Stefano Zecchi, the well known journalist and professor of aesthetics at the State University of Milano, wrote that: “for Don Giussani, loving beauty meant loving a truth that is constructive. Beauty is always a force that proposes, builds and never regresses, is never nihilistic, it has always been an idea of invention and construction of possible worlds”.
To build. During a period of time when everything seems to unravel, what is more necessary than to construct? Don Giussani was a great builder because he loved beauty and sought it out in every aspect of reality and in the depths of every expression of human creativity: from art, to music to literature. This search for beauty was the ideal that moved all of his actions, so that he would capture the attention of whomever he met and so invite them to participate in the movement directed towards the building of the kingdom of God. He was a great educator because he invited us to participate in this inexhaustible search. In order to educate, to construct, to bear fruit in life, it is necessary to live in light of that virtue, which Charles Peguy described as being the “faith that God prefers”: in order to educate, in order to build it is necessary to have hope. Our goal in life is to collaborate in the construction of the kingdom of God, and it is only an ideal so great which gives dignity to our being priests, to our being missionaries, to our being Christians -with the awareness that, ultimately, it is not our efforts that construct reality and that recreate it continuously.
As Pope Francis said recently, the greatest of Jesus’ miracles is that of “making all things new: this is what he does for my life, for your life and for our lives. Making all things new. That which He makes new in our lives is the motive of our hope. Christ who makes new all of the marvelous realities of creation is the motive of our hope. And this hope does not delude because He is faithful and cannot deny Himself. This is the virtue of hope”.
Cardinal Ratzinger once said: “The promise of hope is a gift that has been already given in a certain way, and that we wait to receive from Him alone who can truly give it”. The pages that follow hope to bear witness to how our life is knitted with the awaiting of this gift and how hope can flourish within even the most adverse and diverse of life’s circumstances. Finally, how it educates us to the search for beauty, that towards which we are all destined.

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