Tuesday, July 8, 2008

To Choose for Destiny

Last week I promised to write something on freedom, and the idea just got larger and larger and sent me to more books and places. If I don't stop and gather up what I have, it's going to get away like a hot air balloon.

But as a first installment, I have a concrete example of freedom which we saw last night. This is more interesting than my studies on the subject, because it's life. We will have our CL vacation in about a week, and one friend has been very hesitant about going. She has been coming for some years, and we always stay in the same cheap primitive camp, an ideal set-up for kids and families with options of camping or dorm-style housing (think Boy Scouts or Bible camp). The idea of spending four days sleeping on camp bunks, eating low-grade cafeteria food and playing silly field games held little attraction for her.

We've been reading the chapter on Freedom in Giussani's Is It Possible to Live This Way? and yesterday we studied the section on the Conditions for Freedom. So I jump ahead of the premise, which is that freedom is completed by destiny, to look at the problem we have with making a choice which is really for us. The community helps us choose for destiny instead of by the immediate attraction or repulsion we experience. Our friend was very open about her dilemma, and this shows her simplicity of heart. Others don't even consider the invitation to the vacation. She fairly easily applied this reading to her situation, recognizing that she has always found this vacation to be the strongest expression of what she has met in CL, the living presence of Christ in a companionship. And so she decided to stay with us next week, as a choice for her destiny.
If you expect your satisfaction from something that can be dust tomorrow, you'll have dust. But who calls your attention to this? No one can, none of us has the strength to do it for himself, only together can we do it. This is the way that the Church, in the world, calls the world's attention to this.... Only in the community is one helped to understand this, to be conscious of when one chooses evil, to recognize when one chooses evil, to have the strength of dominion over the self to wrench oneself from evil--for mortification, penitence or metanoia, change of mentality--to adhere to what brings us to destiny and to await destiny every day; to wait, every day, for it to come.

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