ITALY / ARGENTINA, Pamela Fabiano •
The secret to being happy, ten meditations on the Gospel is a new book by Fr. Cruz Viale, a Schoenstatt Father, who lives and teaches in Cordoba (Argentina) and for some years has lived in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in moral theology at the prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University.
The book, published by Editions Patris Argentina, is a collection of ten meditations on the meaning of mercy, as revealed by Jesus in the Gospels.
Following St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine – through modern and contemporary thinkers such as Hand Urs von Balthasar, Romano Guardini, Joseph Kentenich, to popes St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis – Viale introduces us to the theme of mercy through the interpretation that they have given over the centuries of what Jesus expressed in the Gospels.
In this Holy Year of Mercy –that is now about to end– the reader can meditate and dwell on ‘problems’ which concern him very closely, and that have to do with the theme of divine mercy. An example is a meditation on the passage from the Gospel of Matthew in which the disciples in the boat are caught up in a storm with Jesus walking on the water toward them and inviting them to trust in him (cf. Mt 14:22-32).
Viale offers as reading the experience of filiality elaborated by Father Kentenich. Openly entrusting as children Jesus’ proposal that is the experience of a relationship, where trust frees us to face our fears and weaknesses, thereby drawing benefit. Peter and the other disciples, in fact, are afraid to rely on this unknown “ghost” that invites them to continue in the storm, but this fear defines them precisely as children who open their arms to their father, and they totally rely on him.
Father Kentenich expresses it very clearly in his Desafios de nuestro tiempo (Challenges of our time), Chile 2008, where he shows how the weaknesses and fears of every man to be a resource, to be people of integrity, healthy inwardly, and free in front of others.
Many other examples can be drawn from this beautiful book of meditations. The chapter on the story of the wedding at Cana (Jn. 2: 1-11) involves us in the history of God’s mercy towards us as Mary’s children. Here Mary’s faith is daring. In her, God’s mercy toward those who have no wine finds an ally in the fulfillment of Jesus’ mission. The words of the theologian Von Balthasar bind this Marian experience of mercy to the smile of a child to his mother, who is a path to God through a relationship of looks and mutual trust.
This new book by Fr. Cruz Viale, is really worth reading and meditating, not only because it opens up an original path on the theme of Mercy, helping the reader to educate themselves in the faith, but also because it is the contemporary contribution by a scholar of Kentenich and Schoenstatt to the whole Church and Christian literature.
Photo: Fr. Cruz Viale (first from right) during a meeting of his course with Pope Francis
Original: Italian. Translation: Valerio Salvador, Johannesburg, South Africa. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA