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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. Mishka the Bear wasna€™t merely a secret identity, but was also part of a composite being with his own sad history. Is the head removed in situations where doing so makes things easiera€”for example, getting into cars, especially sports cars? When the head is taken off for the night (if it is taken off for the night), where is it put? Does the choice to store rather than simply to put the head somewhere suggest the need or a desire to hide the head?
Can a person in a bear suit dissemble, or does the bear suit set a limit to his dissembling?
If he were to remove his bear costume, would we be able to see him anymore or any more clearly? Mishka the Bear is a perfect spy, because he confuses perception by setting our reasoning faculties against themselves. In tradecraft, a composite photo is a dossier of an a€?op,a€? generally of the personal appearance (that is, character assassination) variety performed under different covers. A composite photo op or a€?Warner,a€? is an agent who has lost his identity, his cover and his borders or personal boundaries, so that all of his aliases get confused and run together like watercolors in the rain or countries on a map from some other century where the printed boundaries no longer apply. Mishkaa€™s bear head was getting tight around his real ears, and the heat from his costume was beginning to take its toll, as he recalls mostly older men and women doing on the turnpikes traveled by bus where he sometimes found himself. Mishka was not always a bear, although it is as a bear that he wished to be known so as to divert attention from who and what he really was. The bear suit seemed such an obvious ploy, and yet was accepted without being spoken of, much like the elephant in the room. The thing about persons in bear suits is that they compel you to question all of the given circumstances, to assume and expect nothing.
The perfect spy makes the rest of the world into accomplices who are as perfect as he is, because they cannot tell or cannot tell anyone what is going on.
However, Mishka has to make sure that a world of silent accomplices does not make him fat and lazy.
After countless hours of research on and about this breed, here is my version of how this wonderful breed came to be.In the early 1800a€™s Scotsman Bruce McKinsey moved his family moved from the cold damp climates of Northern Scotland to the Grampian Hills of Central Scotland. Ita€™s a spatially and financially economic way to show the actor off in different types of roles, his different looks, different lights in which he might be cast. According to the official record, upon graduating into the Analogical Unit, Mishka was given his bear identity, costume included, much as was done for all graduates of the Barnum & Bailey Clown College when it was still in operation.
The costume was an accident at first and a design only later as he came more regularly to perform unbearable acts. On the night table alongside the bed for easy access or in the case of a sudden knocking at the door?
Does it suggest that this, above all other parts of the costume, is the most easily or most logically hidden? He is irrationalism performing in realistic settings, chewing the scenery with his presence, where previously we saw no scenery at all. The spy counts upon his accomplices being close-mouthed, which is why the head worn by Mishka the Bear has no functional mouth opening in the first place.
A cover refers to both the costume and the role or functions that disguise the agenta€™s true motive and identity. It is something like running into yourself on the street, or running into someone else in, say, London and thinking ita€™s in Bogota.
The composite photo does not credit the person looking at it with much imagination, nor does it display much imagination on the part of the actor who put it together with some equally unimaginative photographer.
Hemispheres forbade the assignment of clown identities to members of its Analogical Unit, so that B & Ba€™s more avuncular types would not turn up with bullets up their noses and with their intestines wrapped around their necks under their ridiculously high collars because someone mistook them for field agents. But a bear suit on a bus generally means only that a performer has missed the circus train and has had to make his own travel arrangements or else was going off course on some personal errand. When not performing such unspeakable tasks (as most circus acts abetted by the absence of a non-functional mouth opening usually are), Mishka laid low, that is he hibernated, generally in foreign climes or else for shorter terms in safe houses and occasionally, prisons. Why wouldna€™t the world take seriously the unspoken presence of men in bear suits riding silently on buses, standing by roadsides and perhaps fishing objects and missives out of abandoned cars?
In case the person in the bed awakens suddenly in the middle of the night and forgets that he is Mishka the Bear?
After spending time together working the sheep in the fields and watching how McKinseya€™s dogs worked the livestock, Alexander eventually acquired a female Scottish Colley from Bruce and named her Flora. Clowns would not enjoy sporting the ear-to-ear smile furnished courtesy of a Stolypin or a Colombian a€?necktiea€? that would make their wide, garish costume ties seem pale in comparison and the rest of them turn paler still.
