Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Task of the Vacations

We would like to offer to you this "wish" that Father Giussani gave to some university students in the summer of 1991:

The Task of the Vacations

“Every step of discovery along the journey in our companionship is like arriving in a new land," says Pavese. If you remember what we have said in the work that you do during this summer, then your life will produce the only flower of the tree of life: mission. Communicating the truth to the other, is more than the act of generation of a mother when gives birth to a child. Mission is generating man. As the Pope said, mission means above all communicating to the other the reasons for the experience of your own conversion. So the real challenge is memory. To say, "the reasons for your own conversion" means discovering something that has changed in your own life as regards happiness, gladness, gusto, and truth; it means discovering something that has changed and for this reason can be met. It's something that is already there, it's the "physicality" of an event, because it is something that has changed. My wish is that this summer produces in you a greater wonder for the truth and therefore more awareness of yourselves and of your belonging, more happiness or gladness and a greater missionary impulse. The missionary impulse is not a plan or a program, but is a person who is changed for having acknowledged the fact of his belonging. What is important in us is an Other.”

We would like to stress a couple of points that marked the way Father Giussani taught us to live the vacations.

1. The purpose of the vacation is to educate us to become familiar with the Presence who "dwells among us". Therefore, a great emphasis must be given to the beauty and the unity among us. The beauty of nature, the beauty of the place where we stay, and the beauty of every gesture (from eating, to singing, to praying, to playing). The schedule and the various activities must facilitate the common life.

2. The highest moment of this familiarity is the common prayer in the way the charism taught us. In every vacation the day together should start with the Angelus, morning prayers, and a couple of songs in which we ask, above all, to be made happy for the day by His Presence.

  • Published July 2005 in "The CL Monthly," Volume 1, Issue 3

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