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Venite a vedere - Communion and LiberationCommunion and Liberation is an ecclesial movement whose purpose is the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life. William Scrots, King's Painter to Henry VIII and his son Edward VI, was paid a salary twice as large as that of his predecessor, Hans Holbein?
Thomas Stanley was an officer of the Royal Mint at the Tower of London under four monarchs—Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I? Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, a Swiss painter, toured England for twenty years leaving 2,662 sketches in the British Library -- including the only known image of the coronation of Edward VI?
Sir John Luttrell, an English soldier and diplomat under Henry VIII and Edward VI, was the subject of an allegorical portrait (pictured) by Hans Eworth celebrating peace with France and Scotland?
Edward VI of England's 1547 Injunctions mandated that a copy of the English translation of the Paraphrases of Erasmus was to be kept in every parish church?
Parents Across America has sent a new letter to President Obama and Congress as a follow up to our letter of May 5th, in which we expressed our concern about the strategies of the President and Ed Secretary Duncan's Blueprint for Education Reform and the Race to the Top program.After we sent our first letter, Duncan announced that he would mandate parent involvement in planning for schools identified for intervention. I received a copy of a letter from an LSC parent representative at Curtis Elementary School, a "turnaround" school under the management of the Academy for Urban School Leadership.
I just received this e-mail from PURE friend Rick Meza, the current head of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). The New York Times is reporting that, among other novices, Bob Tschannen-Moran, former pastor of Good News Community Church in Rogers Park here in Chicago, has put in his bid for federal school turn-around contracts.He is now a "life coach" based in Williamsburg, Va. To their credit, some House reps don't think taking food stamp money is such a  good idea. Amazingly, now-Chicago City Colleges Chancellor and Board Chairman Gery Chico thinks the community college system should not have to be a "re-do" of K-12 schooling. I guess it just slipped Chico's mind that he is in large part responsible for the math and reading skills of these very students. PURE's second "how-to" book takes a closer look at one of PURE's most effective advocacy campaigns - our fight against the misuse of the Iowa test in Chicago.You can download the book here. We (well, we with a lot of help) have finally mastered technology enough to offer two books about PURE's work in an electronic format.
Local School Council members have fought for access to basic budget and program documents since the first day LSCs existed.
Principals in Chicago, often backed by their administrative supervisors, have been known to refuse to give LSC members even the most basic accountability information.
Watch PURE friend Leonie Haimson guest with the brilliant, ubiquitous Diane Ravitch on Democracy Now. Folks, Tuesday's my birthday so I will not be blogging but enjoying my wonderful family (husband, Mom who is visiting from Phoenix, two sons - my daughter-in-law is away working on a movie -- she's so cool!) and trying not to let school issues raise my blood pressure. This call is for the sake of our children, and I hope that the President responds responsibly. I grew up in the suburbs of Rochester, New York and never knew that Frederick Douglass worked in the city most of his life.
Two months ago, a number of public school parents wrote a letter to Congress and President Obama expressing our concerns about the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Blueprint for Education proposed by U. Today I faxed the Parents Across America letter to every member of Congress as they return from their Independence Day break. What we DON'T want: Charters, turnarounds, and school closures, standardized tests, mayoral control, and privatization. What we DO want: More parent involvement, real multiple assessments, smaller class size, and equal resources for all schools. Today is Dick Durbin Day on Public Schools Action Tuesday (PSAT)!Let's work on getting Illinois Senator Richard Durbin to rethink his support for Race to the Top. Today's Sun-Times print edition reports on what must now be called the Miracle in Englewood.
With this new figure in the Sun-Times, the overall graduation rate at Urban Prep goes down to 57%.
In addition to an excerpt from PURE's letter to President Obama, there are some good responses here in Eliza Krigman's National Journal blog on the Obey amendment issue. Some of you know that I also blog on a nationwide site called the Examiner (subscribe to my blog! Don't bother reserving a space in your heart for someone who doesn't make an effort to stay. If you are one of many of us in the world, and havent found or ever been in what you may consider true love, do not worry because you are not alone.
As we grow older, some of us may notice that people that we thought would be in our lives forever arent there anymore, and as different newcomers enter into our lives the people that we once knew dont seem to be around.
And just as water shouldna€™t infiltrate the hull of a ship, so the world shouldna€™t infiltrate His church. As an example, I have a a€?pocket PCa€? with multiple versions of the Bible, along with Bible dictionaries and inspired commentarya€”I can even listen to the Bible and watch Bible videos with it. Despite the prolif-eration of Bible resources, people today are more biblically illiterate than ever.
