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I originally put these memories on paper to share with my two sons when they become mature enough to comprehend more fully the events described. As long as I live, I will never forget my secretary, Kathy informing me on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, that an airplane had just struck one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. That moment had an exceptional impact on me, as my nearly seven and nearly four and a half year old sons and I had been studying skyscraper history and construction for the past several months. I ran out to the lobby of my office building, where there was a television and watched in horror as the black smoke billowed out of gaping holes in Tower 1. My heart sank as any doubts about this being a terrorist attack went up in the very smoke that I was now horrifiedly watching along with my colleagues. I resumed seeing the shocked patients in my office, when my secretary informed me that one of the Towers (Tower 2) had just fallen. My mind was now miles away from my office, with those innocent victims of the ultimate in hate. I called both of my hospitals, Manhattan, Eye, Ear and Throat and New York-Presbyterian to learn that their emergency rooms had a€?adequate staffing for the time beinga€?.
I now knew that if I were to make a significant contribution to the relief effort, I had to get a slit lamp downtown to treat the rescuers and victims with eye problems on-site. I called the assistant administrator at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Craig Ugoretz, who combed the building and found the one slit lamp microscope that was not bolted to a floor-mounted stand. Not knowing when my next meal would be, or when I would return home, I grabbed a quick bite in a local restaurant.
When I arrived at the hospital, the slit lamp was in the lobby, waiting for me at the security desk.
On our way it was suggested that I first stop at One Police Plaza to treat the eyes of injured police officers. The police officers that I cared for were still so debris-laden, that their uniforms appeared more khaki than blue from the concrete dust and ash. On the first day alone, I had the honor of caring for the eyes of more than one hundred heroes in every sense of the word.
Fortunately, most of the eye injuries were not severe, but were nonetheless incapacitating. During the night, when the steady flow of the injured slowed to a trickle I walked into the Command and Control Center next door to try to learn what was going on outside this fortress. Still later when the flow of injured officers stopped, I wanted to take the slit-lamp to a€?Ground Zeroa€? itself to care for injured members of the other uniformed services. I went uptown during the night for a few hours to check on my family, clean up and possibly get a nap to prepare for the next day.
It wasna€™t until my second day downtown, during a break, that I first opened the blinds of my improvised emergency room at One Police Plaza to discover that the windows faced out over the devastation. After my final visit to One Police Plaza to render follow-up care on September 20th, I was escorted to a€?the sitea€? by Sergeant Giuzio from the Office of the Chief of Police. As we went through multiple checkpoints, I began to see large groups of rescue workers walking through the streets. We walked the blocks of lower Manhattan, through several more checkpoints, to an NYPD a€?staging areaa€?. The road on which we were walking (West Street), just days before, was under high piles of debris, left by the Towersa€™ collapses. We were now standing adjacent to a€?Ground Zeroa€? on West Street between Building 6 and the World Financial Center.
While I was transfixed by the overwhelming spectacle of this tragedy, the sergeant asked me to stay where I was as he walked up to a tall thin man. As we walked around the corner to the Hudson River side of the World Financial Center both the lights and the clatter of the rescue work faded, somewhat.
Going down Albany Street, we passed a restaurant, where people must have been sitting until the windows were blown in by falling debris. As we walked onward toward the site of the Tower 7 collapse, there were many tents and tables set up to provide the workers with the essentials of life during their mission. We passed buildings that looked as if they had been spray-painted gray because of their coating of concrete dust. After the address we said farewell, feeling a sense of comradeship, which was disproportionate to the time we spent together. As we approached Liberty Street we saw a large group of rescue workers gathered under one of many gasoline-powered floodlights. Taking Douglasa€™ design from concept stage to a scale model rendered in Plexiglas became a year-long father and son project.
Victimsa€™ names are an entirely appropriate means of remembering the dead in all memorials.
It must be noted that there were no recovered or identifiable remains belonging to over one thousand victims of the World Trade Center tragedy.
