Columns
from issue no.08 - 2009


Spiritual reading/30


Excerpt from Luigi Giussani, “Tu” (o dell’ amicizia), [“You” (or about friendship)], Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, Milan 20003, p. 171:

Don Gius, the preference that routs hostility and indifference is a human phenomenon ... yet it happens like a miracle!
According to me, it happens like a miracle, in as much as it is a surprise almost as the surprise of ourselves, of our own nature is a miracle. When people become aware of what they are at the origin, it’s indeed a miracle. And they are surprised as if in front of a miracle, and this is right: it’s a miracle because one hardly creates oneself.
But the continuity of this initial miracle is continuously another miracle, because people’s eyes close, as if they were sleepy.
However, there is a sentence in the new Catechism – I’m glad they put it in (they put it in last!) – that consecrates the most dangerous phrase I’ve ever said: coherence is a miracle. It means that doing good is a miracle, it is not ours: coherence is a miracle. And the Catechism says that doing good is a grace, coherence is a miracle1.

How nice that they put it in!
How terrible had they not done so!

But in very many Fathers of the Church this thing is present.
But in the Church this whole thing is always there. What is it otherwise? What is the Church if not the Alleluia, song of gladness, ever richer in implications, because Another saves me?

1 “... so that the merit for good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1992, § 2008).


Council of Orange of 529. Conclusion of Caesarius Bishop of Arles

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2, 8)

Quam gratiam [gratia fidei] etiam post adventum Domini omnibus, qui baptizari desiderant, non in libero arbitrio haberi, sed Christi novimus simul et credimus largitate conferri, secundum illud, quod iam saepe dictum est et praedicat Paulus apostolus: «Vobis donatum est pro Christo, non solum, ut in eum credatis, sed etiam, ut pro eo patiamini» (Phil 1, 29); et illud: «Deus, qui coepit in vobis bonum opus, perficiet usque in diem Domini nostri» (Phil 1, 6); et illud: «Gratia salvi facti estis per fidem, et hoc non ex vobis: Dei enim donum est» (Eph 2, 8); et quod de se ipso ait Apostolus: «Misericordiam consecutus sum, ut fidelis essem» (1Cor 7, 25; 1Tim 1, 13); non dixit: «quia eram», sed: «ut essem». Et illud: «Quid habes, quod non accepisti?» (1Cor 4, 7). Et illud: «Omne datum bonum, et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a Patre luminum» (Jas 1, 17). Et illud: «Nemo habet quidquam, nisi illi datum fuerit desuper» (Jn 3, 27). Innumerabilia sunt sanctarum Scripturarum testimonia, quae possint ad probandam gratiam proferri, sed brevitatis studio praetermissa sunt, quia et revera, cui pauca non sufficiunt, plura non proderunt (Denzinger 396).

And we know and also believe that even after the coming of our Lord this grace [the grace of faith] is not to be found in the free will of all who desire to be baptized, but is bestowed by the benevolence of Christ, as has already been frequently stated and as the Apostle Paul preaches: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake” (Phil 1, 29). And again, “God, Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1, 6). And again, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and it is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2, 8). And as the Apostle says of himself, “I have obtained mercy that I may be faithful” (1 Cor 7, 25; 1 Tim 1, 13); he did not say, “because I was faithful”, but “that I may be faithful”. And again, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4, 7). And again, “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (Jas 1, 17). And again, “No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven” (Jn 3, 27). There are innumerable passages of Holy Scripture which can be quoted to prove the case for grace, but they have been omitted for the sake of brevity, because further examples will not really be of use where few are deemed insufficient.






LETTERS FROM THE MISSIONS


DIOCESE OF PINAR DEL RÍO
Mantua, Cuba

Thanks to 30Giorni an old bishop is aware of news about the Church and the world

Mantua, 25 August 2009

Dear Mr Andreotti, peace and good in the Lord!
I am a bishop emeritus of Cuba, concluding my career in a village in the western part of Cuba, of Italian origin, called Mantua. Its patron saint is Nuestra Señora de las nieves.
I am writing to thank you and the editorial staff for 30Días which I receive regularly by ordinary mail.
Thanks to this great magazine, an old bishop is aware of news about the Church and the world.
I renew my congratulations and my thanks. May the Lord bless you and His Mother protect you,

