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SOMMARIO

2 Saluto del Presidente


3 Leditoriale
4 La cronaca dell'ASPUST
5 Interview with Fr. Walter Senner O.P. on St. Thomas Aquinas
8 Mercoled delle Ceneri
10 J.M. BUCKLEY, O.S.P.P.E. - The life of St. Thomas Aquinas
11 F. FERONE - Con umilt e fervore: lettera a San Tommaso
13 M. SPOETH, O.S.B. - Whether the death of our Lord occurred on the eve of the
Passover
17 T. MALIKOV - Unread chapters of Islamic philosophy
20 M. VIZIOLI - Addiction & Interreligious Dialogue
21 S. TOI - Riflessione personale sul dialogo interreligioso
23 C. GIAMPIETRO - La storia di Dudu
25 F. DANTINO - Casa Italia
27 Rev. N. CALLAGHAN - Law & Coffee
28 M. SORONEVYCH - Tesori dellAngelicum
31 Laus Sancti Martini
33 Sleeping in classroom or a poetry-essay to awakened mind
35 E.A. PALOPOLI - A Christmas carol and a redeemed soul
39 L. SAPIENZA - San Giuseppe ha lo sguardo cos dolce, ma io preferisco
mangiargli la barba!
40 Suor T.T.T. NGUYEN, O.P. - Cultura Vietnamita: La torta e il piatto di riso del
Gioved Santo
42 R. CONGIA - Vignetta: Gli esami

la Parola 2/2015 | 1

SALUTO DEL PRESIDENTE


dolce legno, dolci chiodi...

Carissimi,
Il nostro itinerario quaresimale avanza, e ci
avviciniamo alla storia della nostra vita cristiana,
la Risurrezione del Nostro Signore Ges Cristo.
Vivendo giorno per giorno la nostra quotidianit,
in modo particolare ci accompagna la Via
Crucis, un esercizio di piet molto amato dai
cristiani. Esso ripercorre l'ultimo tratto del
cammino fatto da Ges durante la sua vita
terrena, dalla condanna fino alla crocifissione,
morte e sepoltura.
I primi cristiani, e ora sempre pi numerosi
pellegrini, si recavano a Gerusalemme per
ripercorrere la via dolorosa di Ges.
Nell'impossibilit di recarsi nella Giudea, si
introdusse in Occidente l'usanza di commemorare
la Passione del Redentore ripercorrendone i
diversi momenti e soffermandosi dinanzi alle varie
rappresentazioni (14 stazioni).
Partecipando alla Via Crucis, ogni cristiano si unisce alla Passione di Cristo e, restando sotto la
sua Croce come la Madre e il Discepolo, accoglie le ultime parole di Ges e il dono della sua vita
per la salvezza del mondo.
Vi auguro che il santo cammino della fede Vi rafforzi, e dia pace e gioia ai Vostri cuori...
Fr Natanaele, OSPPE

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LEDITORIALE

Foto di Magda Lekiashvili

Dear mates,

In these early days of arriving spring, with its warm sun


and awakening nature, we have prepared the second
issue of our journal, which particularly coincides with
the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas. The present
issue differs quite a bit from the first one, since it has a
more literary air and personal character. Our first issue
was full of theological and religious reflections, with
matters that we students are used to reading or
studying. It also shows how important it is to link
knowledge and acts, in other words, the realisation of
your knowledge directly in your daily life, or
interiorising all that you study and encounter by
bridging intentions, pulses and rhythms of your soul
with the circumstances and happenings of this life. Not
an easy task at all, nor are the lives of poor and
humble editors easy. We try to involve new contributors
each time, which is quite a fatiguing thing. Oh,
wonderful, I will certainly write! says your companion
enthusiastically after hearing your proposal. After one
week the same person is still smiling while seeing you
in the coffee bar and claims that he is reflecting on his
future writing and another week later he already tries
not to greet you because the unpleasant question may
come up. At the end of the day there are no writings
and the journal needs to be filled with something
People often lack courage and harmony in their lives to
organise their days, keep promises and at least make
small sacrifices. It is easy to give up, but not easy at all
to keep up the battle. Yet it is through the pain that we
learn. The pain and hope is the mud of our spiritual life
from which we shape ourselves. Let us hope that our
old-young la Parola will painfully-but-successfully pave
its way into becoming a more serious and really
functioning platform of our University, not just of
students and for students, but for the rest as well.

Cari amici,
Il secondo numero del periodico la Parola fornisce
nuovi spunti di riflessione in questo periodo di
Quaresima, in cui urge tornare a Dio con tutto il cuore.
Desidero ringraziare chi ha dato il suo prezioso
contributo, e mi auguro che tanti ancora si rendano
disponibili a partecipare in futuro.
Dopo il lancio del sito web dellASPUST, stiamo
pensando di creare un blog dedicato interamente al
nostro giornale, dove ci sar la possibilit di interagire
con commenti e suggerire la pubblicazione di post.
Sar una sorta di agor virtuale, unopportunit in pi
per dialogare.
In questi giorni ho meditato molto sulla frase riportata
allinizio del libretto Custodisci il cuore, che Papa
Francesco ha fatto distribuire in Piazza S. Pietro dopo
lAngelus di domenica 22 febbraio: Noi dobbiamo
diventare cristiani coraggiosi. Il coraggio di un
cristiano innanzitutto nella capacit di essere saldo,
di farsi riconoscere nellaffermazione della propria
identit, non celandola ad alcuno, anche nei momenti
pi tragici quali persecuzioni e torture. Esempi di
coraggio sono offerti dalle migliaia di cristiani trucidati
in Nigeria o in altri luoghi di terrorismo. Il coraggio
andare incontro agli altri nelle periferie estreme per
essere testimoni credibili di vita cristiana autentica.
Claudia Giampietro

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Teymur Malikov

LA CRONACA DELLASPUST - 2015


20 gennaio
Quarto Consiglio ordinario dellASPUST. Discussione del programma per la festa di
San Tommaso, della pubblicazione del secondo numero di "la Parola", della lotteria
di beneficenza e altro.
17 febbraio
Quinto Consiglio ordinario dellASPUST dopo la sessione degli esami. Discussione
degli aspetti logistici del programma per la festa di San Tommaso, della lotteria di
beneficenza, della rivista "la Parola", del torneo universitario di calcio e
approvazione del budget delle spese.
20 febbraio
Inizio della vendita dei biglietti per la lotteria di beneficenza. I premi stabiliti: 1.
tablet, 2. orologio, 3. biografia di San Tommaso, 4. un buono per il bar.
27 febbraio
Prove generali dello spettacolo per la festa di San Tommaso.

Lenten meditations

Especially in this holy time, I beseech you brothers and sisters, let us strive to live in all
purity, in this time when a definite and brief number of days has been prepared, that
human weakness may not lose hope.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Christe, palma bellatorum, hoc in municipium

introduc me post solutum militare cingulum,

fac consortem donativi beatorum civium:

Praebe vires inexhausto laboranti praelio,

nec quietem post procinctum deneges emerito,

Teque merear potiri sine fine praemio.

