Traces N.5, May 2019

A Life that Broadens Life

"Seeking a Path Forward" was the title of the tour through America to present the biography of Fr. Giussani, which concluded a little over a month ago. If you think about it, this title presents the main question facing all of us no matter our circumstances or where we live: finding a road to carry us forward, following a path. In other words, we need to run into something that allows us to see our lives as a journey designed to help us grow and become more human, not as a random series of circumstances or disjointed problems to solve, one after another, especially when the twists and snags get more challenging–God only knows all the varied ways the journey of life can become arduous.

All that we have described in the following pages fits this quest perfectly. We see an experience of life and of faith that offers itself as a “trustworthy companionship for those seeking a way forward,” as you will read in the travelogue of Alberto Savorana, the author of the biography and a witness, in the course of the barrage of events he saw firsthand throughout the US, to dozens of encounters with people who, having discovered a certain way of living Christianity–Fr. Giussani’s charism–say they found precisely this: a help for their lives, a daily companionship at work, in their relationships with their kids and with their friends, in the problems they face, etc. It is an unexpected newness in a context in which, too often, instead of being viewed as a life, Christianity is reduced to a cultural position or a set of values and ethical norms–no matter how correct–to be defended in the face of mounting challenges. This is even more true now as the Church faces the trial of an unprecedented crisis of faith resulting from the drama of clerical abuse.

This is identical to what happened in a different way in South America. There, the circumstances, as well as the challenges, are different (just think of the dramatic suffering in Venezuela), but the problem, deep down, is the same for everyone: how to live a full life, one that is truly human. There too, at about the same time (the occasion was the assembly for local CL leaders with Fr. Julián Carrón), a series of encounters and occurrences took place that bear witness to that same vivacity and relevance that can be found in a certain way of living the faith within the concrete and profound needs we all share no matter where we live. Christianity, as Fr. Giussani always demonstrated, is an event; it is a life that broadens life. Today–by the grace of God–people continue to encounter that life and find within it a road for themselves. It is a gift we receive and certainly not something that is based on our merit. How grateful we are to be able to share it with everyone in our world today!