Greeting to Holy Father Benedict XVI by Fr. Julián Carrón - Julián Carrón

Greeting to Holy Father Benedict XVI by Fr. Julián Carrón

Julián Carrón

3/24/2007 - Audience with the Pope on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the papal recognition of the Fraternity of CL

Your Holiness:

The feeling that invades each of us is one of immense joy, and we are so happy to be able to meet You and to share this moment with You. Permit me to thank You with all my heart on behalf of my friends for this priceless gift.
The last time that we met You, on the occasion of the funeral of Fr. Giussani, is still very alive in our memory. We will never be able to forget how moving was Your willingness to come to celebrate and Your words which were so full of affection and profound comprehension of him. Since then, often we have found ourselves speaking of Fr. Giussani with the same words you used to described his personality to us that day: a man wounded by beauty, who led people not to himself, but to Christ, and thus conquered hearts!
From him, from his tireless witness, we learned what You have never tired of repeating to everyone since the day you assumed the Papal Throne: the beauty of Christianity. We are fascinated by the beauty of Christ made persuasive by the contagious intensity of Fr. Giussani, to the point of repeating the words of Jacopone da Todi: “Christ in His beauty draws me to Him.” We have discovered this beauty of Christianity without abandoning anything that is authentically human. Instead, for us, living the faith coincides with the exaltation of what is human. Fr. Giussani’s entire educational endeavor aimed to show the correspondence between Christ and all authentic human needs. Fr. Giussani was convinced that only a proposal addressed to reason and freedom, and verified in experience, was capable of interesting man, because it is the only one able to making him perceive its truth, that is, its human usefulness. In this way he showed us how it is possible to live the faith as men, in full use of reason, freedom and affection. We want to follow in his footsteps.
When faced with so much grace it is impossible not to tremble at our own disproportion. We have therefore often revisited, particularly in preparing for the meeting with You, the words Fr. Giussani spoke to us in 1984 in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of the birth of the Movement:
“As we mature, we are a spectacle to ourselves and, God willing, to others. A spectacle, that is, of limits and betrayals, and therefore of humiliation, but at the same time of an inexhaustible surety in the grace that has been given to us and renewed every morning. This is the source of the naïve boldness that characterizes us, through which every day of our lives is conceived as an offering to God, so that the Church may exist within our bodies and souls, through the materiality of our existence.”
Aware of our nothingness, we beg each day for the ability to say “yes” to the grace that is given us in order to give witness without pretence, but also without fear, to our fellow men. In this moment of confusion that the world is living, we are certain that man’s heart, though wounded, remains capable of recognizing truth and beauty, if he finds them along life’s path. We desire to live the new event that has happened to us in all the situations and environments where our existence unfolds, with confidence in being able to give witness in our smallness to all the beauty that has invaded our life, so that it may be encountered.
God has always used the same method for becoming a companion to every man, one which we hope will be carried out in us: God gives grace to one person so that through him it may reach everyone. Just as God gave grace to Fr. Giussani so that it could reach us, so it has been given to us in order to reach others. And this makes possible that encounter which results in Christian faith, as Your Holiness reminded us in Your encyclical Deus caritas est: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (1).
Throughout these years we have sought to take seriously the invitation to be missionaries which the Servant of God John Paul II made to us on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Movement: “Go into the whole world and bring the truth, the beauty and the peace that are found in Christ the Redeemer” (September 29, 1984). The spread of the charism and the growth of communities of the Movement throughout the whole world are signs of the mercy of God who made our endeavor bear fruit. In my travels all over the world I have seen that Christianity lived in its essential elements can find so much acceptance in the heart of man, beyond any culture or religion.
We have the same desire that always moved Fr. Giussani’s heart: that in all and for all the persuasive strength of the Movement may be an “instrument for the mission of the one People of God” (Witness of Fr. Luigi Giussani during the meeting of the Holy Father John Paul II with ecclesial movements and new communities. St. Peter’s Square, Rome, May 30 1998, 2); in other words, that the fascination of the charism we have encountered may serve the good of the Holy Church throughout the whole world and present in every particular Church.
That is why we have asked to meet with You, Your Holiness. As You well know, the history of our Movement has always been marked by this close relationship with the Apostolic See. From the very beginning Fr. Giussani sought to live the grace he received in full communion with the successor of Peter, the only one capable of assuring the authenticity of any endeavor: from Paul VI to John Paul II. We are witnesses to the immense gratitude of Fr. Giussani’s when John Paul II recognized the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation. And we are fully aware of how he expressed his devotion in front of everyone by kneeling at the feet of the Pope on May 30, 1998.
With the same devotion we come to You today, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pontifical recognition of the Fraternity and two years after the death of Fr. Giussani, well aware of the value of Peter’s successor for our faith. Without his testimony, assured by the power of the Spirit, Christianity would decay into one of the many ideological variants that dominate the world.
We are here, Holy Father, completely poised to welcome your indications, and even corrections, for the journey we have ahead of us, convinced that, in following them, we will make the gift of the charism that fascinated us useful to the whole Church and the world. We will treasure your words, and I am sure that I speak on behalf of each of my friends, when I say that we will commit ourselves to living them with all of our strength, certain of Fr. Giussani’s impassioned companionship to our lives.

Julián Carrón

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