the source of this unity: charity. Not charitable “gestures,” not the good deeds we happen to do, but charity, God’s very nature, His gift of self to man, moved, in order that man may have being. “Why does God dedicate Himself to me?” asks Fr. Giussani. “Why does He give Himself to me, in creating me, giving me being, that is, Himself? Moreover, why does He become man and give Himself to me to make me innocent once again… and die for me?”
And then he gives the answer, with that verse from Jeremiah that literally causes shivers: “With an eternal love I have loved you, for this I have attracted you to Me, having pity on your nothingness.”
The root of our life is this pity on our nothingness, this initiative of God who makes our being well up and engages all of our actions, because the whole of life becomes the occasion for responding to this overflow of charity. A response of gratitude to God’s being moved is the opposite of passivity.

This is liberation. There is a thread that tightly binds all circumstances, and we need not struggle to weave it together ourselves in order to connect all the pieces. All we need to do is find it, discover it in every corner as the wellspring of our own lives, without worrying about stitching together faith, reality, our work, and our relationships with a discourse.
That gift of God already contains everything. “Without Me, you can do nothing.” No longer is it an abyss to overcome through our efforts, but a Presence to recognize, an overabundance of grace to give in to. And from there everything can, finally, have a starting point: our way of working, our way of looking at people… everything.
Many stories presented in this issue are a testimony of this–as in that of a man from the Ivory Coast who devotes himself to the care of the mentally ill people of his country and a doctor in Haiti who brought, in addition to medicine, the reason to start living again. We hear of this also in the letters, the text by Benedict XVI, and many other testimonies.
This is the verification of the faith, that is the discovery, within experience, of the strength of that thread. This is the great challenge of this month. It would be a shame to miss out on it.