The eartha€™s environment radically changed, and subsequently, lifestyles began degenerating. Even if you stood outside on the equator in the middle of a desert underneath a clear blue sky at noon, it would be utterly dark compared to heaven. I like caving, so once while in Virginia, I went to explore a place that advertised itself as the a€?Endless Caverns.a€? Of course, the cave isna€™t endless, but it does go hundreds of feet below ground. How ironic that in the exact spot where Voltaire made that bold prediction sits a Bible warehousea€”churning out Bibles! You might see black and maybe red ink on white paper, or even just pixels on a computer screen, but it is much more than that. Ita€™s real, and ita€™s unlikely that anyone could ever open ita€”with sincere desirea€”and never get something out of it. Though written over a period of 1,600 years by about 40 different authorsa€”on three different continents, speaking four different languagesa€”ita€™s completely harmonious. Sin entered the world because man doubted Goda€™s words; we shouldna€™t make the same mistake today by doubting the accuracy of the Bible, especially with so much proof on its side. I wonder why they deprive themselves of the strength and the pleasure.a€? Thata€™s what happens when you read about God supernaturally intervening in the affairs of men to accomplish His redemptive purposes. These peoplea€™s lives were a total mess, but when they started reading the Bible, they turned around. Maybe you are studying your Bible, but youa€™re just picking up a few crumbs that fall from the childrena€™s table. Just take an hour, once a week, to get together with others of like faith and read the Word of God together. But God has given us a never-failing gyrocompass in His Word, and if we read ita€”with a desire to follow it and know the God who inspired ita€”we will have a sure guide, one that will never let us go astray, and one more powerful and effec-tive that all the nuclear submarines in the world. The voice then said, a€?Tomorrow you will be both glad and sad.a€? So the confused man took a handful of pebbles and stuffed them in his pocket.
It was the Bible that turned me into a Christian, which is a miracle considering that I was from a Jewish family full of cynicism about Christianity.
This will never happen unless you make the decision to reserve regular time with the Lord in study and prayer.
Comparatively uneducated, not a great reader, and faced with a King James Bible, I was nevertheless able to understand what I read. Do not despair of help to understand something of the will and the mind of God as if they are fast locked up from you. It is important to ask, a€?Lord, help me apply the things I have read in your Word to my life.a€? Approaching God with a cynical curiosity will most likely lead to confusion and frustration.
Jesus said, a€?I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them nowa€? (John 16:12). Sometimes we over-spiritualize basic things in the Bible, never letting the words just plainly speak for themselves.
Some people a€?studya€? by jumping from one verse to another, leading them to some flawed doctrinal conclusions. I remember, for example, reading Jesus teaching about honoring your father and mother, but then He mentions a€?Corbin.a€? I thought, a€?Who or what is Corbin?a€? Well, I had to do a little background study to find out that in their culture, children could dedicate their wealth to the temple instead of using it to support their parents in their old age.
There are little nuances of meaning that cana€™t always be exactly translated from one language to another. They can help you immensely in getting the gist of each passage and help you grasp the meaning in ways that will astound and amaze you. For instance, I often get asked about a passage in 1 Corinthians 11 regarding women not cutting their hair and praying with their heads covered. Likewise, running to and fro through the Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture, will work to help you learn for yourself what the truth really is. Proponents of these odd teachings keep going back, again and again, to these few verses until theya€™ve managed to build an enormous following even though they neglect the weight of evidence from hundreds of other verses that, if carefully studied, would contradict the very teaching that they are so passionately promoting. Of course, God can speak to you alone through His Word, but almost without exception people who dona€™t fellowship with other believers and dona€™t bounce their interpretations off stable Christians can come up with some very bizarre ideas. Ita€™s so important now to be personally grounded in the Word because false teachings are only going to multiply as the clock of eartha€™s history winds rapidly down. Peter tells us that a€?[as] newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow therebya€? (1 Peter 2:2). Remember, we can live holy lives when we have His Word written in our hearts (Psalms 119:11).
He wants them to be able to stand before anyone, anywhere, and, as Peter said, a€?be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and feara€? (1 Peter 3:15).
According to research, most charter schools are not "high-performing." Even more disturbing, research shows that African-American and Latino students do worse in Illinois charter schools. Rick has been a staunch advocate for public school children and families, and for Local School Councils.
That's not much time, and the appeal is supposed to go to the Chief Education Officer, a position that has had no person in it since Barbara Eason-Watkins left for Michigan City.
