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LECTURES
from issue no. 07 - 2003

Why do we get together? To free ourselves from evil! It is Christ who frees us


XXV pilgrimage on foot to Macerata-Loreto, 14 June 2003


by Luigi Giussani


The leave taking of the Virgin from Saint John , Duccio di Boninsegna, Museum of Metropolitan Works , Siena

The leave taking of the Virgin from Saint John , Duccio di Boninsegna, Museum of Metropolitan Works , Siena

When we get together, why do we do so?
So as to tear out from our friends, and if it were possible from the whole world, the nothingness in which all men find themselves. Ours is a “vocational” relationship.
A vocational relationship is just this: that on meeting us—and it can be even your mother, or rather, first of all your mother—a woman or a man, someone your own age or younger, a person, feels sort of grasped in his innermost self, redeemed from his apparent nothingness, weakness, evil or confusion, and, all at once, feels as if invited to a royal wedding.
Our Lady is like a royal invitation.
And the more you are willing to acknowledge that you have been grasped, the more you discover this degree of feeling your own heart and your own flesh, and beyond this your own thought as heart, as flesh, as soul of the whole people in which the individual is caught up, in pain and confusion, but never so forgetful of self or so incapable as to lose oneself and forget oneself completely: and in the worst moments—when the “I” seems to become certain of its impotence and nothingness—it is precisely there that the blood in which the people is born, even to the point of violence, becomes the vehicle of one’s own need for desire, for freedom and for happiness.
“ As for you, little child, you shall be called the prophet of God the Most High”: this prophet of God the Most High is no longer left in peace by that passion for life which forces man to be born, to look, to listen, to hunger and thirst.

Work is time that becomes things, commitment and daily toil, because it is going ahead of the Lord “to prepare his ways before him,” the ways of the new land for a people that is really a people.
How do all these leaps of the soul become unbridled celebration of a new life, a being born as new persons?
In the ups and downs of life, in which every man, in his aridity, feels suffocated, but not cancelled, even by an injustice at work, there is a figure that comes to our aid.
The figure of Our Lady is the vehicle of novelty, before which the old no longer dares to say, “Down with everything.”

We have to remember this invitation every morning. This has to be the first figure, tomorrow morning, of every attempt, of every re-elaborated, every re-lived security, like the reconstruction of a people: we have to imagine Our Lady imbued with that passion for things human that a reconstruction sanctifies.
“ You shall go ahead of the Lord, to prepare his ways before him.”
And thus human life is no longer a lack of something our limbs are striving for, offering inexplicable reasons.

May the thought of Our Lady and the human affection which carries and intensifies it make us every day capable of enchanting charity.


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