Tuesday, December 28, 2004

On Evangelization

I extracted the following excepts from the November, 2004 issue of the magazine Traces, which is published by an international Christian youth group called Communion and Liberation.

The occasion of the two articles that I drew these excerpts from was the 50th anniversary of the founding of Communion and Liberation, the "Movement" referred to below.

"...the genius of the Movement that I saw being born is in having felt the urgency of proclaiming the need for going back to the elementary aspects of Christianity, in other words, passion for the Christian fact as such, in its original elements and nothing more."
"Firstly, we have to correct the usual conception of faith. The whole new beginning of a Christian experience--and therefore of every relationship--is not generated by a cultural point of view, as if it were a discourse to be applied to things, but it happens precisely as an experience. It is an act of life that sets everything in motion. The beginning of faith is not an abstract culture but something that precedes this: an event. Faith is taking note of something that has happened and continues to happen, of something new from which everything starts off, really. It is a life and not a discourse about life, because Christ has begun to "leap" in the womb of a woman.

Yes, it's this perception of Christianity and the Church that has been lost in recent centuries, and with it we have lost the possibility of the beginning of an answer to the questions of the youth. If the beginning is missing, there is no tackling the problem posed by man's nature: the need for an answer to the demands of his reason. So, to speak of faith to the youth, but even to adults, is to speak of an experience and not to repeat a discourse on religion, however correct it might be."
"Thus to the brutal loneliness to which man calls himself, as if to save himself from an earthquake, Christianity is offered as an answer. The Christian finds a positive answer in the fact that God has become man; this is the event that surprises and comforts what would otherwise be a misfortune. It's inconceivable for God to act toward man unless as a "generous challenge" to his freedom. The modern objection that Christianity and the Church reduce man's freedom is nullified by the adventure of God's relationship with man. Whereas thanks to a limited idea of freedom, it is inconceivable for man today that God should commit Himself in a straitening relationship with man, as if denying Himself. This is the tragedy: man seems more concerned to affirm his won freedom than to acknowledge this magnaminity on God's part, that alone fixes the measure of man's participation in reality and thus really frees him."

- Fr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation

"The discovery of Christ becomes the fact that unsettles our life, which works, grows and continually renews itself, sustained by the power of the Spirit and enlightened by the presence of the Risen Christ."
"...Fr. Giussani...wanted to communicate the the youngsters the beauty and the reasonability of the Christian event..."
"The Movement wanted and wants to indicate not a road , but the road for the solution of the existential drama of human existence. The road is Christ!"
"We will not be saved by a formula, "the Holy Father wrote in Novo Millenio Ineunte, but by a Person and the certainty that he gives us: I am with you."
"How many times though, even in the Christian announcement, this essential truth is taken for granted, reducing it to its ethical and social consequences, or relativizing it..."
"Animated by this awareness go on with your Movement, announcing to everyone the beauty and the joy of the encounter with the Redeemer of man..."

To see the full text, go to http://www.traces-cl.com/ and clock on the November issue. The above extacts were taken from the article-interview, "God's Commitment with Man's Brutal Loneliness," by Guido Vecchi and from , "Be It Done To Me According to Your Word," the printed version of an address by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe.

The Communion and Liberation website can be found at: http://www.clonline.org/us/


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