The Touch of God

Notes from Luigi Giussani’s concluding address at the Spiritual Retreat of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation Rimini, May 20, 2001.

Luigi Giussani

I was able to follow your progress in the manner the Lord has permitted me, more limited and laborious than before. But everything is a progress of God in our lives. In any case, this is the only formula for making our hearts morally, also morally ready and ever able to suffer, for the way God made us.
But, so as not to keep you there too long, I say today that there is only one thing that we cannot miss–let’s not drop it as a possibility–we must pray in the literal sense of the term. In other words, we must beseech Him to whom we belong, that He may not have called us in vain.
Every day we are called, every hour we are called, every minute, every instant we are called. For what qualifies the “I,” what defines the “I” in the face of all the other human attitudes, what qualifies the “I” is precisely the consciousness that it is relationship with the Infinite. For instance, a woman is sewing, she is sewing or cooking in the kitchen, and she is relationship with the Infinite. What characterizes man is this paradoxical dimension between the little that he is, the very little that he is, the “fuse” that he is, between a littleness that he is and the constitutive relationship, a constitutive relationship which is the relationship with God.
But now I don’t want to take up again things that we have already taken up together. I want simply to say: let us pray, let us pray, because this is something we can do even while we are doing any other task. It is an intention, it opens us to an intention, just as on a rainy day the sun breaks through the clouds, pierces the clouds and throws light, it makes us throw light on everything we are and do.
I have applied in recent times, I have discovered in recent times, with all my heart, deeply moved, the “ejaculatory” formula, so to speak, the most complete formula that can be conceived from the Christian point of view: “Come, Holy Spirit. Come through Our Lady.” Veni Sancte Spiritus. Veni per Mariam. Repeat this formula every day, at all hours, when the Lord chooses you to make Himself heard. It is a moment in which everything is reconnected and reconquered, everything is mysteriously made one beautiful thing.
Veni Sancte Spiritus, because Spiritus est Dominus, Spiritus est Deus (God is Spirit, the Spirit is God). The Spirit is God, to Whom we belong. The Spirit is consciousness of self; and if this is applied properly in us it makes us understand; man understands that he belongs, that he is belonging to an Other. It is belonging to a Presence, to a Presence here too, that is mysterious (mysterious because it is not ours, this Presence, in a certain sense it is not; because if it comes from another source, it is not from our source).
“Come, Holy Spirit” into my every action, “Come, Holy Spirit” into my every moment.
Veni per Mariam, and this is precisely… Our Lady is precisely the most powerfully human and persuasive touch that God has made toward His acting on man.
Veni per Mariam. Think of the evolution of this woman and her way of lasting in history! But obviously the foundation of her belonging is from God, is in God. Yet, on the other hand, Mary is the totality of man, the totality of man who is exalted to the point of making her become, of rendering her the necessary instrument for relationship with God (necessary, not in the immediate sense of the term, but in the ultimate sense of the term). Per Mariam, because she did not make a single mistake; God did not allow her to be the object of attack by the demon opposed to the truth. Virgin pure and beautiful: beauty is the sign, and she is as it were a sacramental sign of the beauty for which God made the world.
So then, happy to have left you a reminder of this ejaculatory, this insurgent, always insurgent glory of our Christian life, may the Veni Sancte Spiritus. Veni per Mariam be a support; may it reveal itself to be a psychologically clear support, because profoundly permeated with roots, at the origins of human nature.
My wish for you is that this ejaculatory, that this surge of sincerity and simplicity, may daily find in your hearts space to be a recall to our human reality to be changed in accordance with that ultimate order for which we were made. Destiny is this, and this is what we are missing so many times, but it never ceases for an instant. God cannot cease for even an instant to be the wellspring of our happiness, of our fruitfulness.