Is Lent about reaching a greater level of perfection? Read on.
It does not matter what level of perfection you reach. What others think or don’t think of how much you does not matter, not does your judgment of yourself. All that matters if that mercy has taken you for ever, for the very origin of your existence. Mercy called you to love, because mercy loved you.
Holiness means always affirming–before everything else, in everything else–the embrace of the Father, the merciful, pitying movement of Christ, his gesture, that is he himself, independent of everything that stirs and has the appearance of life in us. . . .
We must become more and more aware of God’s covenant with us, of life as God’s involvement with us, and therefore of the absolute and unmistakable importance of the irrational influence of our outbursts, of our projects.
Nothingness, destruction, exile is the life proper to the world, especially our life, without this covenant, which remains in me even in the destruction and in the desolation caused by my wicked heart. Grace holds fast because God leads me to discover what he is and to understand that from my destruction he makes something new bud forth–an identification with him and the Father.
(Servant of God Luigi Giussani)
In a talk I gave at WTH on Mary, the Witness to Hope, I shared about learning how to live our lives with an attentiveness to the “spirituality of events.” This basically means asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us through the events that happen to us in our days, to help us to learn what God is trying to teach us through all that comes our way. God wants to teach us how to look at the events in our lives with His eyes, with the eyes of faith. Yesterday’s meditation in Magnificat reminded me of that:
“The circumstances through which God has us pass are an essential and not a secondary factor of . . . the mission to which he calls us. If Christianity is the announcement of the fact that that Mystery has become flesh in a man, the circumstance in which one takes a position about this in front of the whole world is important for the very definition of witness” (L. Giussani)
We all know well what these circumstances are that have challenged us throughout this year: the economic crisis, . . . the many forms of pain which have caused us to reflect . . . seeing a world collapse in front of our eyes, with laws that no longer know how to defend the good of life or of the family, finding ourselves more and more obliged to live our lives without a homeland, dramatic personal and social circumstances from illness to trouble to the loss of work, if not in fact the loss of everything . . . So these circumstances through which God has us pass, says Father Guissani, “are an essential and not a secondary factor of our vocation.” For us, then, circumstances are not neutral. They are not things that happen without any meaning; that is, they are not just things to put up with, to suffer stoically. They are part of our vocation, of the way in which God, the good Mystery, calls us, challenges us, educates us. For us, these circumstances have all the weight of a call, and thus are part of the dialogue of each one of us with the Mystery present.
Life is a dialogue.
“Life is not a tragedy. Tragedy is what makes everything amount to nothing. Yes, life is a drama. It is dramatic because it is the relationship between our I and the You of God, our I that must follow the steps which God indicates” (L. Giussani). It is this Presence, this You that makes circumstances change, because without this You everything would be nothing, everything would be a step toward an every darker tragedy. But precisely because this You exists, circumstances call us to him. It is he who calls us through them. It is he who calls us to destiny through everything that happens.