Albeit not universally praised for their architecture, the Twin Towers were an integral part of New York City, which no longer grace our skyline. Both the names of the victims and a reincarnation of the World Trade Center icons could be represented simultaneously by the memorial, as there is no fundamental incompatibility between memorializing both human and material loss. Relics and rubble from the disaster site represent significant and tangible ties to the actual tragic event and location.A  Relics of the disaster should not solely be housed in a museum or off-site (as they are now) in an airplane hangar. The design evolved into a pair of transparent towers with rectangular areas missing where the airplane impacts occurred, containing standing faA§ade relics inside one Tower and the recovered American flag inside the other. After studying the photo for pensively for several minutes, he said, a€?You have to do something with thisa€?. Within a few weeks, I received not just one, but two letters from the General Counsel of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (the organization empowered with the rebuilding of the Ground Zero area).
Not knowing where to start, I casually asked an architect, Mark Mascheroni, who has a son at my sonsa€™ school, how much a set of architectural renderings might cost. We met face to face for only the second and final time at a very busy architectural printing shop, Esteban & Co at 139 West 31 Street.
As I handed Mansion a check for his work, I asked him to sign the official LMDC release, required for all submission team members. One appropriately placed 3-dimensional rectangular space, devoid of its glass faA§ade, representing the a€?impact voida€? in each Tower (floors 93-98 of the North Tower and floors 78-84 of the South Tower) symbolize the loss from, and location of, the damage from each initial airplane impact. The difference between life and death for thousands of people inside the Twin Towers was the ability or inability to find an intact stairway by which to escape. Each of the two Memorial towers has a footprint of 40 x 40 ft., and is situated in the space in between the two 200 x 200 ft. The glass panels making up the curtain-walls are inscribed with each victima€™s name, date of birth, occupation, nationality and, when from a uniformed service, the appropriate shield (FDNY, EMS, NYPD, PAPD) (Image 1, Section E). The glass curtain wall is supported by an internal, open stainless steel frame, reminiscent of the Twin Towersa€™ metal infrastructure whose melting under the intense heat of the jet fuel fires resulted in the Towersa€™ ultimate collapse. 1)The inspiring American flag recovered from the World Trade Center rubble that was solemnly raised by rescuers.
A patient of mine, who saw the submission to the contest, was so impressed with Dougiea€™s concept that she arranged a meeting with the world-renowned architect, A. William Stratas, a website developer from Toronto created a wonderful website for contestants to share news of the competition and to discuss their personal experiences. Stratas and I began to communicate on a regular basis and became long-distance comrades in architecture. After office hours, I took Dougie to the party followed by a trip to the exhibition of the eight finalists at the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center. After talking to Dougie for a while, she informed me that the man standing directly behind me was Kevin Rampe, the President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. At the Forum, Dougie was interviewed by Georgett Roberts of the New York Post and by Alan Feuer of the New York Times. After the photo session and the presentation of the Certificate of Merit to Doug, we were escorted to a locked room called a€?The Family Rooma€?.
Doug was introduced to the winner, Michael Arad, and his associate, Peter Walker, in a conference room.
Aptly stated about the competitors by New York Times reporter Julie Iovine was, a€?Working on their own initiative and against lousy odds, determined to express themselves and to keep memory alive, they spent countless thousands of hours conceiving, drafting, revising and explaining their visionsa€?. As an ophthalmic surgeon, I expressed my personal need to do something constructive in the aftermath of the WTC tragedy by obtaining a portable slit lamp microscope and using it to treat the eye injuries of rescue workers at Ground Zero. I reflected on how many renowned architects begin their creative processes with Lego blocks (or equivalents), or perhaps with rough sketches on cocktail napkins. I discussed my feelings about these comments with a patient, who is an editor of the New York Times.
Our teama€™s memorial design now proudly resides on the LMDC website along with the other 5200 entries. One final note is that, several years later, a patient came into my office and informed me that he had just been hired as the General Counsel of an insurance company in Philadelphia, by, of all people, Kevin Rampe.