If you don't know who your CAO is, call the CPS switchboard at 773-553-1000 or the Office of P-12 Management at 773-553-2150.Here are some tip sheets for parents on filing the appeal. A student who started preschool in 1995, when Chico was appointed president of the Chicago School Board by Mayor Daley, would have been in fourth grade -- when most of the fundamentals of reading and math should have been laid down -- when Chico left that position in 2001. These books were written in 2004 and 2005 in response to many requests to help start PURE chapters around the country, and from folks who just wanted to know how to create a powerful parent organization. One notorious example was when Mayor Daley's favorite "superstar" principal, Curie High School's former head Jerrylyn Jones, handed out folders with copies of petitions demanding that the LSC renew her contract, instead of the budget and school improvement plan information the LSC had requested as part of her annual evaluation.Other principals refuse to give documents to individual LSC members, and insist on a vote of the full LSC before they provide information, another ridiculous excuse.I recommend that LSC members download and file this article - you may need it!
Your Public Schools Action Tuesday assignment for today, if you choose to accept it, is to give a gift to PURE. I remember back when CEO Duncan was "assigned" to me to make sure I talked to him before going public with any complaints.
While many are saying that a revised (reauthorized) ESEA is unlikely to be voted on before the fall elections, revised language is being hammered out in committee right now, and it may be too make meaningful changes later on in the process. Urban Prep Charter School still has a 100% college-going rate with ALL 95 graduating seniors going to college!Problem is, for the past few weeks, the orgy of happy-weepy media reports about the Urban Prep Miracle was that all 107 graduating seniors were going to college (see, for example, People Magazine, Good Morning America, "Urban Prep Named Person of the Week on ABC World News).  So, since their first self-promotional blitz, they've lost 12 students (the Sun-Times suggests they "transferred") ? I'll let you know if they respond.By the way, the film will be previewed in Chicago on July 21. Missing someone, especially someone that we love dearly but cant be with like we would like to, is a difficult part of life that we all have to deal with. In order for a relationship to be excessively great it is important to find someone that gives you the confidence and support to succeed in life. The trip, dubbed a€?Operation Sunshine,a€? was made possible by a new technological marvel, the USS Nautilus, the worlda€™s first nuclear-powered submarine.
On our long, often-dark journey through these troubling waters, the Bible is as crucial to us as the gyrocompass was to the USS Nautilus. Moreover, the internet offers a broad spectrum of free Bible software and even free electronic Bibles. God spoke to Adam face to face in the garden of Eden, thus Adam received revelation straight from the Creator. Ita€™s so dark here that we cana€™t navigate our way around without clear direction from God. As my tour guide and I were making our way down into the abyss, she said, a€?If you want to know what absolute darkness is a€¦a€? and then she shut off the lights. It is a message that is made of spirit and life with an unex-plainable inherent potency and vitality.
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundancea€? (Isaiah 55:2). On one Pacific island, they eat a pounded root extract called saguaro, and to me it is just so bland. Written by kings and peasants, with a wide spectrum of education in between, it delivers one mes-sage and one voice. For instance, Daniel prophesied the correct sequence and time of the Babylonian fall from power, along with the rise and fall of the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires.
The next morninghe examined the pebbles and discovered that the stones were really precious gems. Ia€™d been taught evolution and believed that the Bible was full of fiction, fantasy, and fables.
The answer is an emphatic a€?no!a€? And I say that because Ia€™m exhibit Aa€”living proof that you dona€™t need to be a great professor of religion to grasp the Word. God was able to speak to me through His Word, even though I didna€™t get everything straight the first time. I have no doubt that if you apply these principles, you too will be able to understand much more, and your life will never be the same.
Sometimes you might read a passage in a book and ask yourself, a€?What did the writer mean by that?a€? Unfortunately, you cana€™t call most authors to ask what they meant.


If we arena€™t walking in the light He has already shone on our path, why should He give us more? Of course, there are many spiritual symbols in Scripture, but when the Bible says, a€?He woke up in the morning,a€? some people might agonize over this phrase, trying to squeeze some spiritual abstract meaning out of a straightforward verse. Again, we need to approach the Word with a humble, willing hearta€”and open to what the Bible says even if what it says isna€™t exactly what we want to hear. So when you read a verse, you should also read a few verses before it and a few verses after it. It was a rite that enabled them to dodge the fifth commandment, because their wealth was now technically Goda€™s property.
Though you dona€™t need to know the original language to be able to understand the Bible, sometimes taking a little time to look up the original meanings of words can be very helpful to enhance comprehension.
You need to look at all the relevant verses dealing with a subject and compare them with each other. Sometimes, wea€™ll hear someone say something like, a€?This is what I think this verse means,a€? or even, a€?I feel in my heart it could mean thisa€? or some other warm fuzzy sentiment.
They become a law unto themselves, forgetting that in the multitude of counsel there is safety (Proverbs 11:14). These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.a€? If you do that, diligently studying the Word of God with other Bible-based followers of Jesus, you will be safe. For many, the superficial, shallow, breezy approach to Bible doctrine will not prepare them to defend their faith against the devila€™s clever deceptions. Ita€™s clear that God can work with you wherever you are at, but growing saints must graduate from milk to meat. Stop delaying and get studying; therea€™s a lot nourishing meat in Goda€™s Word just waiting to be assimilated.
