Friday 18 March 2016


The Benedictus contains so many phrases that make me think: salvation - forgiveness of sins - freedom from our enemies - the tender compassion of God. I ask myself: what is salvation? What enemies? And more clearly: where have I experienced salvation?

The thought came to me: certainly in the forgiveness of sin. But also in the life of God - in faith, hope, charity.

Hope and charity: fundamental ways of living out the Preventive System. Hope for our young people, our formees, for all people - with respect, therefore, for their "times," and patience, like God. Charity - which is a pastoral charity, a charity of the Good Shepherd. Which is also fraternity, a fraternity that expands in concentric circles, to embrace the whole of humanity, because that is the limit if any of the Fatherhood of God. And faith, seen especially clearly at moments of decision - and moments of crisis. Because in these moments we fall back to what is most basic to us, or at least to what comes most spontaneously. Most spontaneously: could be my likes and dislikes; could be the group to which I belong, or the culture, or the nation. Most spontaneously, individual and group bias kick in. And sometimes, also general bias: the despair of changing ever, the myopic concentration on the here and now, the disdain and sneering at the long term as idealistic, utopian, impractical. "We have to survive."

A good exercise would be to write down my experience of salvation, of forgiveness, of freedom from enemies, of compassion. And then to ask: who is centre stage here? Do the young people come in at all? Do the sorrows of the world, and its joys, come in? Am I the eternal atomistic individual, concerned mainly and chiefly about myself, and even when concerned about others, about them in function of myself?

Ongoing formation: paying attention to what I am experiencing, going through, living. Because I am convinced that God is present there. "What I am experiencing" is of course not Cartesian: I in the We, the We as before the I. The dialectic of seeing and showing. 

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Rupnik, “E se l’evangelizzazione chiedesse una novità nella vita consacrata?” English summary