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from issue no. 11 - 2008

“Salvation is a gesture as simple as a glance”

A selection of excerpts taken from books and interviews

Jesus, Joseph and Mary, detail of <I>Repose during the flight into Egypt</I>, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1618-1682), Pushkin Musem, Moscow

Jesus, Joseph and Mary, detail of Repose during the flight into Egypt, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1618-1682), Pushkin Musem, Moscow

“Saint Joseph is the most beautiful conceivable figure of man that Christianity has made. Saint Joseph was a man like all the others, he had original sin like me... Saint Joseph lived like everyone else: there is no single word of his, nothing, a figure can’t be poorer than that”.

L’attrativa Gesù (The Jesus attraction), Rizzoli, Milan 1999, pp. 95-96

“First of all, therefore, we must desire this memory to become ever more realized: ‘Whoever has this hope, purifies himself as He is pure’. Let this be desired. And the yes of Simon, which is generic, is general, invests the whole of his person in its expression, even where all its expressions could be contradictory. You can always go wrong: Saint Peter could always make mistakes and yet be truthful in saying: ‘Yes, I love You’. So much so that we commented: ‘I don’t know how it happens, but I love You’. So the objection would rise in us: ‘But you’ve been wrong so often, you’ll be wrong again’. ‘I don’t know anything. I know that I love Him’. It’s on this level that our life must settle, on something as seemingly generic as, realistically, is the relationship with the God made man, with this man-God, while seeing Him on the boat about to founder in the night on the lake; while seeing Him halt in front of the tree on which Zacchaeus is perched, while seeing Him gazing into the eyes of the woman and saying: ‘Neither do I condemn you, go and do wrong no more”.

Si può (veramente?!) vivere così? (Can one (really?!) live like this?), Rizzoli, Milan 1996, p. 431

“Yes, Lord, You know that You are the object of my supreme liking, my highest esteem’: in this way morality is born. Yet the term is very generic: ‘Yes, I love You’, but it is as generic as it is generative of a diversity of life pursued. ‘Whoever has this hope in Him purifies himself as He is pure’”.

“Simone, mi ami tu?” (Simon, do you love me?), In Tracce, n. 10 November 1998

“Therefore say ‘I offer You’ and don’t worry about anything else. But you well know what it means to say You, the One who is inside the You, you know who He is. Saint Peter knew who He was, but the way of perceiving his love was generic: the way in which he stated he loved Him was generic. There is a generic that includes everything as all-embracing horizon, and there can be a generic that poses everything that is inside because it doesn’t know it, but affirms it (when the mother asks the child: ‘Jimmy, do you love me?’. And he says: ‘Yes, Mommy’ and smacks her a kiss!)”.

L’attrativa Gesù (The Jesus attraction), cit., p. 133

“It’s the yes of Simon. Simon’s yes is the most all-embracing aspect: it is boundless. It has only a horizon where the sun always rises, is about to rise. And it is the most tender expression that man can conceive. It is the strongest form in which one’s need to acknowledge the love that touches us imposes and confesses itself. I would like you to be able to ponder this, thinking of the situation of all the lives you know: all the lives you know yielding to say ‘yes’ exclusively in the face of the tenderness roused by a loving force that offers itself to the heart of the self. The condition for beginning to understand everything is ‘almost a nothing’”.

L’attrativa Gesù (The Jesus attraction), cit., p. 116

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