Sanctus Petrus Damianus

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INTERVIEW WITH FR. WALTER SENNER O.P. ON ST. THOMAS AQUINAS


Preferring reading St. Thomas to a sports event
Father Walter Senner has been teaching in Angelicum since 2006. He is also the director of the
Saint Thomas Aquinas Institute of PUST, editor in chief of the Deutsche ThomasAusgabe (Latin-German commented edition of the Summa theologi) and the Quellen und
Forschungen zur Geschichte des Dominikanerordens, member of the editorial board of Archa
verbi, member of the International society for theological medivistics, of the Meister Eckhart
Gesellschaft, of the Socit internationale pour l'tude de la philosophie mdivale. In spite of
his busy schedule he didnt hesitate to grant us this interesting interview, which is a fresh eye on
what we study every day.
Editorial staff - As we know, St. Thomas Aquinas
gained a remarkable recognition by the Catholic
world if not immediately then quite soon after his
death. And it was gradual. He was declared a saint
with the famous "Tot miraculis, quot articulis!" after
almost fifty years of his death. In the XVI century he
was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church and in the XIX
century he becomes a patron of all Catholic
educational establishments. But what about the
studies and recognition of Aquinas' place by
contemporary academia, particularly non-Catholic
and non-Christian circles? How would you clarify its
development?
Walter Senner - Far beyond Catholic circles Thomas
Aquinas is considered a "Classic" of philosophical thinking. That is to say we find in his works
central questions that are asked in different times and cultures clearly posed, explained, and
answered. Even if you don't agree with him in matters of faith, to read his works and to understand
his argumentations is a good school for your own thinking, taking into account the complexity of
problems and possible counter-arguments. In a historical perspective he is for exactly the same
reason the author most representative for the occidental High Middle Ages.
ES - His corpus of writings is extremely large. How should one start studying him?
WS - Just there where he recommended it: with the Summa Theologiae (see his general
prologue) - which gives you a systematic, didactical treatment of theology and philosophical
questions related to it. Compared with the "Quaestiones disputatae" the arguments are reduced in
number, but carefully chosen to illustrate the most important doubts. One should not dispense with
them and the answers to them, as here you can see how Thomas not only developed his own
ideas, but takes into account also other points of view.
ES - What most commonly draws the attention of scholars of St. Thomas while they do
research? And what are the most argued points in his works?
WS - This depends on your interests and consequently on your perspective. Many - more
systematically interested - admire his clarity, many - more historically minded - howhe renders the
essential points of previous and contemporary theological and philosophical debates and
integrates them into his synthesis, particularly how he clarifies many enigmatic passages in works
of Aristotle. The question, whether a metaphysics of being - to be conceived as ontology or not? is necessary, is much discussed. In ethics you find in St. Thomas a clear doctrine of human dignity
and the principles necessary for asserting it.

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ES - As a matter of fact, which neo-thomistic approach do you in fact find most successful?
Or in other words what kind of adaptation do we need for better understanding and
applying the Saints thoughts nowadays? Is there really any need for a kind of a "reform" of
Thomism?
WS - Thomas being a classic of thinking, it isjust as necessary and sensible to "adapt" him as it
would be to repaint Michelangelo's Mona Lisa. Read the original and think it over! This does not
mean that all Neothomistic handbooks are just useless: Rginald Garrigou-Lagrange e.g. often
gives helpful explanations - but beware of oversimplifications and one-sidedness, which you do not
find in St. Thomas. A good help towards understanding Aquinas for students brought up in the
tradition of analytic philosophy are the works of Eleanor Stump, esp. Aquinas (London 2nd ed.
2005).
ES - We are living in a very juridical culture, when even throwing trash is regulated by law.
St. Thomas analyses philosophically the nature and the structure of law in his writings.
What would be a Thomistic comment on modern jurisprudence in general and how may it
be reviewed as a possibility to participate in the eternal law?
WS - Concerning law - a key term with Thomas - we in our time have the basic problem that
neither the divine foundation of law as implied in ameaningful order of creation nor an ultimate end
of the human being in a fulfilmenttranscending earthly life is accepted as basic for law by people
perhaps not in terms of quantity, but rather in terms of influence - in western culture.Thomas would
have argued as the Thomistic German Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler did in the
"Reichstag", the German parliament, when the majority refused to integrate a catalogue of human
rights in the constitution of the "Reich" (the empire of William I): "Do not make laws that are
rebellious against God's laws and you will not experience that we are rebels against your laws" - a
legislation without basic values has no value. But as John Finnis shows, you can argue basic
human values and rights and found a Thomistic philosophy of law on these values and rights even
without theonomic arguments only, this should not be mistaken as a reconstruction of Thomas'
own theology of law.
ES - St. Thomas mostly is known as a follower of Aristotle. But what about other
philosophical sources of his writings that are usually ignored while thinking or talking
about him? Is he ever defending Plato contrary to Aristotle?
WS - Aristotle indeed is the most important philosophical reference for St. Thomas. He had little
knowledge of Plato and it was not first hand, so he even attributed to "the Platonists" positions of
radical Aristotelians (e.g. in his Sermon "Attendite a falsis prophetis" just critically edited in the
Leonine). But he knew the Neoplatonic tradition handed down by the Fathers of the Church and
some works such as the "Liber de causis" quite well and he conceived a remarkable synthesis of
both - well described by Tomas Tyn's posthumously published "Analogia entis e partecipazione".
Thomas metaphysics is thus not purely Aristotelian, whereas his ethics is much indebted to the
Stagirite. His epistemology and psychology integrates findings by Arabic and Persian philosophers.
So what you can gather, sometimes from theological contexts, as Thomas' philosophy, is not
eclectic but a new original synthesis; therefore we can correctly speak of Thomistic philosophy.
ES - Some say that he had a mystical experience at the end of his life. However, some deny
this fact. What is your opinion on this matter? We know that you are also a specialist in
Meister Eckhart. What parallels could you draw between these two figures?
WS - The historical truth about the mystical visions ("Thomas You have written well about me ... "
and "All what I have written seems me like straw... ") we will know in heaven (hopefully). But as the
Italians say "Se non vero ben trovato" - they are characteristic for his mind. Thomas did not
care about honours and was not haughty about his science. He longed for truth, that truth that is
not only a logical relation, but first truth that will set us free (See his commentary on St. John 8:

la Parola 2/2015 | 6

32). Thomas was not only a great scholar but also a humble and pious friar, as his Eucharistic
hymns show, esp. "Adoro te devote" proved to be authentic by Robert Wielockx. In this Meister
Eckhart was much like him, but not only in this: he had a basically Thomistic training which you can
see at many points. By consequence his metaphysics was much indebted to this heritage -
oscillating between contradicting (not being, but intellect is first) and more radically positing it(God
is Being, beings <without God> are just nothing). You would not find in Eckhart the calm objectivity
of Thomas; he, even in his scholarly writings, is a fervent preacher. But he is as humble facing the
divine that does not suppress but surpasses reason.
ES - Can we say that the emphasis on reason in St. Thomas has opened a door for the
future rise of European rationalism, particularly for Rene Descartes?
WS - One can speak of Aquinas as an "intellectualist" giving priority to the intellect before will (In
order to love you first have to know), but I would not call him a "rationalist" i.e. someone giving
priority to theoretical constructions over empirical considerations (like Descartes or, even more,
Hegel). According to Thomas your thinking should fit reality, and he is not too sceptical that it can.
So, if we see scientific logical thinkingtaking into account and weighing alternative possibilities, as
is characteristic for modern occidental minds, Aquinas is important. If we emphasise more
systematic experimentation like in present day sciences of nature and technics, Albert the Great is
morea sort of forefather - but both are not contradictory.
ES - What was your own experience with St. Thomas Aquinas? How exactly were your
views evolving regarding the Saint? Whom do you consider to be your most important
teachers in your studies of the Saint?
WS - Since the age of eleven I preferred reading "De ente et essentia" to a sports event at school,
and I have been fascinated by St. Thomas Aquinas more and more, the more I learn about him. He
was one motivation for me to join the Dominicans (the others being their democratic structure and
the liturgy). At the Dominican house of studies in Germany I learned about St. Thomas especially
from Otto H. Pesch, Willehad P. Eckert, and Paulus Engelhardt, at Bonn and Cologne universities
from Prof.s Wolfgang Kluxen and Albert Zimmermann. I owe most to Prof. Fernand Van
Steenberghen at Louvain who guided my licence tesina and my doctoral thesis. In the Leonine
Commission for the critical edition of St. Thomas' works I came too late to experience working with
the two Dondaine brothers, but I learned much fromfr. Ren A. Gauthier and even more from fr.
Louis J. Bataillon. Learning about his historical milieu I cannot but admire how objective he
remained even when he was attacked in unfair ways. I wish I would have more of this
"Gelassenheit" (composure, detachment).I see also that Thomas was a man of his time: he wrote
that the inferiority of women, which he assumed, mitigating Aristotle's misogyny, would end in
heaven only(S.th. Ia, q. 93, a. 4). He did not deduce from hisbasic anthropological insight that the
human being is lord of his own acts (St.th. IaIIae, q. 1, aa. 1 e.a.), that slavery is unconditionally
inhuman and should be abolished. These are limits of the horizon in 13th century. Thomas,
however, is not just completely caught up within such limits. To my joyful astonishment I read S.th.
Ia q. 102, a. 3. Aquinas here asks whether it was adequate that God placed the first man in Eden in
order that he should guard and cultivate it. Counter-arguments: in paradise there were no enemies,
so it did not to be guarded, and agriculture is hard labour, a consequence of sin - "sweating you
shall eat your bread". Answers: Man should guard paradise for and of himself, bewaring sin. And:
in the state of innocence agriculture is not hard work, but joy - just think of the hobby of a gardener
rejoicing in the blossoming of his flowers. Thomas as theologian of justice and peace - that would
be no surprise - but giving a sketch of an ecological theology preserving creation - there is more in
St. Thomas Aquinas than what I had thought and perhaps than what you have thought. Take and
read.

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MERCOLED DELLE CENERI


(sintesi da una registrazione)
Cappella Paolina
Mercoled 18 febbraio 2015
Omelia di Mons. Guido Marini

Abbiamo

oggi la grazia di iniziare, ancora una volta, il cammino della santa Quaresima, un
cammino che la Chiesa definisce, nella preghiera di questo tempo, cammino di vera conversione.
Laustero Rito delle Ceneri ne segno altamente espressivo.
Conversione una parola che conosciamo bene, ci molto familiare: sia perch spesso la
usiamo riguardo alla nostra vita spirituale, sempre bisognosa di riforma; sia perch la proponiamo
alle persone che ci sono affidate, stimolandole al bene. Ma proprio perch ci familiare, corriamo il
rischio di renderla banale, svuotandola della forza e della radicalit che essa porta con s.
Desideriamo, pertanto, iniziare il cammino delle vera conversione ricordando che questo significa
anzitutto un itinerario di ritorno al Signore e, di conseguenza ai fratelli. Dobbiamo tornare al
Signore con un amore pi grande; dobbiamo tornare ai fratelli con un amore pi grande.
Quale sar il segno che il nostro cammino quaresimale stato un cammino di vera conversione?
Lo sar il nostro cambiamento, la trasformazione della nostra vita. Arrivando a Pasqua potremo
dire di aver vissuto bene la Quaresima se saremo, almeno un poco, cambiati nella logica di amore
pi grande riguardo al Signore e ai fratelli.
Ascoltando la parola del Signore, in questa giornata penitenziale del Mercoled delle Ceneri, siamo
aiutati a custodire nel cuore alcuni elementi utili per il nostro cammino di conversione.
1. Abbiamo ascoltato: Ritornate a me con tutto il cuore (Gl 2, 12). Il ritorno a Dio non pu essere
parziale, richiede totalit e integralit. Il cuore deve essere consegnato per intero allAmore di Dio,
tutto il cuore deve divenire dimora dellAmore di Dio.
Ognuno di noi avverte lurgenza di questo ritorno con tutto il cuore, dal momento che ritroviamo in
noi un cuore diviso e, per questo motivo, profondamente malato. Tanti amori mondani vi abitano,
tanti affetti disordinati lo agitano. Abbiamo un cuore inquieto perch appesantito da ci che non
Dio e non in sintonia con la Sua volont sulla nostra vita. Dice San Tommaso: Per il fatto che
lamore trasforma lamante nellamato, fa s che lamante penetri nellintimit dellamato e
viceversa, cosicch nulla di ci che appartiene allamato rimanga disgiunto dallamante.
Abbiamo davanti a noi un tempo favorevole per andare alla ricerca di ci che abita il cuore e non
dovrebbe, al fine di sradicarlo con decisione. Il testo biblico citato usa la significativa espressione:
Laceratevi il cuore. E proprio questo che dobbiamo fare: lacerare il cuore, ferirlo, strappando via
quanto ancora gli impedisce di dichiararsi ed essere con verit propriet del Signore.
San Francesco di Sales ha scritto: Se mi accorgessi che nel mio cuore una sola sottilissima fibra
non vibrasse per Dio, subito me la strapperei. Strappare: questa lazione da compiere e che, in
qualche modo, viene a identificare la penitenza quaresimale: i digiuni, i pianti e i lamenti di cui ci ha
parlato lantico profeta. La penitenza, infatti, altro non che il compimento di gesti, interiori ed
esteriori, in virt dei quali mortifichiamo qualcosa di noi per affermare che Dio al di sopra di tutto,
che il nostro cuore gli appartiene e che possiamo fare a meno di tutto ma non di Lui e del suo
amore.
2. Abbiamo anche ascoltato: Perdonaci, Signore: abbiamo peccato. Lo abbiamo ripetuto con il
ritornello del Salmo responsoriale e, in tal modo, abbiamo riaffermato con umile verit la nostra
miseria che anela alla misericordia di Dio.

