Impromptu Remarks of Greetings

Notes from Luigi Giussani’s final address to the International Assembly of Communion and Liberation leaders La Thuile, August 30, 2000.
Luigi Giussani

The charism is a story, not a person; it is a story, and can be summed up in the power of a person: Jesus of Nazareth.
I hope the Lord repays you for the effort you make on his behalf, that He repays you already in this life, in the piece of world that you will live.
If there is an ideal, an ideal translation of the truth that we try to love devotedly and to serve in this world, I would like to indicate Father Jerry as the point where this story has suddenly reached an acme, a pinnacle, a summit. In his life, he has already witnessed the Lord in the most powerful expression of his divine force. In the simplicity and brevity of Father Jerry’s talk, I have been renewed, I have felt myself to be renewed. I hope this happens to each of you as well: whoever is married, whoever has a wife or husband or children, whoever has dedicated him or herself to the Lord in virginity through daily sacrifice, in faithfulness to the tasks which each of us has assumed before the world… may each of you have this supreme joy, which can exist and resist even in the midst of all kinds of turbulence, in the limits of being human.
The charism is a story, every charism is a story. But the charism of charisms, which is Christ Jesus, is spread through all the world, in all time, by the details that the Lord infuses and that He takes for granted as a result already attained, a definition already made, already existing, of what was–for all men, in all moments of life, in whatever circumstances of existence–an ideal of desire and of fulfillment.
Therefore, we cannot ever be separated again, not even by death. Calmly and in profound peace, our thoughts go to our friends who have already crossed the last threshold of life. In this moment I am thinking (allow me to cite this detail, because he was very important in my life, but I could say the same about every other name of our companions who have already gone beyond the end of the contingent path, of contingent humanity) of Enzo Piccinini, who last year was among us and now is within us, he is among us and within us.
May the Blessed Virgin accompany you with her memory–Jesu dulcis memoria–because the memory of the Virgin Mary, His mother, is the source that defines the essence of our memory.
Jesu dulcis memoria… sed super mel et omnia, ejus dulcis praesentia. But above everything, above all things, is the sweetness of His presence. This becomes for us the vehicle that leads us into the beauty, goodness, strength of His mystery: God made man, with a name listed in public records.
My wish for you is that nothing in the world can come to be such an obstacle that it becomes legitimate or inevitable to suspend this memory of Christ, who is the life of the world, because He is the life of the world, He is the life of the world!
I hope that you may be like Father Jerry, simply able to feel, to see the face, the presence of Jesus every minute of your life. The simplicity with which Father Jerry–at his no longer young, very young age–has adhered and has known how to respond.
Thank you! Forgive me, but my intrusion here has not been a presumptuous one. It would have been infuriating, humanly speaking, it would have been infuriating not to have been able to come greet you one-by-one, each of you, one-by-one, because we are bound to each one in companionship, to every other person in this companionship, and this inexorably, inevitably. Nothing can separate us from each other, like one part of the body is inseparable from the rest.
May the Lord bless what has begun in you; may He bless and make it last for all eternity, because eternity begins in your union here, now.
Thanks, and ciao!