You cannot say what you do not know how to say, and so you are reduced to animal grunts and growls, to pre-rational forms of expression of the inarticulatable. The phrase is essentially a reversal of the thought behind the popular adage of being a€?loaded for bear,a€? as in being ready for action. Or how can you do anything but react, since you can no longer act and, even if you could, you dona€™t know how. It synthesizes the conviction that the Christian event, lived in communion, is the foundation of the authentic liberation of man.
The statement a€?Warner was sick of death, but not sick of killinga€? is agency speak for an agent who is a€?wearing the beara€? as opposed to being loaded for it. Communion and Liberation is today present in about seventy countries throughout the world. To get the drop on them, so to speak, which is the language that is spoken here, in the Americasa€”that is, in the America that belongs to those born there and the America that is inhabited by aliens. You are now the Bear Clown, the Nazi Clown Forest Ranger, or the Forest Ranger who is also the Bear, the hunter and the hunted, without knowing which is which or what follows what. Costumed bears stand up for aliens, who always think better of wearing their native costumes in public, except in parades.
Ita€™s 1987 but you think ita€™s 1978, or you always think ita€™s 1978, so you only read books that were published in that year. And because you search mostly in vain for clothes of that precise vintage, you end up wearing something that is both timeless and outside the norm of what clothing is or should be. 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.
Youa€™ve come to assassinate Hitler and rid the world of the Nazi menace, but you get your decades mixed up, and ita€™s 1920 instead of 1940. You tell yourself that youa€™ve arrived early on purpose in order to get a jump on logic, so that you can trick the future into revealing itself to you. There isna€™t any information as to the demise of Alexander, but he was well into his 80's at this time. This pup would come to be known as "Jet", a black pup with a faint line of white up his face, a white chest and socks.
You can touch the bridge of your nose with your tongue and worry that when someone says it looks like your eyes are popping out of your head that they really are popping out of your head. During the six years we had been living in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, we had belonged to St.
Your head is so unusually big that it gets stuck in places where it does not belonga€”in circuses and on stagesa€”and it no longer stays in frame.
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.
Or is it that you have no need of photos because you can no longer carry a wallet in a bear suit that has no pockets? Both theseA lines worked from the head and didn't have the a€?loose eyeda€? working style of the traditional Collies.If you look at the picture of the Basque Sheepherder, taken at the turn of the century, you can see the resemblance of our modern day McNab in the Black and white dog in the back on the right side. 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"!).
Among Scottish flocks he is the pride of Scottish owners, and is valued, both in the Old World and the New, as one of the best aids money can procure. 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.
Here even, in far California, there is one ranch, lying high on the breezy mountains and low in the grassy dells, that for years has relied upon the help given by imported collies and their offspring, and it is of the work these bright dogs do that this article is written.For the history of the collie one must look elsewhere than in a brief magazine sketch.
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. Many wise dogs have journeyed far by land and sea to race over the rugged hills after the nimble sheep, which in these mountain wilds give fleet defiance to the would-be-gatherer. 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).
No one but a real Scotch shepherd can train these dogs to the perfection they attain among Scottish flocks under constant supervision. 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. Descended from long generations of workers the puppies take actively to business, and practice amusing tactics of herding on the farm poultry while still too young to be initiated into the graver cares of life; and at first sight of a band of sheep will usually make some move that denotes the shepherd strain. Literally is it true of the collie, Ye cannot serve two masters ; his allegiance must be given to but one, or the valuable animal becomes worthless for the work that nature and training have given him to do. 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. The breeze is sweet with bloom, and the sunlight falls, a flood of golden glory, over the lavish green of April meadow, as we take the upward trail, a woodland path that rises steeply under the shadow of the Peak, giving but glimpses of the valley home below, and winding through still shadows in the absolute silence of Natures own domains. When we gather together, we can meet him in the flesh.Some people wonder: why do you need anything in addition to parish life? Higher we go, and onward, past an old stone cabin, a picturesque bit of ruin in the lap of spring. 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.