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La Quaresima il tempo propizio per riconoscere che siamo peccatori e che abbiamo bisogno del
perdono del Signore. Come bello avere la possibilit di cadere in ginocchio e di supplicare la
bont del Cuore di Ges! Come affascinante il volto luminoso di Colui che tutto Amore, sempre
pronto ad accoglierci fra le sue braccia!
Ma, per assaporare la meraviglia della misericordia divina, necessario prima riconoscere fino in
fondo la propria povert. Solo se si scende nellabisso del proprio male, quel male che abita nelle
profondit del cuore e che si manifesta in pensieri, parole, opere e omissioni, diviene realissima e
consolante lesperienza dellabisso senza fine del perdono divino.
Non dovrebbe mancare, in questo tempo, una domanda rivolta a se stessi sulla frequenza riguardo
al sacramento della Confessione. E proprio in quel sacramento che impariamo a guardare con
umile verit la nostra vita, a riconoscere la miseria che vi abita, a gustare la dolcezza e la
tenerezza di quellabbraccio e di quel bacio di riconciliazione che solo il Signore capace di dare.
Non vi pu essere storia di conversione e di santit senza lassiduit con la Confessione
sacramentale.
3. Abbiamo inoltre ascoltato: Ecco ora il momento favorevole, ecco ora il giorno della salvezza! (2
Cor 6, 2). Il tempo che abbiamo a disposizione una grazia grande per la nostra vita. Non
dobbiamo e non possiamo perdere tempo!
I quaranta giorni della Quaresima sembrano lunghi e, invece, passano tanto rapidamente. I giorni
della vita appaiono lunghi e, invece, hanno la caratteristica di un soffio che subito svanisce. Il
tempo non pu essere perduto invano! Non saggio rimandare a domani quello che possiamo e
dobbiamo compiere oggi.
Ora il momento della conversione! Ora il tempo della santit per la nostra vita! Perch
indugiare? Perch attardarci in tante inutili occupazioni e preoccupazioni non dedicando la vita a
ci che davvero conta e per cui vale la pena vivere e morire?
Le giornate della vita fuggono veloci come il vento. E che cosa rimane di esse se non le abbiamo
riempite di amore, dellamore di Dio e del prossimo? Temo il Signore che passa, affermava
santAgostino, pensando alla triste possibilit di mancare allappuntamento con la grazia che Dio
offriva alla sua vita. Temiamola anche noi questa possibilit: significherebbe perdere
lappuntamento con lAmore che d senso, gioia e pace alla nostra storia.
La pagina del vangelo, nella quale Ges ci offre il triplice invito allelemosina, al digiuno e alla
preghiera, si propone a noi anche come suggerimento di un preciso programma di vita. Ciascuno
di noi dovrebbe programmare con attenzione il proprio percorso quaresimale; non bene viverlo
alla giornata. Facciamolo presto, subito! Non lasciamo passare questo tempo di grazia senza aver
formulato qualche impegno preciso, senza aver pensato una meta alta cui tendere.
S, nel nostro programma, redatto con sapiente concretezza, tendiamo verso lalto, coltiviamo
grandi desideri, non accontentiamoci di mezze misure. Osiamo correre, anzi volare nella via della
conversione, in questo santo tempo della Quaresima. Non mancher laiuto del Signore a
sostenere il nostro santo proposito.

la Parola 2/2015 | 9

THE LIFE OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

Joseph Maria BUCKLEY, O.S.P.P.E., Theology

This

month we celebrate the feast of our


University's patron, St. Thomas Aquinas. And
though at times we may study some of his
works, not everyone might be familiar with the
man himself. So in celebration of his feast, I
would like to share a little about the life of this
great saint.
When and where St. Thomas was born can
not be said for certain but it seems likely that it
was around 1225 and probably in the family
castle at Roccasecca in southern Italy. He was
born into a noble
family for which the
normal thing for the
sons to do was to
become a soldier.
However Thomas
being the youngest
was instead to enter
the monastery and
hopefully become
the abbot of the
nearby Benedictine
monastery of Monte
Cassino. To which
end he entered as
an oblate at a young
age.
However these were
turbulent times
politically and
around the age of 15
problems arose and
he was transferred
to Naples to avoid
the troubles to
continue his studies. It was there at Naples
that Thomas met the Dominicans and in April
of 1244 he received the habit. But this did not
go well with his family, who still wanted him to
be the abbot of Monte Cassino. The friars tried
to send him away to Bologna to avoid the

problems, but his brothers came after him and


brought him back to the family home. There is
the story that he escaped the next year
climbing a rope down the wall, though the truth
might be more that his family, seeing resolve,
let him go.
Thomas did not then stay long in Italy. Though
he might have spent a short time in Rome, he
was soon sent to Paris, where he became the
disciple of the Dominican master St. Albert the
Great. Thomas remained in Paris till 1248,
when he left with
Albert the Great to
Cologne, since the
Dominicans wanted
to start a new house
of studies there.
Albert the Great had
been asked to be
one of the teachers,
and he chose to take
Thomas with him.
Thomas stayed
there for the next
few years, till Albert
was asked to choose
someone who could
be a teacher in
Paris. Albert chose
Thomas, and hence
in 1252, we find
Thomas back in
Paris and starting to
teach.
It is now this part of
the life of St.
Thomas that we might be, or should be familiar
with from our studies. The time when he wrote
all his great works, that for our studies we still
try as best as our abilities allow to read and
comprehend. But hoping you know this history
enough, I would like to share for a moment

la Parola 2/2015 | 10

something else that should make St. Thomas


important to us, his spirituality. There was a
beautiful statement that I read recently that
went something like this: it was not that St.
Thomas was a theologian that made him a
saint, but rather the way he practised theology
that made him both a great theologian and a
saint.
St. Thomas, as can be said of many of the
saints, was a man of contemplation and
prayer. But what makes Thomas stand out for
us, as students, is that for Thomas his prayer
was connected to his intellectual work. JeanPierre Torrell O.P. who is known for his
scholarly works about Thomas, when
describing the characteristics of St. Thomas'
prayer, says that clearly the first trait is the
linking of it with study. For him both prayer and
study become the one act of contemplation of
God. In those times when study is heavy,
maybe not even that engaging, I try and find
encouragement in this. That by linking prayer
with study, I might become both a better
student and a better Christian.
However this time of St. Thomas' writings, like
all things, had to come to an end. And it did so
very suddenly. On the feast of St. Nicholas in
1273, he had a vision, that had a profound
effect on him. After this time, Thomas never
wrote or dictated anything more. When asked
by his assistant Reginald of Piperno, he simply
replied I cannot do any more. Everything I
have written seems to me as straw in
comparison with what I have seen. Thomas
did not live much longer after this. It seems
Thomas, who had been accustomed to good
health most his life, became increasingly ill.
On 7th March the following year when on the
way to the 2nd council of Lyons, he passed
away in the abbey of Fossanova. Thus ended
the life of this great Theologian and Saint,
whose feast we now celebrate this month.

The image: The temptation of Saint Thomas


Aquinas by Diego Velzquez, 1632.

