Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Msgr. Giussani and Me

Tonight I must dedicate my blog to the memory of Msgr. Luigi Giussani, and to the charism that continues to live in the Church and in the world through his tireless ministry of more than 50 years. Today marks the sixth anniversary of his death. Especially precious to me are my memories of the man. Twenty years ago, I spoke with this man and told him my confused ideas about what I thought I should do with my life. Suddenly he interrupted me, grasped me by the arm--he grasped me; I will never forget that grasp--and said, "be a teacher!" And then he said, "You will be a great teacher!"

It took a couple of years of wandering and wondering before I became a teacher. But his counsel kept me on a path which I still tread to this day, although now I am a teacher in an unconventional manner. The classroom was my home for many years, but now I no longer raise my voice in a classroom. I spend my days with my laptop and my books and--when the weather allows--the sweet air of a country town and its ground beneath my feet. I write, as my strength permits me, and I work with my children. And, paradoxically, my "class" seems to have grown. A book I never would have written is being read by all kinds of people, and the circulation is growing.

I do not know if I am a "great teacher." But I do know that I cannot become "great" except by following something greater than myself, and to allow the One who is Greatness to shape my path. In these present days, that path is in many ways strange and unknown. But I am not lost. I have Someone to follow. I thank Msgr. Giussani for teaching me this, and for continuing to teach me through the movement of life that God has infused into the Church through his witness.

For more about Luigi Giussani and the Catholic ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation see this link: www.clonline.org.

For information about my book, see the sidebar or click www.servantbooks.org.