Saturday 27 December 2014

Multiple identities

The many conversions of a (Salesian) life: one, certainly, is facing the challenge of New Age and (re)discovering Christ as Centre, as Love. (One of my friends asked me years ago: How can an intelligent man be a Christian?). The one, when that bridge has been crossed, is MULTIPLE IDENTITIES. Multiple identities is now a canonized possibility on the internet - but something that predates internet.
Eugenio Riva the other day: "Una dicotomia pericolosa insidia in profondità lapersona: la separazione tra l'identità personale e la missione religiosa." A dangerous dichotomy: the separation between personal identity and religious [translate 'monk' or 'monastic' for some of my friends] mission. One has discovered that one has been found - but that is still one thing among many, not yet a pearl of great price, not yet treasure for which one is ready to sell everything. One is one thing when watching a movie or reading a book, another thing in church, and perhaps yet another at work.
Someone is going to get very theological and remind me that Jesus is the classic case of multiple identity - and that's a very very interesting opening, new categories for an ongoing theology. But one gets the point when one wants to. Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus on the Lakeside, Jesus before Pilate - the multiplicity is swept up magnificently into a unity that dwells constantly in the Presence of the Father. "Did you not know I would be about my Father's business?" And Don Bosco: priest everywhere, in Florence as in Rome and in Turin, before the great and mighty and with his boys.... Viganò contributed a magnificent term: the grace of unity.

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