Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why The Church (Chapter 7, Part 4)

If I could blog just by putting my head on the computer screen, or a proxy of it, and directly downloading my thoughts into print, my blog would be at least five times as long as it is.

One time when I wish I could do that is immediately following School of Community. We discuss such rich thoughts and read such deep passages from Giussani, and I long to capture more in order to dwell on them, and share them with others. I know, I'm learning, that the real sharing comes in digesting the thoughts and living them out. But there are nuggets that I would love to share with others, so they can feast at the same banquet.

I admit, I cheat. I read the passages over ahead of time, usually multiple times. Otherwise I would be lost in the swirling complex linguistics of dense thought translated from Italian.

Here are some bits we read and talked about today:

The Church's educational task, as defined by Giussani: "to the mystery of Being, to the Measure that made us, that far surpasses us in every direction and that we cannot measure -- it is to This that an educator's love must entrust the ever-widening space of unpredictable pathways which are opened up by the freedom of the new man in his dialogue with the universe."

What is important here is an educator's love, not will power, not authority, not control, but love. And in this context, the educator is the Church. But I am an educator as a parent. I am to entrust the pathways opened up by freedom of the new man, in dialogue with the universe. Wow. There is no room for fear, here. We are talking about the new man, one who is walking in the newness of life in Jesus. This life comes from God, and I need to continually entrust that life back to Him. "Unpredictable pathways." Yes, that is how my children travel.

Let me back up to the larger context of that quote:

If the Church were to proclaim that its aim was to take over the human effort of self-advancement, self-expression, and human searching, it would be acting like the kind of parents... who are deluded into thinking that they can resolve their children's problems by taking their place.

No, the proper role of the Church, the proper role of parents is to grant freedom. How often have I tried to get my little ones to stop having their struggle with each other. Usually I just end up sounding just like them, getting into it at their level. Delusion. But isn't society hooked on this delusion? Isn't society hooked on usurping personal power of others? (Isn't that essentially totalitarianism?) Isn't it shocking, frightening, when a parent entrusts a very important matter to a child (of whatever age)? Yeah, right, then when they are 18 they are supposed to magically be able to make their own adult decisions and sail off into the sunset with no problems. But what if they've only been trained to usurp the power of others, or become dependent on others more powerful than themselves?

One more quote. Giussani breaks down human problems into four categories:

... first... the category of culture, ad here lie all problems related to man's search for truth and the meaning of reality. This is the category which reveals man's conception of self in the face of his own destiny, according to which he mobilizes and utilizes the elements of his own existence. The second problem is that of love and here falls all of the problems man experiences in relation to his constant search for personal completeness. The third problem is related to man's need to express his personality, all his hopes of leaving his mark on the reality of time and space that is his to live, and this can generate problems under the category of work. And lastly, is the political problem of human co-existence with its whole
comprehensive and difficult spectrum...

I thought that breakdown was very insightful: truth, love, work, co-existence. I am not quite sure I feel the second problem for what he says. Perhaps I either am at peace in that regard right now or I am so dull to the problem I don't sense it.

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