The current president of the Fraternity of the new ecclesial movement founded by Don Luigi Giussani is a man by the name of Fr Julian Carron. I have been fortunate enough to have spent some time reading his works over the last year or so and have particularly benefited from his recent book Disarming Beauty, which I would wholeheartedly recommend.
I have been reading and rereading sections from this book over the past few months and have been continually struck by one of the key themes offered in the book, that freedom is so essential to the human person. Carron proposes to the reader that the way to truth is through freedom, and that love must, in fact, suffer human freedom.
Carron’s words inspire much contemplation and prayer, but I have found that the truths which he hopes to introduce his readers to are perhaps more adequately communicated via the media of poetry and literature. His writing reminded me of the tale of Jayber Crow, so beautifully told by a favourite author of mine, Wendell Berry.
What follows is a quote from the novel, the internal monologue of the main protagonist as he experiences something of an epiphany. My hope is that if anyone reading this post has not yet read either of these books, Disarming Beauty, or Jayber Crow, that he or she would do so with immediacy.
Just as a good man would not coerce the love of his wife, God does not coerce the love of his human creatures, not for Himself or for the world or for one another. To allow that love to exist fully and freely, He must allow it not to exist at all. His love is suffering. It is our freedom and His sorrow. To love the world as much even as I could love it would be suffering also, for I would fail. And yet all the good I know is in this, that a man might so love this world that it would break his heart.
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow, 254