Monsignor José Siro González Bacallao,
Bishop Emeritus of Pinar del Río


DIOCESE OF CRATO
Crato, Ceará, Brazil

I carefully keep the issues of 30Dias on Paul VI

Crato, 6 July 2009

Gentlemen
I always read 30Dias, since my bishop first began to read it. The quality of your magazine is excellent, both visually and for the topics covered, as well as the extensive news about the Church. I carefully keep some issues, especially when they contain articles concerning Pope Paul VI.
I ask you to make us a gift of seventeen copies of the booklet Quem reza se salva, destined for the permanent deacons of our diocese. Currently we are seven deacons. On 4 August 2009, Monsignor Fernando Panico, MSC, will ordain another ten.
Thank you, immediately, for your goodness.
Fraternally,

Deacon Polycarp Rodrigues Filho,
Chancellor of the Bishopric of Crato


DIOCESE OF LASHIO
Lashio, Myanmar

I also have my priests read 30Days

Lashio, 17 August 2009

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
Thank you very much for sending me a copy of 30Days regularly for the past two or three years free. I always thought of acknowledging the receipt of it with much appreciation but some how, I have failed to do that I think. Sincerely speaking, I have always enjoyed reading articles from there. They have enriched me with some solid information on activities of the Universal Church and the Church's relation with different nations or governments. I share the copies with my priests. Please continue to send it free. Please be assured of prayers for you and your collaborators.
Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,

Philip Lasap Za Hawng,
Bishop of Lashio


REDEMPTORIST SISTERS
Sainte-Thérèse, Canada

Sur la résurrection de Jésus-Christ by Heinrich Schlier is wonderful!

Sainte-Thérèse, 20 July 2009

Sir,
I write you again for several reasons. First, I read in an issue that you had reached a very respectable age: ninety. The psalmist says: “The years of our life are seventy or eighty for those who are stronger” (Ps 90, 10). And Isaiah: “The youngest will die at a hundred years” (Is 65, 20). I wish you to live more than a hundred years!
Ad multos annos!
Thank you infinitely for the continued sending of the magazine for three years and for the supplements: Sur la résurrection de Jésus-Christ, Le Credo du peuple de Dieu and, naturally, Qui prie sauve son âme. I spent my retreat of ten days and the Easter season this year with Sur la résurrection de Jésus-Christ by Heinrich Schlier; it’s wonderful, very clear! Your magazine has been enriched with new sections: “Nova et Vetera”, “Ecclesiam Suam”, the word of the Holy Father at the beginning of “Cut Outs”. I greatly appreciate the chapters of the book Ne scelse dodici.
I also thank you for the magazines sent to the seminaries and contemplative communities of Viet Nam. It’s something that touches me deeply given that I’m Vietnamese.
May the Lord render you a hundredfold for all the good you do with your magazine. It’s your apostolate, your proclamation of the Kingdom! My greetings and thanks to all your collaborators! We pray for you!
Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Sister Marthe Pham, OSSR


PARISH HOUSE OF PUERTO SAN JOSÉ
Puerto San José, Guatemala

The article El señorío de Cristo en el tiempo moved me

Puerto San José, 22 July 2009

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
I send a grateful greeting.
I receive 30Días for a long time now and thank you very much. My Bishop of Escuintla, Monsignor Gamalero, may he rest in peace, introduced me to it. He gave me a present of all the issues he had. I read them with great interest, cutting out a whole series of articles that caught my attention.
I was really moved by the article entitled: El señorío de Cristo en el tiempo, and it would be very useful for me to have the book by Heinrich Schlier on the Apocalypse,

Father José Lodetti

There is no specific book dedicated by Schlier to the Apocalypse. The great German exegete dealt with it in some essays contained in the collections of his writings quoted by Lorenzo Cappelletti at the beginning of his article: The Time of the Church (1965), Reflections on the New Testament (1969), and The end of time (1974).


MISSIONARIES OF THE CONSOLED
Mwatasi, Tanzania

Thanks to the support received, also through your magazine, the church was built

Mwatasi, 25 July 2009

Dear Mr Director of 30Giorni,
Some time ago I wrote thanking you for sending copies of the book Who prays is saved, which were distributed to the pupils of the Masasiwe secondary school. On the occasion I also spoke of the need to build a second church in the village of Mwatasi. Thanks to the support received, also through your magazine, the church was built. I personally wrote to two benefactors in Rome, but I’d like to thank in particular Mr Matteo Morini of Turin who has not left his address. A heartfelt thanks from the entire Christian community of Mwatasi. This year 147 new catechumens were received and so the community grows in number and quality.Through Giorgio and Franca, friends and benefactors from Grezzana (Verona), I send you some photos.
With esteem and gratitude,