CON UMILTA' E FERVORE:


LETTERA A SAN TOMMASO

Francesco FERONE,
Diritto Canonico

Caro San Tommaso,


tra qualche giorno la nostra Universit far
memoria di te. La data del 7 marzo costituisce
un appuntamento immancabile per questa
grande famiglia, un momento di profonda
condivisione e di testimonianza di quel
patrimonio di valori che forgia profondamente
l'identit dell'Ateneo che porta il tuo nome.
In questo momento mi trovo nella Sala delle
Colonne, il luogo simbolo, almeno per me, di
quella che considero la mia casa, ed osservo i
miei compagni di universit, alcuni intenti nello
studio o nella stesura di un elaborato, altri con
lo sguardo divertito da un video su Facebook o
su YouTube.
Sono qui dall'alba, ripasso gli ultimi argomenti
di un esame che devo sostenere tra un'ora
circa e, in un momento di pausa dalla lettura
dei sacri canoni, ho pensato di condividere con
te alcuni pensieri.
Non temere, dottore Angelico, non voglio
parlare con te di filosofia o di teologia, non
potrei mai tenere testa ad un uomo colto come
te.
Una volta mi capitato di leggere una tua
biografia, e ci che mi ha colpito, oltre alla tua
fede adamantina nonch allo smisurato amore
che avevi per Cristo Ges e che hai cantato in
preghiere meravigliose, stato constatare
quanto lo studio abbia plasmato la tua identit.
Ne ho avuto la conferma pi di un anno fa,
quando, curiosando per le librerie di Roma, mi
sono imbattuto in un brevissimo scritto
attribuito a te. L'ho scoperto sfogliando una
piccola antologia dal titolo "L'arte di studiare".
In questo testo, ad uno studente che ti
domandava dei consigli su come trarre profitto

la Parola 2/2015 | 11

dallo studio, rispondevi, tra l'altro, di "...


conservare una coscienza pura; non mancare
di dedicarsi alla preghiera; amare la propria
stanza; mostrarsi amabili con tutti; non
interessarsi dei fatti degli altri ... non
immischiarsi in nessun modo dei discorsi e dei
fatti del mondo ... fuggire soprattutto le
chiacchiere, non smettere di seguire le orme
delle persone sante e buone".
In queste poche righe, Maestro Tommaso, hai
mirabilmente delineato il profilo del vero
studente. Tre passaggi mi hanno colpito in
modo particolare: la coscienza pura, la
dedizione alla preghiera e l'esempio delle
persone sante e buone.
Mi piace intendere l'invito a conservare una
coscienza pura come un'esortazione ad
affrontare i propri studi con retta intenzione. Ti
confido, caro Santo, che mi capita spesso di
esaminare la mia coscienza in proposito, di
chiedermi con quale spirito sto affrontando il
percorso formativo che ho scelto, se divorato
dalla brama di potere e di successo o piuttosto
animato dalla vera speranza che, come
direbbe Agostino d'Ippona, ha due figli, lo
sdegno e il coraggio: lo sdegno per le cose
che non vanno e il coraggio per cambiarle.
Qual il senso del mio essere qui? Sto
studiando per prepararmi con seriet e
responsabilit a prestare un servizio alla
Chiesa? Sono animato dal desiderio di
contribuire alla edificazione di una pace che
sia fondata sulla giustizia e sulla verit? Spero
vivamente di s. Diversamente, sarei soltanto
un fariseo.
Mi ha colpito, in modo particolare, l'invito a non
trascurare la preghiera. Una volta mi capitato
di leggere un testo di Luigia Tincani, vissuta
molti secoli dopo di te ma innamorata come te
del carisma domenicano. Lei diceva, se non
ricordo male, che lo studio ben fatto diventa
esso stesso preghiera. Quanto aveva ragione!
Quando fatto con amore, con passione, con
dedizione, lo studio diventa un'esperienza
unica di continua lode a Dio, un cammino che
conduce l'anima ad assaporare qualcosa di
molto prezioso.

non mancano campioni di santit, e potrei


farne a centinaia di nomi, a partire dal Santo
Padre Domenico per finire con il tuo, passando
per quello del tuo maestro, Alberto Magno; per
non parlare delle straordinarie figure femminili,
come quella di Caterina da Siena, o ancora di
volti molto pi vicini a noi come il Beato
Piergiorgio Frassati e la stessa Madre Tincani.
Tuttavia, senza nulla togliere loro, credo che
uno studente pu trovare persone sante e
buone anche dall'altra parte della cattedra, o
addirittura tra i volti dei suoi compagni di
studio. Sar che sono stato fortunato, ma i
tanti docenti che mi hanno guidato in questi
anni e i molti compagni di studio con i quali ho
affrontato e sto tuttora affrontando il mio
percorso di studi costituiscono per me un
punto di riferimento. Con la loro quotidiana
testimonianza hanno arricchito la mia persona
di valori inestimabili, come l'umanit, il rispetto
per l'altro, la solidariet, la responsabilit nel
compiere ogni giorno il proprio dovere.
Mi fermo qui, dottore Angelico, non voglio
abusare della tua pazienza e, ad ogni modo,
l'ora dell'esame si avvicina.
Voglio concludere confidandoti un auspicio che
mi porto dentro: quello che, a prescindere dal
percorso che ciascuno di noi segue in questo
Ateneo, tutti possiamo riscoprire giorno dopo
giorno la bellezza dello studio. La mia viva
speranza che, in un mondo che tende a
soffocare i valori dello spirito, si possa
recuperare il gusto dell'apprendimento,
l'ardore di scoprire ed imparare cose nuove, la
felicit che pu trasmettere la lettura di un
testo. Possa ciascuno di noi, per riprendere
ancora una volta le parole della Tincani, "porsi
allo studio con umilt e fervore, sapendo che
ogni piccola verit conquistata un passo
verso la Verit Suprema. Sentire che la
scienza un cammino nascosto in cui si cela
Dio".

Non voglio rubarti altro tempo, mio caro


Maestro, solo due parole sul terzo punto:
l'imitazione dell'esempio delle persone sante e
buone. Certamente nell'Ordo praedicatorum

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WHETHER THE DEATH OF OUR


LORD OCCURRED ON THE EVE
OF THE PASSOVER

Maximus SPOETH,
O.S.B., Philosophy

It seems not:
Objection 1: The Synoptic Gospels describe
the Last Supper of Jesus as occurring on the
eve of the Passover. For Matthew says, On
the first day of Unleavened Bread, the
disciples approach Jesus saying, Where do
you want us to prepare for you to eat the
Pascha?1 Now the first day of Unleavened
Bread means the eve of the Passover, as it is
said in Ex. 12:18: On the first month, the 14th
day of the month, in the evening, you shall eat
unleavened bread. Moreover, Mark even
more clearly says, And the first day of
Unleavened Bread, when they were
immolating the Pascha, his disciples say to
him: Where do you want us to go and prepare,
that we may eat the Pascha?2 Luke also, in
introducing the Last Supper, says, But the day
of Unleavened Bread came, in which it was
necessary that the Pascha be killed.3 Thus, it
seems clear that the Last Supper took place
on the eve of the Passover. But since Christ
was put to death the next day, it follows that
His death did not occur on the eve of the
Passover, but rather on the day itself of
Passover.

