Traces N.8, September 2009

It’s Not Enough For Us

Perhaps some people will do it after reading this magazine, and it will take time to take the proposal seriously, so as not to let it pass them by quickly while the year takes off again in its normal rhythm of work. But if you have already done so, if you have already gone online ( to access the booklet and glanced through the Introduction, at least, of the Assembly that last month brought together in La Thuile 400 CL responsibles from all over the world, you probably felt at least an echo of the reverberation experienced by those present.
Let’s be honest; we were already somehow familiar with that first “it’s not enough for us” thrown out by Fr. Julián Carrón in the face of the confusion we are living. “The repetition, no matter how right, of a correct and clean discourse is not enough for us.” Christianity is not a question of words, or of principles to apply to life in order to support it. Carrón added, “We’ve repeated the right thing so many times, but this doesn’t keep us on our feet, doesn’t let us fill our lungs and breathe deeply.” In short, it’s not enough for us. “We need to see before us people who in their way of addressing life, in their way of facing reality… introduce a light, a clarity in the midst of the confusion in the way they live their relationships, work, and circumstances.” We need witnesses. Faith lives on this. Whoever has been following Traces, and the educative work it has been trying to propose over the past year, knows very well what we are talking about.

Then immediately came another lunge. “But the witness is not enough. The witness shows us a real, more human possibility of living in the circumstances to which we are called and, for this reason, strikes us; but it’s not enough, because each of us (I, you) needs it to happen in our own life, in the circumstances that we are forced to face; that is, we need to experience personally what the witness shows–so that it may become mine!” Here, many of us were taken aback or, rather, provoked, because it wasn’t a question of a swerve, a change in direction. There was no discontinuity in this move, no jump, as if the insistence on witnesses was to be archived so as to pass on to more “fashionable” words, like judgment, experience, and so on. It is a course to follow (and in the pages of that booklet you will find it all, step by step). For, one thing is clear, if you look at our lives: only in that “mine” is everything contained. Certainty and hope. And if I don’t reach the point of saying “mine,” then I can’t even say “I.” “Because unless this truly becomes experience, we won’t grow in the certainty of the faith.”

For many, this year’s Rimini Meeting was a documentation of this journey, as we tried to explain in the “Close Up” section. Think of what perspective opens up for those who take up their everyday jobs again with this clear step to make, with this work begun of the ongoing comparison of what happens with our hearts, with this deepening of the certainty of His Presence in our lives. Think of the battles waiting for us in the schools, in the workplace, and in the family, or the more and more confused and often barbaric context of public life: the mass media, politics, culture…. Think what happens if, in that context–not a moment before, in abstract, or a fraction of a second after–there, inside reality, we begin to note the inextirpable presence of Him, the risen Lord, who dominates reality, here and now. St. Gregory Nazianzen said, in the phrase dear to Fr. Giussani, “If I were not Yours, my Christ, I would feel like a finished creature.” If only we can manage to say “my”…