The lead ball had been stopped by his mothera€™s Bible, which Houston carried in his knapsack. There might be a day coming when your Bibles will be taken away and all youa€™re going to have is what youa€™ve stored in your heart. He said, a€?It is written,a€? and we will be able to say the same as long as we are willing to open up the Word now and dive right in.
Parents must also be involved before intervention decisions are made, not only after those decisions are made. He will be a great advocate for the people of Illinois, and PURE will definitely stay in touch with him in his critical new role!!!
We decided it was time to capture some of our best strategies and ideas in one place so that we could share them with others who see the same problems and have the same concerns PURE has. And keep the phone and address of the Attorney General's Public Access Counselor handy - they have become a great resource for LSCs. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for changing this federal education law.The signers and hundreds of other parents sent this letter to their congressional representatives.
Here are a couple of things that many in Congress still seem unaware of:Parents, students and community members join teachers across the nation in opposing the major elements of Race to the TopCharter schools are not working as hyped, and in fact the majority are not performing as well as regular public schools.
Durbin is one of thirteen senators who recently wrote a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee chair Sen.
Under hundreds of feet of ice, the Nautilusa€™ nuclear reactor not only powered the vessel but enabled the crew to have the filtered air and water needed to reach their destination. So in this first section of this short book, I want to instill within you a craving for Scripture and revive your awe of Goda€™s Word. In turn, Adam shared this knowledge with Seth, and Seth passed it down to Lamech, who passed it on to Noah. By the time of Moses, after years of His people being held in bondage in a pagan-infested nation, God saw that is was necessary to codify His messages to humanity. Then, more than 500 years ago, Johann Gutenberg developed the printing press, enabling the mass production of Bibles. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Sure, it might crystallize, but unlike some food preserved in vinegar, honey will never spoil. And Jesus Himself is that Word, and like Him, the Bible is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Towser said, a€?A loving Personality dominates the Bible walking among the trees of the Garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Moreover, in Revelation youa€™ll find reference to Genesis, and in Genesis youa€™ll find a reference to Jesus.
Drug abusers become clean, marriages are restored, and alcohol and gambling addicts are freed. Christ said, a€?I am the bread that came down from heaven.a€? We need to learn to love that bread, morethan the unhealthy food this world has to offer. Whatever you do to increase your time in the Word is going to create a positive blessing for you spiritually. Not only is it a great means of strengthening and fortifying your own soul, but it has tremendous evangelistic potential because youa€™ve got friends and neighbors whom you could bring. He was happy and sada€”happy he had obeyed and picked up some gems, but sad that he had not picked up more. Yet in a cave, all alone, I picked up the Bible and this dynamic, powerful book changed my life. He might even smell it and figuratively wrap himself up in her words of love and encouragement. Our sinful natures make us want to do sinful things, and we might not be that eager to surrender to what the Word of God tells us. Why then build a belief system out of it, especially when no other verse even hints at that subject?
He already has his people out there, sharpening their arguments and twisting Scripture to their ends. So take it with your hands, read with your eyes, store it in your heart, walk it with your feet, tell it with your lips, and live it in your lifea€”starting today! In fact, parents must be involved at the highest levels of decision making, so that "reform" is positive and effective for our children, not ideological and destructive.
If you are a Chase customer, today would be a good day to show your support for public schools by e-mailing Chase with your concerns or comments about their support for charter schools. The web site also offers free online training in the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act, which would be a good choice for your LSC lessons 7-8- or 9. Daniel Inouye opposing this bill, which was formulated by the chair of the House Education committee, Rep. Moreover, unable to surface for direction, they traversed the dangerous waters using a new invention called the gyrocompass. If youa€™ve never understood why we have the Bible, I want to paint a rich picture for you that will inspire you to open the Bible up and dive into its pages.
Though sin had infected the world, Adam and his descendents possessed minds fashioned from the hands of Goda€”more powerful and sophisticated than any supercomputer.
As a result, Moses became Goda€™s first scribe, and Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and probably the book of Job, were written during Mosesa€™ days in the wilderness. And Ephesians 6:17 affirms, a€?the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Goda€?a€”our primary weapon against the enemy. After a little while sitting there in total darkness, I took out my keychain that had a little LED light.
