Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The human as lived

The other day Carlo Nanni of the UPS said that the problem with formation was that it concentrated too much on the spiritual to the neglect of the human.

I replied saying that, according to us in the Dicastero, the two absolutely important aspects to be emphasized were precisely the spiritual and the human. (I could have added that the intellectual is important, but that by and large we are giving sufficient attention to it, though we could question the methods, the effects, and so on. Then there is also the pastoral, which needs serious attention: not simply engaging in various apostolates, but processing and learning from them.)

Yesterday Nanni went a step further: he said it was not enough to "talk" about the importance of the human, as one more category "up there" among others. We need to pay attention to the "vissuto," which is messy, confused, which includes light and darkness (my words), the affective, the bodily, the sexual.

And here also we are fundamentally in agreement. Not enough to talk about the human as an anthropological category. "Learning by experience the meaning of the Salesian vocation" involves precisely this kind of sustained attention to the "vissuto," to Erlebnis; to dwell before it and to own it; to find there the voice of the Lord. There in our concrete, messed up, fucked up humanity. "In the belly of the whale, Jonah learned to pray." 

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