Traces N.8, September 2010

You, Now

We took our leave before the summer, laying the accent on a word that Benedict XVI–and along with him, the force of reality–has continually recalled us to: “conversion,” the need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ. Now, in September, we find ourselves rich in experiences that have intensified that invitation. Small facts, perhaps; people and moments in their lives (encounters, conversations, episodes) that have marked our days so much, opening them up, all at once, to an unexpected density; or more imposing facts, those which in some way force us to admit another measure: the Rimini Meeting, for example–a week full of events and witnesses linked to the theme of the heart and what responds to it. After this, there was also the CL International Responsibles’ Meeting in La Thuile, almost 500 people from all over the world spurred on by Fr. Julián Carrón to intensify a work that has been in progress for some time, since that question of Nicodemus which, at the Spiritual Exercises of the Fraternity in spring, opened up a breech: “Can a man be born again when he is old?”
There is the Pope’s message for World Youth Day 2011, too, dated August 6th, but presented just a couple of weeks ago (see page 50). Those who had been in Rimini were struck by the first words–“Men and women were created for something great, for infinity”–which seem to take up again and stress the theme of the Meeting. But if you read the message attentively, you find passages that complete an ideal argument. The Pope says this clearly, taking off from the theme of the Youth Day (which is a quote from the letter to the Colossians: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” ): “Christian faith is not only a matter of believing that certain things are true, but above all a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an encounter with the Son of God that gives new energy to the whole of our existence.” And, “It is Christ Himself who takes the initiative to plant, build up, and confirm the faithful.”

The texts of the International Assembly will be published online, so we can all follow the path indicated by the witnesses, the lessons, and the final synthesis. It is impossible not to find the echo of this “initiative of Christ,” of this “personal relationship,” right from the Introduction. “The truth is not something abstract, but this Love that has leaned over our nothingness […] this pity for our nothingness.” And “what personal movement is needed! We need the pity that can generate this personal movement and that can find this readiness in us. This is our responsibility: to convert our ‘I’ to the Event present, that is, to the Love that has leaned over me.” We need a Love that is present now, contemporaneous to me now, before any initiative of mine, because He happens how He wants and when He wants. But it needs my “yes” and my memory for me to acknowledge now that I belong to Him, and for me to change.
It would be hard to find a more fitting key than this for reading and understanding what happened in the past weeks (documented in the following pages, starting with the Meeting). It is an Event that is present in every event, and contemporary. But it is also difficult to think of the coming days, the “social year” that is beginning–school, work, commitments, everything–without an unexpected gladness arising, a promise of a certain good, a clear road. It is all in that now, and there is no now in which we cannot say “You” to Christ.