Today I read Fr. Carron’s school of community which Sergio emailed us a link to to help us with our understanding of Ch. 7 [In The Origin of the Christian Claim]. The reading from Carron has been INCREDIBLY helpful to me, as things are always easier for me to understand when someone else shares an experience to which I can compare my own. I really recommend reading the whole thing, it is one of my new favorite readings.
The problem that I have encountered in Ch. 7 is that I have had a very hard time understanding what it has to do with my life, my experience. I believe Jesus is God. Okay. Good. Move on. Going over and over it seemed to me to be merely an intellectual education, and didn’t have much to do with my experience.
I think that I am really beginning to understand.
Here is my experience of the Explicit Declaration. I told everyone last week about my experience of “rejection.” I have been very, very happy about how I have reacted to this fact. I am happy because it has been an occasion for showing me the maturation of my ‘I’ and it is a strong testament to me that I have taken a position in front of reality which is good. The Mystery has said to me EXPLICITLY: “I AM who fulfills you.” I have been asked to not cling to anything which is not the Mystery for my hope and joy in life. In my freedom as a human person I have answered “Yes.” to Christ’s proposal of himself as the fulfillment of my need. This is the original position of my ‘I’ in front of reality which I have been practicing in all the decisions I have been making, and this experience is the one which has revealed to me The Question (in all its explicitness, gravity, and urgency) which has really been being asked all along.
“Facts lay bare the basic position of the human heart – whether closed or open – to the mystery of being.” (Top Pg. 79, “At the Origin of the Christian Claim”) The decisive fact I experienced last week has revealed to me the position of my heart, and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t know what will happen next, or what other challenging versions of The Question I will face, but I am not afraid to journey on because I have such a certainty that I am loved by He who is Creating me. There is nothing for me to be afraid of, neither in death nor life.
Though I could talk about many things I will finish by sharing a thought that came to me during a conversation with Sergio after school of community last Wednesday.
“On Gifts and the Giver.”
“I am no longer looking on the gifts that have been given to me, for me. I am now taking my eyes up from them and meeting the Gaze of the One who has given them to me. I am meeting His gaze, the gaze that IS. This is the gaze which Loves me, the gaze that makes me. The gaze that is making me what and who I am. The gaze of the Other Who IS. The gaze of I AM. THIS is the great adventure of life. This eternal Discovery IS What Makes LIFE! It is what makes life worth LIVING!! A Reason to Live! A Reason to Die! A reason FOR ME.
This is dizzying. Fr. Giussani describes reason’s dizziness when it intuits the existence of that which it cannot reduce to its own measure. This realization is dizzying to me like reason is dizzied by the recognition of the existence of the Mystery. “
God’s mercy and blessings on all. Love from your friend, Clara VanSmoorenberg