Julián Carrón, the return to reality in the difficult days of the coronavirus

In these difficult times, when freedom of worship is treated as an Ateco code and churches as product categories, it can be very useful to read Rizzoli's agile ebook in which Alberto Savorana interviews Julián Carrón, the Spanish priest which presides over the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation. Already from the title, it tells us that it is a reflection on man, rather than on the divine, and therefore introduces us to a too neglected theme: the public relevance of faith at times like this. It is called in fact The awakening of the human. Reflections from a dizzying time and deals with the sudden eruption of reality in our lives, which had become so unreal over time, lived «as in a bubble», «where we often flee to be able to breathe, for inability to be with ourselves “. The coronavirus and all that has followed and will follow, are in fact the real in its crudest and cruelest form, which undermines our “habit of replacing things and facts with their strategically fraudulent use”.

L’ebook «Il risveglio dell’umano»(Bur-Rizzoli, euro 3,99)
The ebook “The awakening of the human” (Bur-Rizzoli, euro 3, 99)

It is strange that to call us back to “reality that becomes real” , to the “reality that entered without asking permission”, be a man of faith in another reality. But this apparent inconsistency stems from a misconception that over time we have made ourselves religion. That is, as a comfort zone , a spiritual shock absorber, a rule of behavior, a system of moral precepts. While instead – Carrón would say in the footsteps of Fr Giussani – Christianity is above all an event, a meeting, from which we can therefore draw strength to live and operate in this world.

How does Carrón react from the source to this irruption of reality into our lives? Referring to that need to understand “what we call reason”. The appeal of the facts is that of reason. And it is not surprising if we remember that in Christianity the Word of God is filtered as lógos by the Greek culture of the evangelists and apologists: lógos meant rational discourse, the language of philosophers, as such opposed to myth, the discourse of poets.

Julián Carrón (Navaconcejo, Spagna, 1950)
Julián Carrón (Navaconcejo, Spain, 1950)

Of course reason does not mean looking at things “from the keyhole of our rationalistic measure”. Reason and rationalism are two different things. But the reason is a “lens” that brings us closer to the object of reality and allows “things to reveal themselves in their sense”. To say it with Shakespeare, it helps us understand that “there are more things in heaven and on earth than his philosophy dreams of”. Exactly the lesson of this epidemic.

Religion is therefore not a sentiment but an instrument to deal with the dimension of the tragic in history, and to sense the visit of the mystery. With Nietzsche we were convinced that “there are no facts but only interpretations ». Here, however, the fact overwhelms us. That is why – this Carrón does not say it – all the reductions to a DIY religion, to be consumed as a take-away food in the secret of the believers' consciences, where it is also good but less fertile, does not seem very useful. On the contrary, as often in the history of the West, religion could help us as a community to give an account of reality, and therefore constitute an excellent way to face it. Many feel this need.

Here Carrón uses a very tender and very true image. “If fear invades us, what can overcome it? What does the fear of the child overcome? The presence of the mother. It is a presence, not our strategies, our intelligence, our courage, what mobilizes and supports the life of each of us “. It is a “historical, carnal presence, like that of the God who became man”. And today, in this crisis, “more than any reassuring speech we need to intercept people in whom we can see His real presence embodied”. And we find, of people like that, “really friendly”. Just think of the doctors, nurses and nurses.

Carrón says that the “faith of the Christian is not the recognition of the divine, but of the divine present”. And it will be good to remember it also for the reconstruction. Faith can help us. «Someone wrote that we will come out of the great pandemic changed. I would add: we will go out changed, but only if we start to change now, if we will now deepen the discovery of who we are and what it is worth living for ». “The evil – Chesterton wrote – is not that the wise don't see the answer, but that they don't see the riddle”.

The text

The ebook The awakening of the human. Reflections from a dizzying time by Julián Carrón (Bur-Rizzoli, euro 3, 99). It is in the form of an interview made in Carrón by the journalist Alberto Savorana.

Julián Carrón (Navaconcejo, Spain, 1950)), priest, is theologian and linguist. Since 2005 he is in charge, after the death of Luigi Giussani, of the movement of Communion and Liberation (Cl).

The Ateco code, mentioned in the article, is an alphanumeric combination that identifies an economic activity. The letters identify the macro-economic sector

29 April 2020 (edit on 29 April 2020 | 20: 34)