May Our Lady Force Us to Make Our Existence Coincide with Our Being

Notes from two talks at the Spiritual Exercises of Memores Domini (La Thuile, Italy, August 6, 2004) and of the Novices of Memores Domini (August 9, 2004).
Luigi Giussani

If something remains of what has reached us–being in our eyes and love in our hearts–on what condition have we saved it? On what condition has this salvation, this continuity, this being, been saved? Have we saved anything of our being and of our life?
The preacher mentioned it just now, when he spoke briefly about the subject of everything, about what has been destined to be the subject of everything…
Being is the subject of everything.
If something is saved, it is because something, at least, of what has been recognized is, exists, and therefore is contemplated and loved: this shock that, at a certain moment, touched the whole heritage of our enjoyment, of our hyperbole, of our inability–that inability for which nothing exists anymore that is true; and it is not true, not because we don’t understand it, but because it’s like a risk we feel continually. Again and again, in the newspapers, we see atrocities and wars, with no hope of recovery. And we ourselves at first have been bogged down, stuck; we felt that being according to all the shores, the horizons, the years, and time… But the link is Christ. Christ is the link that what has happened has forged with other people, the link that some felt tormentingly slipping over themselves.
In short, it’s this word, this is the word, with all it implies, sliding into the huge, mysterious sea of time and space. We can say all the things that are born while we feel certain things, while we feel the miracle of the mystery of being, in terms in which hidden harmonies or unbearable pastimes are established for everyone.
We must pursue this fire, we have to run after this exceptional, strange fire. Otherwise, who are our friends, who are our companions, who are our loves, who are our hates, who are the impossible hurricanes in silence or in despair? They are like the many things that yesterday were there and now escape me.
We have to get used to carrying out what we were made for. Because we can’t have a rule without the crucifixion of the rule, which makes our heart the center of time and space, of the world and of history. This is the condition; doing this is the inevitable condition for understanding, for feeling a hand on our shoulder or around our shoulders, for understanding what this being of ours is like, this being that cuts corners, out of either despair or presumption.
We have to get used to this being and accept it. They are two words that express it negatively, but we have to remember them every day, otherwise we don’t know where to take up our position as persons, as characters, in that last, weary, desperate effort to make something that is called “I.”
But, just think: there is a woman in whom all this happened–it began with her! There is a woman, a mother. Mother, because the word “mother” incarnates totally; it is an abyss that wholly makes us sense the presence of something that is. “Our Lady.” In a few weeks time, in Loreto, we will be able to “exhume” traces of all this that we have felt secretly, angrily, or patiently, or without any expectation. This word: Our Lady. Who knows, who knows when she went out, when she walked through the streets, when she went shopping for something to serve. This is the word that begins our input, our option for Being, for Being! This is the word: Our Lady. Let’s say a “Hail Mary” to Our Lady so that she help us, force us to make our existence coincide with our being. Ave Maria…
(To the Memores Domini)
Carrón, I think our faces retell to you, offer you, the finest thing, the most fascinating thing, the most creative thing, the most companionable thing to life that can be retold. You repeated it persuasively with a power–in a way our weakness would never be able to express it–filled with your embrace and through you, the embrace of those who are Christ, of what is Christ.
So it’s not up to me to add more words, but to disturb that indifference in the bottom of our heart with which, normally, we make every instant of prayer a mysterious vacuum–mysterious, yes, but a vacuum–instead of a fullness of being.
It’s the finest meditation I have found to offer the clenched teeth of my heart, the magnificent “impudence” with which, on repeating the phrases you used–there is nothing that needs to be changed or left out–our eyes penetrate, penetrate with a cunning, with a rediscovery. Marco, I can see you, I’m watching you! You cannot refute even one word of my thanks, and of my repetition before what has been said, as before the eternal, this repetition before the eternal. This repetition before the eternal!
It’s just as well that we have time to repeat what has echoed in our heart, to tell each other once more what has resounded in our mind; to repeat to each other these words we have heard today, on the same wavelength, in tune with the heart, with destiny, with a destiny to which we have been tied, for which our mothers bore us! May we repeat it today, this afternoon, this evening, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, with an echo that may find correspondence every hour of our life, in the immense valley of our heart.
Thanks. Now, you have to admit that it was clever of me to choose him. The first to add his thanks to yours was Vittadini, who telephoned me before leaving and before we started! Thanks, brother, for following us, because the words you repeated told us this, that you will follow us on our journey.
(To the Novices of Memores Domini)