As we come out from the woods with the Peak still above us, send a swift glance northward, where Sanhedrim and the northern mountains still are capped in glittering snow, rising sharply from green valleys to the sunny sky, their sparkling peaks the only hint of winter in all this summerland. 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.
Off he dashes up the hill, makes a wide circle past a dozen ewes, and as they bolt up hill heads them, turns, and deftly drives them down.
The more I follow this one particular charism, the more universal my understanding of so many other aspects of the Church has become. Their lambs lie asleep in the warm sun or frolic together on the hillside, bright bits of movement white against the green. 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.
A motion of the hand directs the alert dogs, and they join the two bands and send them steadily along the trail.
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. Two ewes and a lamb go running to the side.Here, Pete!The dog dashes quickly across a little hill, the bright drops sparkling on his black coat as he passes the sheep and turns them. 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.
Circling in front again, the dog overtakes, turns them, follows, and turns again, and patiently works them along till his troublesome charges are safely among their fellows. If sent to hurry the little flock, he dashes at the hindmost, barking his orders.Here the master whistles Fred to the right. I pray for his work there, and that he may bring even more people into our beautiful friendship! Nothing is visible to him, but off scurries the obedient dog, barking frantically, circles, and stops. 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.
Off he dashes, perhaps fifty feet or so ahead, and dropping to the ground with nose between his paws, he waits till the flock is close upon him ; then he springs up and trots ahead again, and once more quietly waits their coming.Fred!
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€?. The master walks away, and Fred, understanding perfectly that he must keep the flock, swiftly circles round them and brings them to a halt.
Here, alone, he holds them, keeping them closely together while Peter and the master gather the other side of the hill, and return two hours later to find the sheep quietly grazing and Fred lying as quietly watching them.Two ewes wander a little too far. 1989A The beginning and end of Christian morality I've been reading ahead in Is It Possible to Live This Way? Scarcely rising to his feet, the dog slips quietly through the grass beside them, and they turn and slowly rejoin the band, cropping as they go.
Fred trots quietly around his charges, sees that all are safe, then drops down again, watching them ceaselessly with shining eyes, and not a ewe or lamb is missing when the returning master adds his flock.Steadily we climb, through the golden afternoon. 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.
Occasionally shy deer peer through the brush, the warm air is sweet with the breath of bloom, and a distant eagle screams as he sweeps in stately circles over the Peak.
The flocks number in the hundreds as we finally reach the summit, where we are met by the shepherd and Tweed, with another band. 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. In go the dogs, and send the sheep briskly down the trail, while Peter, circling far behind of his own accord, often brings in a stray ewe that has slyly dropped out.Yonder is a place where the whole band broke away years ago, and never have forgotten it, but neither have the dogs. 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. With a fierce challenge the collies vigorously meet the flying band, and force them back to the trail more roughly than we have seen them do yet, in punishment, perhaps, for their presumption and past sins. She has bolted away several times, and given Peter much trouble to bring her in ; but his Scotch is up, as she dashes away again. He springs in before her, and with a dexterous hoist of his body sends her tumbling end over end, which is his own cure for these troublesome bolters, and was never known to fail. As if shot from a cannon, the ewe bangs against him, and over goes Tweed, howling rolling over and over, down the steep hillside, all four feet kicking at once, in angry protest as they come uppermost ; and his chap-fallen expression, as he struggles to his feet and slinks away, shows that Tweed is both a sadder and a wiser dog.
Man finds his dignity in the choice of what he values most in life and from which he expects the greatest satisfaction. Though all are trained alike in a general way, two collies differ as widely in characteristic methods of work as two men,each possessing a distinct individuality of his own.Ah! After much hard running the flock is finally under control, but a bunch of lambs has become separated in the confusion, and after circling helplessly, stampedes in wild disorder. I have understood for a long time that freedom and morality are tightly bound in Father Giussani's thought. Peter tries his wise best to work the foolish little things back, vainly attempting to head them off.but they jump over him, halfa-dozen in succession, ears and tails flapping wildly as they clear his broad back. I have also grasped that his denunciation of moralism was never brought on by a disdain for morality. While the master separates the sheep, let us sit on this sunny hillside and watch the collies as they circle round the running lambs.