Matt 26: 17

Mark 14: 12

Luke 22: 7

John 18: 28

JOSEPHUS: Antiquities of the Jews XIII 8: 4

Cf. Lev 23: 32

Objection 2: Though the Gospel according to


John seems to place the death of our Lord on
the eve of the Passover, it can be interpreted
in another way than the literal sense. Literally,
John says that the enemies of Christ take Him
to Pilate on the morning of His crucifixion: And
they didnt enter into the praetorium, that they
might not be contaminated, but might eat the
Pascha.4 This obviously implies that it was the
very day before the Passover. The death of
Christ takes place on that eve, which would be
the eve of the Passover, the same time when
the lambs were being killed in the temple.
However, all these coincidences of events
would have great theological significance,
pointing to Jesus as the true lamb. Therefore,
to convey this meaning of his, the author must
have invented this construction of the story.
Therefore, it must not have really happened
that way, and Christ must not have really died
on the eve of the Passover.
On the Contrary, Josephus says: "Nor was it
lawful for us to journey either on the Sabbathday, or on a festival day."5
I answer that, there are several difficulties with
considering the Last Supper to have taken
place on the eve of the Passover, from without
and within the very Synoptic Gospels
themselves. The first difficulty is that if the Last
Supper took place on the eve of the Passover,
it would imply that the Crucifixion took place on
the very day of Pascha, which, as all the
feasts, was also considered a Sabbath,6 and
the same obligations applied to them, as
Josephus mentions above. This would have
been unthinkable to the Jews for several
reasons. One, it was not permitted for bodies
to remain on the cross on such a day. Two, it
was not permitted for Jews to travel more than
two thousand cubits on such a day, whereas
much travel is described on that day in all four
gospels.

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A second difficulty with presuming that the Last


Supper took place on the eve of the Passover,
is that it would imply that there were two
Sabbath rests back-to-back, namely the day of
the death of our Lord, and the day after. For all
four Gospels agree that the day after the death
of our Lord was also a Sabbath. Several
incongruities would come from the supposition
that there were two Sabbaths. One, it would be
discordant with the contrast in behaviour of the
disciples on the two days, who were making
haste to prepare the body of Christ before the
arrival of the Sabbath, in order to keep the
commandment of rest. They would be doing
this on a Sabbath itself, namely on the day of
the Passover. Two, it would give no time for
the women to purchase aromatic spices, since
Luke says that just as the Sabbath was
ending, very early, they came to the tomb,
carrying the aromatic spices, which they had
prepared.7 Since they were coming to the
tomb just as the Sabbath was ending, they
obviously did not buy and prepare the spices
that very morning. Yet if the day before were
also a Sabbath, which it would be if it were the
Passover day, they could not buy and prepare
the spices on that day either. They would have
had to buy and prepare them the day before,
before sunset on the day of the Last Supper,
even before Christ was apprehended, which
would make no sense.
A third difficulty is more direct evidence within
the Synoptic gospels themselves. For Matthew
says, they made counsel, to seize Jesus by
deceit, and kill him; but they were saying, not
on the feast day, lest there be a tumult among
the people. Now the feast day obviously
means either the eve of the Passover, or the
day of the Passover. If the Last Supper was on
the eve of the Passover, then according to all
accounts, they would have seized Jesus on
the eve of the Passover, and killed Him on the
day of the Passover, which is exactly what
they did not want to do according to the
Synoptic Gospels themselves. The Gospel of
Luke might seem to resolve this difficulty, at
least in part: And the feast day of Unleavened
Bread was approaching, which is called

Luke 24: 1

Luke 22: 1

JOSEPHUS, The Antiquities of the Jews XVI 6: 2

Pascha. And the chief priests and scribes were


seeking how they would kill him; but they
feared the people. But Satan entered into
Judas And they rejoiced and promised to
give him money. And he promised and sought
an opportunity, that he may hand him over to
them without the crowd.8 In other words, it
could be that their principal concern was the
crowds normally present on such a feast day
a concern which was dispensed with once
Judas promised to hand Christ over to them
secretly, and that they had no concern
whatsoever with transgressing their religious
law.
But fourth, as Josephus says, the Jews were
"not obliged to go before any judge on the
Sabbath-day, nor on the day of the preparation
to it, after the ninth hour."9 Now since the feast
days had the value of a Sabbath, it would
seem that this custom would have also applied
to the feast of Passover. But if the Last Supper
took place on the eve of the Passover, then
the Jews themselves would have broken this
custom three times: in holding a trial for Jesus
before Annas and then again before Caiphas
after the ninth hour on the day of preparation
(the eve of the Passover), and then again on
the next morning before Pilate. It would have
been inconsistent of them, then, to plead to
Pilate himself for Jesuss death on the grounds
of their law. If, on the other hand, the trial of
our Lord took place on the day of preparation
f o r t h e P a s s o v e r, t h e n t h e r e i s n o
inconsistency. For the gospels specify that
Christ was brought to Pilate before the ninth
hour.
These reasons lead us to judge that the death
of our Lord must have taken place on the eve
of the Passover, and not on the day itself of
Passover.
Now, despite all these arguments, the Synoptic
Gospels still speak of Jesuss Last Supper as
happening on the eve of a Passover. Yet, it is
not only the Synoptic Gospels. Even the
Gospel of John seems to say this. For it begins
the description of the Last Supper this way:

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Before the feast day of Pascha, Jesus,


knowing that his hour has come, that he might
pass over from this world to the Father, since
he had loved his own, who were in the world,
he loved them to the end.10 And a little later,
when our Lord says to Judas, What you are
doing, do quickly,11 the disciples interpret it as
a command to buy the things which are
necessary for the feast day, seeming to imply
that the feast day is imminent. Thus, each of
the gospels either says, or seems to imply, that
the Last Supper of the Lord took place on the
eve of the Passover, the eve when the Paschal
Lambs were to be killed. Yet, at the same time,
it is significant that all the Synoptic Gospels
note that the next day, the day of Christs
C r u c i fi x i o n , w a s a l s o T h e D a y o f
Preparation.12 Certainly, Day of Preparation
can simply mean the eve of a Sabbath; but it
can also mean the eve of the Passover. Of
course, all four gospels agree that this
particular Day of Preparation was the eve of
the Sabbath, but St. Johns Gospel adds: for it
was the great day of that Sabbath,13 implying
that this Sabbath was both the weekly day of
rest, and the day of the Passover. Therefore, it
seems likely that on that year, the great
Passover day coincided with the Sabbath
that is, on the day following the death of our
Lord. At the same time, in some sense there
seems to have been a Passover that took
place the day before, as the Synoptic Gospels
so clearly say.

appreciation of the various ways in which


historical truth can be expressed, for example
in different orders depending on the focus,
different expressions, etc.14 However, they
would by no means relinquish the obviously
intended meaning of the author, even in its
smallest details. This mystery, therefore, must
have required of them a particular humility of
mind to accept. However, for us, there is
something we are more aware of than the
theologians of the middle ages were, namely
the complexity of the actual historical
background. For example, we now know that
there were several different lunar or solar
calendars in use in the first century, even
among different groups within Judaism.15
Therefore, we now have two easy ways to
eliminate the mysteriousness in the texts. The
first is to simply admit the possibility of the
literal truth of both sides of the paradox, given
our increased historical knowledge. The
second is to take the general theological
message as if it is the only intended meaning
of the author of the text, assuming that the
historical details are just contradictory and
incidental to the meaning. Strangely, this
second way is usually taken today, though we
often have less scientific reason to do so.
Though the mystery is more easily resolved by
us today, we seem less interested in finding a
solution to it - and are more prone to simply
dismiss it as inconsequential. Indeed, were
not comfortable with mysteries.