Always a living Person is present speaking, pleading, loving, working and manifesting Himself.a€? When people read Goda€™s Word with their hearts sincerely seeking to hear what the Spirit is saying, it becomes a liv-ing testament from Christ. Likewise, it could be a sign of bad spiritual health if you have no appetite for the bread of life. You might be saying, a€?Doug, I have no appetite for the Bible.a€? Read it anyway, and as you read it, youa€™ll eventually start developing a taste for it and ultimately crave it. The Bible says, a€?Love Me and keep My commandments.a€? You cana€™t obey Jesus if you dona€™t love Him.
The Bible is filled with priceless riches, but unless we open it and mine its pages, we will be without true wealth. And today, even after many years of studying, I am still blessed with new light when I read my Bible. He will search every word, every nuance, reading between the lines just to understand what his beloved was truly saying. Ia€™ve just got to find a verse to prove it.a€? And theya€™ll start reading the Bible not to hear what God says, but searching for proof texts to support their position.
In English, when we hear a€?bottomless pit,a€? we conjure up pictures of a deep well that starts in Kansas and goes straight through the earth coming out in Mongolia.
While these are often very helpful, they are not necessarily inspired.) For centuries people built beautiful houses with only hand tools. Youa€™ve got to be careful about building a doctrinal monument around that one verse, as it might have just been a cultural tradition or custom.
They probably wona€™t hand you a Bible, yet wea€™re going to need to know how to give an answer for what we believe.
You can also write to CEO Jamie Dimon, at JP Morgan Chase, 270 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10017.Here's what I wrote to them. Jesse Jackson of Rainbow Push along with the NAACP and the National Urban League, will motivate the Obama administration tor do more than call out the spin doctors. Anthony House yesterday, opining that a field trip would have gone a long way toward improving my sense of local history. It synthesizes the conviction that the Christian event, lived in communion, is the foundation of the authentic liberation of man. Prior to the Flood, when lives were measured by hundreds of years, humans had a vast capacity to remember virtually everything said, heard, and seen. When I turned it on, it was as though someone had switched on one of those giant spotlights at the grand opening of a new store. Ita€™s like gazing into the electrical room of a skyscraper and seeing thousands of little wires crisscrossing everywhere connecting every function in the building. Wea€™re also told that spiritual things are a€?spiritually discerned.a€? That might seem like common sense, but most people try to read the Bible with their own feelings as the interpreter. The Bible is a love letter from God to us; should we treat it with less heartfelt interest? And if they cana€™t find a supporting verse they generally twist something to make it fita€”like the man who puts together a jigsaw puzzle with a hammer in one hand and scissors in the other.
The internet gives us so many new opportunities for reaching people with our message and our perspective.
Communion and Liberation is today present in about seventy countries throughout the world. That little bit of light made such a tremendous difference when compared to the abject darkness within the bowels of the earth. Soldiers were sent to arrest Jesus, and they came back saying, a€?Never [a] man spake like this mana€? (John 7:46). Likewise, many people have no appetite for Goda€™s Word because they gorge on entertainment junk food. They want the Bible to tell them what they want to hear; they want it to say what they want it to say. My promise is, a€?Youa€™ll find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart.a€™ a€? Hea€™s not very far awaya€”however far away your nearest Bible is. That wona€™t worka€”imposing ourselves on what we read rather than allowing Goda€™s Spirit to impose on us what we need to understand. If you do, I guarantee your hunger will grow and youa€™ll find a little Bible study library growing up in your home or on your computer.
Moreover, Christ is eternity; thus the only book that will make a restful pillow when youa€™re dying is the Bible.
Not so surprising is that the Frederick Douglass museum, just down the block, is still very much a work in progress.Anyway, I loved the tour and especially loved the sculpture, in a little park midway between the Anthony house and the struggling Douglas Center, depicting Susan B. In Ezekiel 3:3, God instructs the prophet, a€?Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. The gathering attracted 4,000 volunteers and 700,000 participants.A The essence of the charism given to Communion and Liberation can be signaled by three factors. During the six years we had been living in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, we had belonged to St. Thomas was the first parish that my husband and I joined as adults, and our three daughters (the twins had not been born yet) had been baptized there by Reverend Jack Farry. To my delight and amazement, Sarah and her assistant were offering Catechesis of the Good Shepherd!
I promptly signed up my second daughter as well and began to spend the sessions in the back of the atrium, lurking. As Sarah and I became better friends, and as I began to fall in love with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Sarah told me that she also belonged to a lay ecclesial movement, called Communion and Liberation.
I remember thinking that CL must be cool, since Sarah was also into CGS, and it was super cool, but aside from hearing about what it meant for her, I wasn't really very interested in it.
But when my husband told me that he needed something more, in order to live his faith more fully, I quickly recommended that he speak to Sarah and her husband about CL. Well, he fell in love right away, and started giving me Father Giussani's books to read and asking me to come to School of Community.
