Fall-Winter 2003

Modern times seem to exacerbate interpersonal relations, and misunderstandings have returned to throw their gloomy shadows upon religious and racial conflicts. All this reminds us of that controversial period of history when, after the fall of an empire that seemed eternal, civilizations and people rediscovered their ancestral fear of Chaos, and a few pious men united in devoted solitude around Benedetto da Norcia already lovingly worked for the days of the renaissance.

Then as now, everything that happens, regardless of appearance, conceals the vital force of a collective desire for renewal, fraternity and joy. Positive energies are transformed into destructive anger due to the difficulty of freely developing communication between peoples; they are grammatical errors, not errors of substance.

Erasmus said that reality is often not what it seems. Fear can hide joy, and hate can hide a need for love. The laws of the heart, unlike the laws of Reason, are at the root of each person. If one’s intellect seems dormant, it will awaken to rediscover the true nature of Prayer, which is nostalgia of the Soul rather than a supplication to satisfy a need. Everyone has a beautiful soul. It is the strength of the future, a strength that can simply and peacefully liberate many innocent people from unspeakable poverty and dire needs.

The Dawn of a Better World will illuminate a cosmopolitan future, where adults will once again be brothers because they will rediscover the child within, casting in the shadows the ominous specters of racial and religious hatred. In Umbria, in Castelluccio di Norcia, together with brothers from various parts of the world, in the places that witnessed the loving care of Benedetto and the monks who accompanied the Spirit of the Ancient World through the swamps of secular fear, I smelled that same breeze fragrant with the scent of hay, laurel, and acorns that carries with it the mystery of the spirituality of these places and the vital energy of a new Dawn.