As I wrote in the beginning, I originally put these memories on paper to share with my two sons when they become mature enough to comprehend more fully the events that I have just described. One of the most difficult things that I have ever been called upon to do, was to address the Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians on my experiences and on emergency preparedness, only a few months after the disaster, on December 7, 2001. I think about the tragedy every day, and particularly my personal memories of experiences that have changed the course of history. A total of 5,193 World Trade Center memorial proposals have been given the heave-ho, but the people who created them aren't slinking quietly back to their day jobs. On December 6, hundreds of teachers, architects, and engineers that didn't make it will gather at New York University to display their work and discuss their discarded ideas. Another participant, Barry Belgorod, plans to bring his 6-year-old son, Doug, to the all-day event. William Stratas, the Canadian Web developer organizing the forum, said the event wouldn't be a rally or a session dedicated to critiquing the eight designs that made it past the 13-member jury. Only one session is dedicated to discussing the finalist designs, and he said he's anticipating some thoughtful but harsh critique. December 7, 2003 -- Some 60 people, including a 6-year-old boy, who were among the 5,000 entrants who submitted Ground Zero memorial designs, and lost, met in lower Manhattan yesterday to protest the closed-door judging process that produced the eight finalist proposals. Contestant Douglas Belgorod, 6, of Manhattan said he used his Lego building set to construct the two towers and had pulled out the blocks to leave a space where the hijacked planes hit.
Brian McConnell, 33, an engineer from San Francisco, said he was glad he made the effort to see other people's work.
New York heart surgeon Robert Jarvik, 57, said the finalists lacked passion and imagination. The losers -- no, not the losers, the ones who did not win -- stood around doing what they had done for many months online, which is to say they thought, talked, argued, vented, ranted, complained and basically obsessed to the point of meltdown over how to build the best possible World Trade Center memorial.
Naturally, there was a bit of surprise when Adrienne Austermann, who goes by the name of Trinity online, turned out to be a woman since many people thought she was a man, and there was more than pleasant applause when Eric Gibbons, also known as Lovsart, took his own turn at the lectern since people really liked the absence of public benches in his plan, benches that might encourage loiterers to hang out eating hot dogs -- not exactly what Mr. All in all, it was a remarkably diverse group, which had among its ranks a financial analyst, an engineer, a graphic designer, a schoolteacher, a sculptor, a union electrician, an ophthalmologist and his 6-year-old boy, and Robert Jarvick, the inventor of the artificial heart.


There was also a very simple replica of the towers done in glass that was conceived by Dougie Belgorod, the 6-year-old, who constructed the initial model out of Legoes. At any rate, the idea did not attract the interest of the competition's jury, which -- whenever it was mentioned -- seemed to produce in the crowd of nonwinners the kind of forced affability and small uncontrollable tics one often finds in people trying to suppress great rage.
They spent the morning sharing their designs with one another, and in the afternoon set out to draft a Declaration (''Capital D,'' Mr. Later in the afternoon, the nonwinners went down to ground zero, where they stopped off at the World Financial Center to look at the eight designs that had defeated theirs. It smarted having lost, no doubt about it, but all the nonwinners said they would not give up. As long as I live, I will never forget my secretary, Kathy informing me on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, that an airplane had just struck one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.A  Prior to this, it seemed like a normal Tuesday morning, seeing patients in my ophthalmology office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Fortunately, most of the eye injuries were not severe, but were nonetheless incapacitating.A  When the Towers collapsed, there was a cascade of enormous quantities of pulverized concrete and sheetrock, wisps of fiberglass, asbestos dust (the buildings were not asbestos free) and splinters of glass. Still later when the flow of injured officers stopped, I wanted to take the slit-lamp to a€?Ground Zeroa€? itself to care for injured members of the other uniformed services.A  I was emphatically discouraged from doing this by the staff of the office of the Chief of Police, until buildings stopped collapsing and the ground beneath was more stable. 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.
Charles Mango, from New York-Presbyterian Hospital, had managed to get downtown near the disaster site.
Lester, a detention-center designer, is flying in from Kansas City, Mo., to show his design, which involves a kinetic polycarbonate sphere etched with the names of the victims.
McConnell used mathematical equations to design his plan for a spire that creates the illusion of infinite height. Stratas posted registration forms online Wednesday morning, as the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was announcing the finalists. Stratas insists the forum isn't about political action, some people say they'd like to find power in numbers.
Stratas was standing at the lectern, on the fourth floor of the student center at New York University, talking to a group of peers whom he knew intimately but had never met before.