The mystery we are dealing with here is not a


new discovery. For it was certainly known to
the early Church, to the Fathers, and to the
medieval theologians, habituated as they were
to consign much of Scripture to memory. They
always attempt to reconcile the accounts,
however, since they regard the Holy Spirit as
the principal author of the text, written also
through the full agency of the human author
and therefore as without error in its literal
sense. Certainly they had a very nuanced

Therefore, I would like to suggest neither the


first nor the second way which is now open to
us today not being too eager to undo the
mystery, nor daring to dismiss it, but rather just
taking what we are given and deepening the
mystery by probing a little deeper into the very
words of the gospels, to see where they lead
us. For we believe it is the Spirit of Christ who
inspired all four evangelists, the same Christ
who went through His Passover, who died,
was raised, and is present in His Church.

10

John 13: 1

11

John 13: 27

12

Matt 27: 62, Mk 15: 42, Lk 23: 54

13

John 19: 31

14

cf. AUGUSTINE: Harmony of the Gospels

Felix Just, S.J.: The Death of Jesus in Mark vs John, http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/JesusDeath.htm


15

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If there seem to be two Passover days being


described in the gospels, perhaps a key to
their harmonization can be found in the very
Passover of Jesus which He celebrated. The
Synoptic Gospels indirectly mention some
curious omissions in the first Passover (the
Last Supper), which only the Gospel of John
completes in the other Passover (the Death of
our Lord). That is, in the Synoptic Gospels,
though bread and wine are mentioned at the
Last Supper, no lamb is mentioned as being
immolated for this Last Supper. In fact, it is the
Gospel of John that clearly testifies of Christ
as the true Lamb of God,16 and moreover that
He was being killed on the other Passover. A
second curious ommission is that, in the
Synoptic Gospels, Jesus leaves the Passover
meal incomplete. Traditionally, in the Jewish
Passover, four cups of red wine were received,
which was supposed to remind one of the
blood of the paschal lamb that was sacrificed
that evening. The third of these cups, called
the Cup of Blessing, was to be received after
the main meal was finished. Now it is this cup
which Jesus gave to His disciples, saying,
This chalice is the new covenant in my blood,
which is poured out for you.17 Yet there was
also supposed to be a fourth cup, which was
preceded by hymns. However, they did not
receive this cup. Indeed, regarding this cup
Christ says, But I say to you: I will not drink
again from this product of the vine until that
day, which I shall drink it with you new in the
kingdom of my Father. And having said the
hymn, they departed to the mount of Olivet.18
They departed after the hymn and before the
fourth cup. Then all three Synoptic Gospels,
and only they, recount a cup being mentioned
again by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:
My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass
me by; yet not as I will, but as you.19 Finally, it
is only the Gospel of John which then records
the following words of Christ on the cross:
After this, Jesus knowing that now all things

had been fulfilled, in order that the Scripture


might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. A vessel had
been put there full of sour wine; therefore,
putting the sponge full of sour wine around
hyssop, they offered it to his mouth. Therefore,
when he had received the sour wine, Jesus
said: It is fulfilled! And when he inclined his
head, he handed over his spirit.20
A retaining of the details of the Gospels,
therefore, reveals in their harmonization a
unity of the Passover of our Lord which
embraces His liturgical action at the Last
Supper and His passion and death on the
cross.
Let us recall, moreover, that the very actions
which Jesus performed on that night, he
commanded His disciples to do, in His
memory: Do this.21 It is not only the words,
but the very action. Therefore, we conclude
that the Liturgy of all ages must also be part of
this picture which is now opening up to us, and
also the continuing passion of our Lord, which
St. Paul refers to when he says, I make up in
my flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of
Christ, for the sake of His body, the Church.22
the Liturgy and Passion which are already
substantially contained and consummated in
that one Passover of our Lord.
Reply to Objection 1: Though the Synoptic
Gospels say that Christs Last Supper took
place on the eve of the Passover, it does not
follow that this must be taken only in its
simplistic sense as the 14th day of the month of
Nisan. Even in a literal sense, there is still no
impossibility of the Passover being celebrated
by some on this day, and by some on the next
day, given what we now know about the nonuniformity of the calendars at the time. And in
a spiritual sense their words are also true as
applied to Christ, even if the Jewish Passover
took place the next day: the night of the Last

16

Jn 1: 35-37

17

Lk 22: 20, Cf. I Cor. 10: 16, 20

18

Matt 26: 29

19

Matt 26: 39

20

Jn 19: 28

21

Hoc facite in meam commemorationem. words of consecration in the Roman Rite.

22

Col 1: 24

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Supper was His Passover, the evening when


the lamb had to be killed, the evening, that is,
when he mystically offered His body and blood
to His disciples under the separate forms of
bread and wine, a sacrifice to the Father for
their redemption.
Reply to Objection 2: The presentation of the
Passover as being on the eve of Christs death
is too intricately wound into historical details of
the Gospel according to John, to be merely
intended as a theological explanation of the
significance of Christs death. Moreover, this
artificial construction would not be necessary,
since this same significance is expressed in
many ways in the Synoptic Gospels. Again, the
three Synoptic Gospels do not claim to be as
intimately familiar with the details of the death
of Christ as the Gospel of John does. For Luke
says, it seemed good to me also, having
followed all things closely for some time past,
to write an orderly account for you,23 whereas
Johns Gospel says, after describing the
piercing of Christs heart, He who saw it has
born witness his testimony is true, and he
knows that he tells the truth that you also
may believe.24 Finally, the position that if a
text is saying something theological, it
therefore must not be taken as history, is
actually based on an absurd premise: that
theology comes from us that meaning is a
human invention, which we impose on the
facts. The truth is rather that God acts in
history, giving it a divine meaning, which is
nevertheless sufficiently veiled from us, so that
we may not easily claim it and then dismiss it
as our own work, but rather discover it in
humility and thus find Him.

