Monday, January 16, 2012

A Reflection after attending The New York Encounter

This past weekend the Communion and Liberation Movement held its annual gathering, called, The New York Encounter, at the Manhattan Center, on 34th Street.

I was only able to attend the New York Encounter on Sunday.  The opportunity to meet and talk with people from the Communion and Liberation Movement, from all over North America, and from all walks of life, was like fresh air in my lungs. One of the people that I chatted with, a young man from Milan, Italy, asked me how I found out about the movement, which I related to him.

I also said,

"At the time when I discovered Luigi Giussani and the Communion and Liberation Movement, my spiritual growth had been blocked for a long time, perhaps a decade. My growth as a person was equally blocked as well. The most beautiful thing about the teachings of Father Giussani and CL, is that I am learning to become more human.

"I assume that what Giussani teaches about being human was always implied or assumed in the Christian tradition. I suspect that over time, with modern society and the positivistic attitude that has become so pervasive, we are losing sight of what once had been obvious. We needed a genius like Giussani to come along and make explicit those things which were once common sense. And I confess to being an individual with an extreme deficiency of common sense.

"Throughout my grammar school Catholic education, we were told over and over again that Jesus was both full human and fully Divine. Contemporary psychologists say that spiritual and psychological growth tends to occur in parallel. But there is a theory in physics that says parallel lines converge at infinity. Don Giusanni liked to quote the ancient Roman rhetorician Marius Victorinus, who said, 'When I encountered Christ, I discovered that I was a man.'  But I think that this can be paraphrased as, 'When I encountered Christ, I discovered what it means to be a human being.' It is in following Christ that our humanity and spirituality converge.