I read the books, and found them very beautiful, if unoriginal (yes, I'm sorry, but my only criticism of Father Giussani was that he wasn't saying "anything new." Now, I think one of the greatest things about him is that he doesn't say "anything new"!). But as for School of Community, I didn't want to give up an evening at home with my children so that I could meet with a bunch of adults to speak about Jesus -- my faith received such a powerful electric charge when I became a mother, and it seemed wrong not to include my children in every aspect of my spiritual journey. When we moved to Ohio three years ago, it was a time to make new friends, and I wanted to meet other people who were following Father Giussani.
Though I still thought that he wasn't saying "anything new," I was hungry for friends who were following the Church: the old, essential, not-at-all new Church. Sometimes, among other Catholics, I feel so disoriented hearing about particular devotions or charisms that seem unfamiliar to me. Father Giussani had the peculiar genius for cutting through all of the "extras" and going straight to the heart of Christianity -- he tirelessly proposed Jesus Christ (much as our current Pope, Benedict XVI does).


What is new about CL is not so much a particular theology, but a way of living out Christianity that is vital, vibrant, and vivifying.
It involves being able to see our Lord, beloved and adored, in the bonds of friendship that exist between and among ordinary, sometimes uninspiring, Christians. What Father Giussani both proposed and also demonstrated in reality is that Christ is not only present as Bread and Wine in the Eucharist, he is also present in the unity that exists in his people -- the Body of Christ. When we gather together, we can meet him in the flesh.Some people wonder: why do you need anything in addition to parish life? It is true that the Eucharist vivifies and enlivens any particular parish community, but what seems to be most difficult for us is to live with an awareness of what the sacraments mean. Without an awareness of what our Baptism means, what our Confirmation means, what our participation in the Eucharist means, we sleepwalk through our lives, and miss so much! God is reaching out toward us, wanting to meet us in all our present moments, but we easily get distracted. We need friends who live this awareness, who are willing to live this awareness along with us.Some people also wonder whether joining a movement narrows our involvement in the Church.
The more I follow this one particular charism, the more universal my understanding of so many other aspects of the Church has become. In fact, being involved with CL has opened me up to the international dimension of the Church, as well as opening my heart to people in my immediate environment who are different from me. The law of the Incarnation always works this way -- Christ comes to me and shows me the whole, in all its universality, through particular circumstances.I would be remiss if I didn't mention Father Vincent. Even though my involvement with CL had become more consistent and serious when we moved to Ohio three years ago, it wasn't until the first Lent retreat we had here in my new town, led by Father Vincent, that I finally let my heart be fully engaged in CL.
I pray for his work there, and that he may bring even more people into our beautiful friendship!
January 26th, 2004 Fr Giussania€™s letter to the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his Pontificate. Panorama, October 30th, 2003 Fr Giussania€™s letter to the Fraternity following the annual pilgrimage to Loreto. June 22nd, 2003 Fr Giussania€™s letter to the Fraternity for the twentieth anniversary of the Pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation. February 22nd, 2002 Fr Giussania€™s testimony as presented at the Pontifical Council for the Laitya€™s Seminar, a€?Ecclesiastical movements and the new communities in the pastoral care of the Bishopsa€?. 1989A The beginning and end of Christian morality I've been reading ahead in Is It Possible to Live This Way? After a long discussion on the true meaning of freedom, Father Giussani writes: "Freedom isn't choice, it's only a possibility to choose because it's imperfect" (p. And then on the next page: Yet carrying out this correct choice demands a clear awareness of the relationship with Christ, of the relationship with destiny. He's near Simon and He says to him, very softly, without the others realizing, He says quietly, 'Simon, do you love me more than these?' This is the culmination of Christian morality: the beginning and the end of Christian morality.
Man finds his dignity in the choice of what he values most in life and from which he expects the greatest satisfaction. I have understood for a long time that freedom and morality are tightly bound in Father Giussani's thought. I have also grasped that his denunciation of moralism was never brought on by a disdain for morality.
And the heart is not "what I like" or "what I want" -- it's the constant thirst for what I'm made for, my destiny, Christ. I can be seduced to imagine that something I want is my destiny -- if I lose sight of the ever-expanding horizon that calls me with an Infinite love. Moralism's answer, which says we have to suppress our desire, do violence to our desire, is useless, even mortally dangerous, to our souls.
It is the solution of a lonely humanity, a humanity that has ceased to listen to the voice that calls each of us by name, a humanity without Christ.
We need to hear Him ask us, "Do you love me?" We need to let that question burn into our hearts every minute of every hour, engage us, draw us through our days.