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.
They never bark at them as they would at old sheep, but merely follow and slowly check them by degrees. 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. The little things are both obstinate and foolish, and at first pay no attention to the quiet collies that trot patiently round and round, quietly gather them together, and at last stop their wilr1 run. Moralism's answer, which says we have to suppress our desire, do violence to our desire, is useless, even mortally dangerous, to our souls. Slowly, and with marvelous patience they are turned, jumping over each other, then over the dogs, and it seems a hopeless task even to attempt to take them the half-mile to the corral, but in a couple of hours time Fred and Peter come slowly up to the gate with them, not a lamb hurt or missing, and their first acquaintance made with these gentle protectors and friends. 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.
Peter is a favorite, bright even beyond the ordinary collie, his first appearance in the field showing a canine reason. 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.
Then he suddenly spied a huge rock; straight for it he went, and springing into sight upon its top, he stood a moment, one paw uplifted, ears up and nose a-quiver, a pretty picture, gave two quick glances, and was down and with the sheep again, and quietly drove them straight across the field to the hidden gate. 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. Often, till he learned the hills, did he leave the sheep,, and on some high point literally take his bearings, to return to his charge and take them down the better way, justifying his masters assertion that surely the line between reason and instinct is closely drawn in the Scotch collie.
He was a ready match for a certain obstinate old ram, that always fought the dogs and delayed their work ; till at last when sent for the flock Peter went first for this old enemy, and there, nose to nose, both heads bobbing excitedly, he would angrily bark and growl, till the conquered ram at last would make a sudden bolt, and the victorious Peter calmly gather in the flock. A most conscientious dog, his work was done faithfully and well till years disabled him; but Fred, more alert to praise, did best were strangers present, when he abounded in bright ways and brilliant work, done with a comically conscious air of superior excellence. The young man pondered a little, then to the country saddler he went and ordered made from his description little leather shoes. He took to them kindly, like the wise dog he was, wore them gratefully, and after a long days run through flying seed, off would come the shoes, leaving his feet sound and well.
Meekly he would let his shoes be donned, regarding his master quizzically the while, and wear them complacently enough in view, but let him be sent for sheep a little out of sight, a little delay would be noticed, then out from behind some bushy clump or sheltering rock Fred would gayly emerge, with many gambols to divert the eye. 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!
Clyde closely resembles Fred, whose days are past; and till the present puppy, tiny Tweed, grows to working age, Clyde is the mainstay of the gathering. Help fulfills his name on other portions of the large range ; but either are true types of the working collie, willing and faithful helpers till years disable them. 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). Either one is sent for sheep entirely out of sight in a large field, and patiently hunts till he finds them, then brings them in alone ; and Gyps mother, Bessie, brings in the entire flock from her owners small range just as readily as from the field. 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?).
They brought with them their stock dogs, the Fox Shepard, the origin not known, but have survived in Scotland for centuries. 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! McNab returned to the Grampian Hills in Scotland for the sole purpose of getting some of the dogs he was used to working. It is the demand for a humanexperience that can be considered such, because this is my life's mostabsolute necessity.b.
He brought Peter back with him, leaving Fred to have his training completed, and he was later sent to America.
These two dogs were bred to select Shepard females of the Spanish origin, which were brought to this country by the Basque sheepherders, and that cross was called the McNab Shepherds because Mr. 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. He named this pup Jet he was black with a faint white line up his face, a white chest and a small amount of white on his feet.
Some of these dogs will have a wider strip up the face (Bentley Stripe) and a ring around the neck, there are also instances of pups with brown on their face and legs but will still be mostly black. Alexander McNab and his family raised sheep in Scotland, but longed for a warmer climate and enticed by the news of the West, set out across the Atlantic to America.
McNab was not satisfied with the type of working dogs he found locally, and in 1885 he returned to Scotland for the sole purpose of importing the type of dog(s) he had been accustomed to working with.
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.
It was said that these two male dogs were bred to female dogs of Spanish origin, which were brought to this country by the Basque sheep herders. I have searched (and continue to search) to find out the type of dog the Basque may have brought with them to California, and my findings were contradicting.
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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