Newsletter n. 4/22 – “And it was a full moon”

Certainly a Lenten theme. Maria Valtorta sees, hears and writes for us. It is the night of the capture, April 24 of the year 34 according to the Gregorian calendar, and Jesus has just come out of the Upper Room where he has filled the apostles and humanity with the three greatest gifts he could give: the commandment of love, the ministerial priesthood, the Eucharist. Now they have gone out and, despite the full moon, the night envelops them and before long the spiritual darkness will be complete. The ring is ready, the spectators are coming, the fighters rise to their seats. The clash is total. Death and life face off in the final duel. And it will end up in an ocean of blood with one of them never getting up. Life will triumph, but it will triumph in his own way. And it will not be that of satan or that imagined by men. In the meantime, however, on the way to Gethsemane, a crowd of ideas, projects and defeats run through the voices, hearts and minds of the eleven. At a certain point Jesus replies to St. John in a shocking but true way: “‘Why, my Lord? They are words of love’. ‘Of all human love. In truth, in these three years I have done nothing, because you are even more human than the first hour. All the muddiest ferments rise in you this evening. But it’s not your fault’” (Ev10 / 602 p. 15). This entirely human defeat must also taste the Lord. The speeches continue, until Jesus asks: “‘And what does Mannaen say?’. ‘Mannaen says that it cannot be true and that, if it were, he will also follow you in the torture’”. At this point Jesus has an answer suitable for all men of yesterday, today and tomorrow: “How you all trust in you!… How much pride is in man!” (Ev10 / 602 p. 19). This is the root of the problem and of all the obstacles that separate us from eternal life: pride. Pride yesterday, today and tomorrow. Here is the real and only evil. Whoever says it is Embodied Humility and for this reason he can say it without fear of being denied. The humble man always sees pride even if he cannot act in any way, except to keep silent and abandon himself – “into your hands Father I entrust my spirit” – to the will of God. Pride is always visible to the eyes of the humble even when does everything to hide. In this case the litmus test is: “how do you all trust you”. The proud man always and only trusts in himself. He does not want help from anyone: neither from his neighbor and least of all from God. He believes that his strength, his energy, his intelligence and the cunning he possesses are capable of saving him, of freeing him. But is not so. The proud only believes in himself, in the individualist version, or in ideology / party / nation, in the collective version. In one case or another he accepts neither the Creator God, nor the Redeemer God, nor the sanctifying God.

With these words Jesus does not despise anyone, but he shows the truth in a crude way. More pride, less humility; less pride, more humility. Either man abandons himself to God and his Christ in a total way, or he will never be humble.

The three tools that Lent makes available to us serve to pave the way for the gift of humility for every man. Prayer, fasting, almsgiving: this trinomial must be seen as an instrument so that humility begins to live in us, develops, perfects itself, becomes perfect in the eyes of God. On the night of the full moon the apostles lacked humility and they could not not even understand. Can we – you and me – understand? Let us bend our minds, hearts and knees so that the Lord may give us understanding, asking and doing.