Traces N.6, June 2009

A Real Celebration

Many people had already felt their hearts jump for joy as they heard those words, “Only He is able to fulfill this desire. This is why we must celebrate Christ, that Christ exists!” Then the work began, studying and trying to understand the text of the Spiritual Exercises of CL.
The lessons, the assembly, produced the same emotion on reading Fr. Carrón’s words again: “In the end, if the criterion is only what I want and what I like, Christ becomes a thought that I want and like more or less; He is not the One who makes it possible for me to have that correspondence that Father Giussani spoke about, the only true correspondence, that which is impossible for man if he doesn’t find Him.
This is why we need to celebrate Christ, to rejoice in Christ.” And again, “Our heart is this desire, but we are limited and everything we do is small, limited, incapable of satisfying this desire for the infinite. And so either Christ exists (One who comes from outside and fills our hearts), or the only thing to do is weep, because what we desire does not exist.
This is why only he who understands the infinite nature of desire is able to celebrate Christ–someone like Leopardi, or Saint Augustine, or the Samaritan woman.”

Celebrate Christ, because He exists, and He responds to our heart. “If we do not become aware of this, we cannot understand what a grace we have received in encountering Christ; we will not be astounded that Someone has taken pity on our nothingness and has given us that absolutely unexpected grace that none of us deserves and that so many people gropingly seek. We have received this grace, but it is often as if we had not received it.”
This is all too true, so much so that we feel uneasy as soon as we realize it. We have maybe met Christ, been embraced by His companionship, and even have Him before us continually in people who, from time to time, are His presence for us in space and time, in flesh and blood, yet we don’t for a moment think of celebrating Him.

But this is exactly God’s method: Jesus Christ Himself. Since we have Him, “you no longer lack any gift of grace,” as St. Paul said. All we need is for our heart to keep beating, for our humanity not to be anesthetized, for life to become just this: an ongoing gladness, an ongoing correspondence with an infinite Presence, as deep and wide as our infinite desire; and a way, a method, because the beauty of it is that every instant of life can become a celebration.
Every circumstance, life and family, labor and politics, washing the dishes, or even a flyer you offer to a friend (as some did during the recent European election campaign)–all these are opportunities for becoming aware of His presence, to celebrate Christ, and us with Him.