“But here our difficulty begins, because the moralism that characterizes the world in which we are immersed begins to emerge in us, too. There is a way most people understand being faithful, and Fr. Giussani warns us that “this faithfulness is entirely given over to your ability to conform to ethics.” We are tempted to interpret faithfulness in terms of moralism and willpower, and tend to read everything in the light of our ability. In other words, we have discovered a certain newness of life, experienced an unexpected change, and now must work hard to make it last, to prolong it and achieve it in everything. “Just think,” Giussani said then, “of the boredom of the pressing repetitiveness of having to tell each other continually, ‘We have to change our relationships, we have to treat each other with respect during this vacation, we have to love each other as sisters and brothers, we have to be true friends, we have to respect order….’ We have to!”
“Consequently, “how to go forward” is understood as “a phenomenon of an effort of willpower,”83 as if constantly reminding each other were sufficient for keeping the soul from falling away, for keeping the morale of the group high, as if with our exhortations we could generate what we desire.
“But I believe,” Giussani continued, “that I would not be a bird of ill omen or a pessimist if I predicted that as time passes, constantly repeated reminders will be met with a certain falling off of your attention, a certain cooling in your enthusiasm, because enthusiasm is a response to newness.”84 The newness is the truth, the divine that manifests itself, attracting and moving our being.”
WHAT CAN WITHSTAND THE TEST OF TIME?