Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Following this weekend’s New York Encounter, the people of Communion and Liberation in North America—and worldwide—are turning our attention to the second book in Luigi Giussani’s foundational trilogy, At the Origin of the Christian Claim. For a full year we read and explored The Religious Sense, the first book, which never mentions Jesus Christ until the last page. Suddenly, this second book is all about Jesus and his unique claim on the human heart.
I spent a couple of hours this afternoon going over my underlinings in the second book, which I have read once before. It was like a long cool drink after a trek through barren desert. Or like what John and Andrew must have felt, standing in the heat with John the Baptist until the Christ walked up. Or like what I once felt, in Sunday School, a child listening to stories of Jesus.
I think I understand better now the method of Father Giussani: to bring us in touch with the thirst of our own hearts before giving us a drink. For members of our School of Community north of Boston, there were long, dry stretches in the past year when we looked at one another and wondered why The Religious Sense was so demanding, so philosophical, so dry.
Now we have the answer.
Here is one brief quotation from At the Origin of the Christian Claim, chosen nearly at random—and then I’ll go back to the book itself:
It is hard to find a person who is powerful, and yet truly good. In Jesus, by contrast, his witnesses were able to see that gaze, which was not only powerful and prodigious, intelligent and captivating, but also good. It seems almost impossible for such great power to be contained within the bounds of profound goodness, difficult to find such sharp intelligence with such a positive simplicity, like a child’s instinctive show of affection and openness. How beautiful it is to read the Gospel and discover hints, the subtle details that reveal Jesus’ capacity for tenderness, his heartfelt solidarity with all human beings.
School of Community continues. Come and see.
Posted by Webster Bull at 5:07 PM