Mango said: ''You see, when I came up with my idea, I really thought that I was going to win. Stratas said), which will lay out their displeasure with the competition's eight finalists and which could be released to the public as early as today.
Heys's comment, Zane Kinney, who had flown all the way from Ellensburg, Wash., felt compelled to correct the record.
Vincenta€™s (which is not one of my hospital affiliations), which was closer to the scene, but they too had a€?enough medical personnela€? for the task.A  I was referred to a triage center at Chelsea Piers where medical volunteers could go to see a€?if they were neededa€?.
20121 Kings 8:28 -- But please listen to my prayer and my request, because I am your servant. Their design was a glass replica of the twin towers with rectangular holes where the airplanes struck. His design includes uniformed honor guards, firefighters and cops watching over a tomb in defense of the nation. There was a 70-foot glass sculpture of a pair of hands cupped together reaching for the heavens, and a sort of paddle-wheel thing that people pushed, and when they pushed it, it generated energy, and the energy was used to power spotlights, and the spotlights shone up into the sky, and the intensity of the shine, well, it depended on how many people were pushing the wheel. The worldwide impact of the tragedy is emphasized by recognizing the international scope of the loss. Still, they wanted to remain involved and to contribute something -- anything, please -- because their energies and passions, the collective vat of their creative juices, really, could you throw it all away? It synthesizes the conviction that the Christian event, lived in communion, is the foundation of the authentic liberation of man. Communion and Liberation is today present in about seventy countries throughout the world. The gathering attracted 4,000 volunteers and 700,000 participants. The essence of the charism given to Communion and Liberation can be signaled by three factors.
A  A And why do so many folks find the color Black which is prominent in my wardrobe to be such an issue, or unusual?A  It's very flattering on me, and I have worn something black or have used black accessories for as long as I can recall, teen years forward.
Seven World Trade Center was not actually on the same plot of land as the rest of the World, Trace Center complex. Grant has claimed in his Motion of October 22, 2008 that Christmas 2007 was my turn with Claire and that Christmas 2008 is now Eric's.A  Mr. A  A Perhaps now they can all stick to the facts, and answer all those unanswered questions.
During the six years we had been living in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, we had belonged to St. A A  That's his opinion, and others have thought this website is "brilliant", "comprehensive", "amazingly accurate and detailed."A  As with much in life, most people see things very differently. 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. A A If Claire reads this website, she might not fully understand why people said such things; especially about her Mom. A Item 14.A  I am a loving Mother, and my parental rights have been violated by the unjustified actions of Eric William Swanson. 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. His actions, and those of some others, have kept me from being with our daughter Claire.A  He shall have his opportunity to explain himself to the Court, as shall I.
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.
Grant, Attorney at Law, Juneau, AK From Wedding Bells to Tales to Tell: The Affidavit of Eric William Swanson, my former spouse AFFIDAVIT OF SHANNON MARIE MCCORMICK, My Former Best Friend THE AFFIDAVIT OF VALERIE BRITTINA ROSE, My daughter, aged 21 THE BEAGLE BRAYS! 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 Giussani’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 Giussani’s letter to the Fraternity following the annual pilgrimage to Loreto.
June 22nd, 2003 Fr Giussani’s letter to the Fraternity for the twentieth anniversary of the Pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation.
February 22nd, 2002 Fr Giussani’s testimony as presented at the Pontifical Council for the Laity’s Seminar, “Ecclesiastical movements and the new communities in the pastoral care of the Bishops”.
1989 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. HELL'S BELLS: THE TELLS OF THE ELVES RING LOUD AND CLEAR IDENTITY THEFT, MISINFORMATION, AND THE GETTING THE INFAMOUS RUNAROUND Double Entendre and DoubleSpeak, Innuendos and Intimidation, Coercion v Common Sense, Komply (with a K) v Knowledge = DDIICCKK; Who's Gunna Call it a Draw?
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?  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! A  A And why do so many folks find the color Black which is prominent in my wardrobe to be such an issue, or unusual?A  It's very flattering on me, and I have worn something black or have used black accessories for as long as I can recall, teen years forward. 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.
1989 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-   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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