Because even those who are so blessed to have heard Jesus speak directly to them through metaphysical means, do not hear this question so perfectly and constantly that they can forgo the Eucharist or the people of God, who make up the Church. No, God has willed it that we must turn to one another -- there is no other way -- and remind each other that He asks, He continually asks, "Do you love me?"If you expect your satisfaction from something that can be dust tomorrow, you'll have dust. Do I love them?A  The meaning of tenderness Father Giussani and Enzo PiccininiDuring the summer of 2006, my family and I participated in the CL summer vacation for the Varese (Italy) community that took place in the Dolomites (San Martino di Castrozza). During those very rich days, we heard a talk given by a priest whose name escapes me and who was introduced as the spiritual director for Memores Domini in Italy (or something -- I don't speak Italian! In any case, the theme of his talk was "complaining" ("lamentare" -- which my Italian English teacher friend kept translating into my ear as "moaning" -- luckily I know British English and I know that this word is used as we would use "complaining" in America).
In any case, the very strong theme of his talk was that "lamentare" is a form of violence, the worst kind of violence -- an "ugly" violence ("brutto" means ugly, not "brutal," right?).
Memory - the greatest Christian word I know - that makes presentsomething that happened long ago.
In his daughter [Emmanuel Mounier'sdaughter, Francoise with micro-encephalitis], in the circumstance thateveryone considered to be misfortune, a sign emerged that forced oneto think of the present Mystery of Christ.This is memory. May this start to become normal among us, may it be asign that forces us to think of the Mystery of Christ as present!
It is the demand for a humanexperience that can be considered such, because this is my life's mostabsolute necessity.b. But it is not the complaints that break theheart of a suffering child, it is the complaints that burden the heartand ears of those listening, which render life difficult for thosearound us, and our life becomes a sentence also for others, a life-lament that does not know happiness, and even less, joy.c. But whoever sets up his life as lamentation does not know the grandthing that makes man great: tenderness.
The man who complainsdoes not know tenderness, but vomits onto others what he has insidehim. It was like a sign pointing down a road that I refused to travel because I thought I already knew it and had already been on it.What was different about Father Vincent? When the foreign thought entered my mind that day: "This is for me!", perhaps it was just that having moved to a new town so recently, I was less sure of myself, less comfortable with all the answers I was carrying around inside of me.
What is so weird is that I've spent very little time with this priest, and he's kind of spotty about reading and responding to his emails. I experience it in my daily life, mostly as a result of the profound and moving experience of School of Community this year, but most importantly in the new fraternity group that Marie and I have formed. First he placed a small standing crucifix on the table in front of us.1) He pointed to the crucifix and said, "We do SoC for him -- not for the movement, not because of the movement -- but because of him.
It doesn't depend on anything or anyone else, so we have our freedom, and no one can limit us or our freedom to do it because I have all I need and you have all you need. No, the only one who knows it and gives it as a gift is Christ [points again to the crucifix]. They come because of the charism, because of him [points again to the crucifix], so you should be grateful that he sends them to you, and you should care for them, and be surprised and amazed that they come." "This is the Victory that Conquers the World, Our Faith" "We come to the Fraternity Exercises in order to revisit the things we always tell each other.
We meet all together because there is nothing, normally, that can help the emotion of the heart or the liveliness of perception of our mind, nothing capable of influence, like a tender, motherly, brotherly, friendly push on our will, more than our coming together." (Fr. Giussani)The content of the Spiritual Exercises took our book of the School of Community, Is It Possible to Live this Way? I have so many thoughts about the content, but I want to write about them after all my blogging friends have returned from the exercises, so that perhaps we can have a discussion about them.
Meanwhile, though, there are three very important things that happened for me at these exercises:Many of our friends from the Chicago community were present at these particular exercises, and being face-to-face with them reminded me of my reasons for keeping myself apart from the movement during the years I lived there. I was particularly struck, thinking about what my life would have been if I had dived right into living the proposals of the movement while I was among these people who first introduced me to them. To be specific: it was the sin of pride: I already knew how Christ came to me, I already knew what Christ wanted of me, I already had a history of working out my Christianity on my own and I didn't want anyone to tell me that that history was limited and starved for oxygen because I knew it was beautiful, dammit! To use the CL way of characterizing this attitude, I was reducing the Mystery to my own measure, insisting on making the decisions about how and where and when Christ had something to say to me. What is amazing to me is that I could come to these conclusions based on piety, how I was reading Fr.
But what I was hung up on was the scandal of the appearance of the local Church -- that Christ could manifest himself in these particular people, with all their irritating and unpleasant humanity (sorry, my friends), was just too much for me to digest. How hard it is to understand this distinction until you've lived through the mistake of confusing them (and the consequences of this mistake -- which are loneliness and bitterness).