Father Moisés Roberto Facchini


APOSTOLIC PREFECTURE OF GAMBELLA
Gambella, Ethiopia

We are thinking of translating Chi prega si salva into Amharic

Gambella, 27 July 2009

Dear editorial staff,
A greeting from Ethiopia. Thanks for the copies of Who prays is saved that you sent me, and which have already been snapped up. As I said, we are thinking of making a copy of the book in Amharic, the language most used in Ethiopia. When we have it ready we will send it to you very willingly. I wanted to ask you, maybe I had forgotten to do so, if we could get 30Giorni in English and not in Italian; here seminarians speak English and they too would like to read it.
Thanks again for everything and until soon,

Father Filippo Perin


MISSIONARIES OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE SERVANTS OF CHARITY
Buenos Aires, Argentina

We read 30Giorni with great attention and profit

Buenos Aires, 3 August 2009

Mr Director Giulio Andreotti,
I am a priest, a religious, of the Congregation of the Servants of Charity – Opera Don Guanella – and work in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It is with great pleasure that our community receives, thanks to your generosity, the magazine 30Giorni, which we read with great attention and profit.
Our community carries out its ministry in educational centers and that is why I would like to ask you, within the limits of your possibilities and as a gift, to send me some copies of Quien reza se salva. It would be of great help for our community to have this booklet to learn the doctrine well.
Without continuing on at length, and in anticipation of a welcome and prompt positive response, we greet you affectionately and entrust you to Jesus the Divine Master so that you can continue to do so much good with this religious and serious publication, through which we can better understand the activity of Mother Church

Father Jorge Domínguez, SC






LETTERS FROM THE SEMINARIES


NOSSA SENHORA APARECIDA SEMINARY
Franca, São Paulo, Brazil

30Dias helps us in the formation of the young seminarians

Franca, 22 June 2009

Dear Director Giulio Andreotti,
The Recollected Augustinian friars of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida seminary in the city of Franca, in the State of São Paulo, thank you very much for sending the magazine 30Dias.
Your magazine, full of current events and teachings, helps us greatly in training our young seminarians and also in our religious life and priesthood.
We wish you great success with the editions of the magazine and peace and blessing to all those who work so that it continues to reach our homes.
With our gratitude,

Father Ivo Bochetti, OAR,
and all of the local community


SALESIAN MISSIONARIES
Kuchantsa, Ecuador

30Giorni is a monthly magazine awaited and read here in the seminary

Kuchantsa, 12 July 2009

Dear Sirs,
With this I send you my cordial greetings and thanks because for a couple of years now I receive punctually here, in the indigenous seminary of Kuchantsa (vicariate of Méndez), your prestigious monthly magazine; receive also best wishes for the ever-growing outcome of your so useful and valuable work.
30Giorni is a monthly magazine awaited and read here in our seminary and many times teachers use it as material for reading and consultation for the seminarians. More than once the teachers have brought to my attention the convenience of receiving the edition in Spanish so that it can be better exploited by our seminarians in their consultations.
If you find our request just and if you can do this favor for us, we would be happy to receive the magazine 30Días, in Spanish from the next issue and we thank you sincerely.
Sincere greetings and thanks,

Don Giancarlo Zanutto


Diocese of Viana
Viana, Angola

30Dias makes up for the deficiencies that we have

Viana, 5 August 2009

Peace and good!
I wish to thank 30Dias wholeheartedly for sending this wonderful magazine that I have been reading attentively for many years and that is now also available to the seminarians of this diocese. Thanks to it we have before us an overview that allows us to reflect on many documents and on the life of the Church in the world.
For a Church in a mission land like ours, the contents offered by you also make up for the many deficiencies that we have. For all this, please accept our sincere thanks and the assurance of our prayers for you and the work you accomplish for the Kingdom of God in the world.
Father Joaquim Ferreira Lopes,
OFM Cap, Bishop of Viana


GOOD SHEPHERD SEMINARY
Banz, Papua New Guinea

One hundred copies of Who Prays Is Saved for the seminarians
Banz, 30 August 2009

Dear Director,
Greetings in Him Who is our life. I am an Italian missionary who works in one of the major seminaries of Papua New Guinea and write to you in order to be able to have the booklet Who prays is saved.
If it were possible we would like to receive one hundred copies in English. If we have to pay, I will ask my friend, Father Bernardo Cervellera to make the payment on our behalf. Please let me know. The seminarians of the Good Shepherd Seminary of Banz (in the Western Highlands province) assure you of their prayers and affection for all the staff of 30Giorni and for those who want to help them.
Thankfully, I greet you in Christ Jesus,

Father Ciro Biondi




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