Being among these people now, I see their beauty -- it is a profound beauty, one that makes me ask, "Who is this man who could cause such a miracle among these particular people?"What a different experience it was for me to go to the exercises with Marie, my fraternity sister! Last year, I went "alone" -- of course, I immediately hooked up with new friends when I went to Minnesota, and I never for a moment felt myself to be alone while I was there, but what I mean was that I did not go with anyone from my local community. During these exercises, Marie and I discussed what we were hearing and witnessing, just as I did with the people I met in Minnesota last year, but I was able to express so much more with her -- the conversations went much deeper and were also much more concrete because we share a history already. There is also a whole new dimension to the content of the exercises for me -- because I know that in our fraternity group I will be wrestling with what Father Carron's lessons mean for Marie, as well as for myself. This brings out facets I never would have considered, and it enriches my life.As I tried to formulate a question for the assembly, and then, as I sought answers to my questions, I discovered that my biggest vulnerability or weakness has to do with an urge to organize or even strategize the Mystery. What was particularly striking about this personal insight is that this is not the first time I've recognized this problem in myself and vowed to overcome it.
Before joining the Fraternity, I never thought of myself as a control freak -- if anything, I felt "organizationally challenged" and desired a little more control and strategy in my life.
But it is not my life that I seem compelled to organize and control, in any case (that's still something I contemplate on the level of "impossible dream") -- it's the way that Christ chooses to show himself to me in my surroundings and in the community he's given me. This topic probably requires its own blog post, so let's just leave it on the level of vague abstraction right now. Untiring Openness, Most Faithful Unity The above photo comes from the Communion and Liberation website and was taken during the March 24, 2007 audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Many diverse things have been happening in my life, lately, but in response to all of them, this phrase, "Untiring Openness, Most Faithful Unity," keep popping into my thoughts. Father Carron, in a letter he wrote to everyone in the movement before the audience, mentioned these words and said that they came from something Fr. I did a search, and didn't find the reference (maybe someone out there knows where this phrase comes from?), but I have been really moved (and corrected!) to consider what it means to be untiringly open and most faithful to unity.I especially appreciate the Italian word apertura, which means openness. It reminds me of the fact that a photograph cannot come into being without allowing light to enter through the aperture. Without this openness, beauty remains a fleeting thing that passes by me without ever moving me, and I have nothing to give, nothing to show, nothing even to say.
During the six years we had been living in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, we had belonged to St.
I remember thinking that CL must be cool, since Sarah was also into CGS, and it was super cool, but aside from hearing about what it meant for her, I wasn't really very interested in it. Well, he fell in love right away, and started giving me Father Giussani's books to read and asking me to come to School of Community. But as for School of Community, I didn't want to give up an evening at home with my children so that I could meet with a bunch of adults to speak about Jesus -- my faith received such a powerful electric charge when I became a mother, and it seemed wrong not to include my children in every aspect of my spiritual journey. Even though my involvement with CL had become more consistent and serious when we moved to Ohio three years ago, it wasn't until the first Lent retreat we had here in my new town, led by Father Vincent, that I finally let my heart be fully engaged in CL. 1989A The beginning and end of Christian morality I've been reading ahead in Is It Possible to Live This Way? I have understood for a long time that freedom and morality are tightly bound in Father Giussani's thought.
Moralism's answer, which says we have to suppress our desire, do violence to our desire, is useless, even mortally dangerous, to our souls. During those very rich days, we heard a talk given by a priest whose name escapes me and who was introduced as the spiritual director for Memores Domini in Italy (or something -- I don't speak Italian! It doesn't depend on anything or anyone else, so we have our freedom, and no one can limit us or our freedom to do it because I have all I need and you have all you need. How hard it is to understand this distinction until you've lived through the mistake of confusing them (and the consequences of this mistake -- which are loneliness and bitterness).
Being among these people now, I see their beauty -- it is a profound beauty, one that makes me ask, "Who is this man who could cause such a miracle among these particular people?"What a different experience it was for me to go to the exercises with Marie, my fraternity sister! There is also a whole new dimension to the content of the exercises for me -- because I know that in our fraternity group I will be wrestling with what Father Carron's lessons mean for Marie, as well as for myself. What was particularly striking about this personal insight is that this is not the first time I've recognized this problem in myself and vowed to overcome it. This topic probably requires its own blog post, so let's just leave it on the level of vague abstraction right now. Word Among Us The Holy Rosary By Luigi Giussani.Sent by the Father- A A greeting at the close of a retreat of the Novices of the Memores Domini.
If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated.
It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence.
These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
This blossoming will not bloom only at the end of time; it has already begun on the dawn of Easter.
The Spirit of Jesus, the Word made flesh, becomes an experience possible for ordinary man, in His power to redeem the whole existence of each person and human history, in the radical change that He produces in the one who encounters Him, and, like John and Andrew, follows Him.



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