23

Luke 1: 3

24

John 19: 35

UNREAD CHAPTERS OF ISLAMIC


PHILOSOPHY

Teymur MALIKOV,
Philosophy

It

is almost an established convention that


people in the West who are taking a
philosophy programme, while doing a general
course on medieval thought, study just one
period of Islamic philosophy, namely its
classical epoch. Usually, in voluminous
editions of the history of philosophy, the
Islamic period contains about a dozen pages
with the names of Avicenna, Ghazali and
Averroes and thats about it. It is a pity that the
following centuries of Islamic intellectualism
are known only to a narrow group of
specialists. However, the growing importance
of Islamic studies urges us to have a more
complete picture of the later development of
Muslim thought in order to see better the
peculiarities which are still shaping its
contemporary conditions. The importance of
such a study flows from the fact that if we
consider the whole Oriental world together with
the Far East, Islam, with all its cultural and
mental aspects, is the closest and most
recognisable culture for the Western world,
sharing as it does two most important
elements, namely its representation of
Abrahamic tradition and integrated Greek
intellectualism and culture. But at the same
time, it is often the most misunderstood
religion by westerners, especially in regard to
different political and social events. In this
short and inquiring essay we will try to give a
very brief outline of major aspects of later
Islamic philosophy, which is at the same time
traditional and pre-modern. The important
thing to see is that in Islam the dynamism of
intellect is very different from the western one,
because it reminds one more of a space where
there is a gradual and vertical elevation, rather

la Parola 2/2015 | 17

than a chronological line divided into a scheme


of ancient-medieval-modern times - something
inapplicable to the intellectual life of Islam. It is
a growth from formal and logical metaphysics
towards a pure divine metaphysics. And let us
see exactly how it was happening.
It would be useful to start by mentioning
Averroes (d. 1198), since he symbolises the
conclusion of the Muslim peripatetic
movement, and also since there is such a
prevalent belief that his funeral was the end of
Islamic philosophy as well - which is partially
true, but only for western Islam. Interestingly,
he became much more popular in Europe and
his thoughts were exploited both by Christians
and secular thinkers of Europe in a more
intensive way than by Muslims. Although he
made attempts to rehabilitate and revive
philosophy within Islam, his thoughts,
particularly on epistemological matters, of a
twofold way of reaching knowledge, didnt get
wide recognition and were not considered to
be really fruitful by Muslims themselves. As a
matter of fact, here we can compare
Christianity and Islam in their relation to
Aristotle. Although from the 13th century,
Aristotelian thought was gaining dominance in
the Christian world, replacing Augustinian and
Platonic wisdom, in Islam however, parallel to
the death of Averroes, with the theologys and
Sufisms critique of Aristotelian rationalism,
something very important started to arise in
Eastern Islam, especially with the doctrinal
Sufism of ibn al-Arab and the philosophy of
illumination of Suhraward - and it is still
continuing nowadays. Nevertheless, even from
the dawn of Islamic philosophical thought, it
was never in pure Aristotelian form, but always
had a strong Neoplatonic accent, the greatest
master of which was Avicenna. "Platonized
Aristotle was a mental guarantee for centuries
to avoid the logical formalisation of religious
philosophy enriching it with spiritual and
mystical odour. The culmination point of this
attitude to philosophy manifests itself in the
magnum opus (Philosophy of Illumination) of
Suhraward (1155-1191), known also as
Shaykh al-Ishraq (The Master of illumination),
which represents a revival of ancient Persian
wisdom, the founders of which he considered
to be Hermes, Plato and Zoroaster. The
unification of Plato and Zoroaster later was
also carried out by a Greek scholar named
Plethon. The motifs of sacred Oriental wisdom
are already found in the works of Avicenna but

it remained unfinished. Suhraward was


insisting that this was impossible because for
this intellectual attempt one needs to look at
the works of ancient Persian sages who were
guided by Allah. He praises and gives honour
to Aristotle quite a bit, but he believed that for
a deeper knowledge one needed to go beyond
the peripatetic perspective, which has its own
limits, and discover the Light, moving towards
the sacred East. The alternative to the rational
discourse or be it the process of abstraction
becomes an intellectual intuition. For this he
formulates a symbolic language to give
expression to his wisdom. In his metaphysics
he is elaborating in a very detailed way the
grand hierarchy of archangelic cosmos,
showing different levels of lights that constitute
it, in which all creation is a successive outflow
from the original Supreme Light of Lights (Nur
al-Anwar). The human soul which is deprived
from its original source of pre-existence in this
given world should seek its felicity by
detaching itself from tenebrous body and
worldly matters and get access into the world
of immaterial lights. These metaphysical
notions are coinciding very much with the
quintessence of ayat of light in the Noble
Quran. The blend of the ancient Persian
wisdom with Islamic philosophy by a Muslim
thinker didn't create a serious problem since it
is supported by the Islamic notion of the unity
of religions. "And for every nation there is a
messenger. And when their messenger
cometh (on the Day of Judgment) it will be
judged between them fairly, and they will not
be wronged" [10:47].
Starting from 13thcentury the other remarkable
phenomenon in post-classical Islamic thought
is the intellectual activity of ibn al-Arab, one
of the monumental figures of Sufism, in whose
works the conflict between Sunni theological
Kalam and Hellenistic philosophers was
removed and a pure Islamic metaphysics was
expressed in a systematic form. On the other
hand, after the 13th century the other crucial
process - the integration of Sufi metaphysics,
in particular the ideas of the already mentioned
ibn al-Arab, into Shiite thought took place by
gradual attempts of several generations of
scholars. But before that there was a
systematisation of Shiite doctrines within its
theology or kalam which was always very
philosophical and mystical in comparison to its
Sunni equivalent. And the most methodological
effort of the mentioned integration was done

la Parola 2/2015 | 18

by Sayyid Haydar al-Amuli (1320-1385) who


speaks about two kinds of monotheism:
theological exoteric, which declares that there
is one this" God, and ontological esoteric,
which reveals that there is a Unity of being. At
the same time he disagreed on certain points
with ibn Arabi since he believed that Imam Ali
(peace upon him) is the seal of the universal
walya and that the seal of Muammadan
walya is Imam Mahdi (may Allah fasten his
appearance). However, ibn al-Arab believed
that Jesus Christ (peace upon him) was the
seal of the universal walya. Walya in the
Shiite vision is the esoteric prophecy and the
charism of divine friendship. Metaphysically,
Shiism is a current that is concentrated on the
idea that after the death of the Prophet (peace
upon him) although the great prophetic cycle is
finished for all times, nonetheless a new postprophetic cycle of his succession, namely
walya or imamat is starting, which is
preserving the integrity of religion, its exterior
and interior nature (with a special accent on
the latter through which the inner spiritual
dimension of religion is preserved without
which religion becomes extremely juridical)
and at the same time manifesting once more
its eschatological drama; according to the
majority of Shiite Muslims who are followers of
the Twelve Imams (peace upon them), it
finishes with Twelfth Imam Mahdi or Hidden
Imam whose return together with the prophet
Jesus close to the last days of sacred history
is being expected. Imam is a widely used term
and has several meanings and in Twelver
Shi'ism it primarily refers to the twelve
descendants, both political and spiritual
successors of the Prophet, infallible
interpreters and absolute authorities over
Muslims. For Shiite Muslims the Prophet and
his Imams are Face of God before people, the
first creature from divine light, who are
internally of the same nature. These concepts
show how Shiite Islam overlaps with many
aspects of Christology showing its legitimate
succession with the spirit of previous
revelations. Due to this metaphysical content
the synthesis of Shiism with Sufi teachings is a
very natural happening, since they believe,
and it is also partially accepted by Sunni sufis,
that Sufism or tasawwuf has its roots in the
words and preachings of the holy Imams. It is
an undeniable fact that, except for the tariqah
of Naqshbandiyya, all other sufi orders trace
back their golden chain of succession to Imam
Ali (peace upon him). And moreover, the eight

Imams out of twelve are the poles of the same


chain.
Islam as a religion itself is an integral teaching
which unites many aspects of human life, from
daily issues, laws and political questions, to
sciences and spirituality. And it is also this
characteristic that was quite a determining
power in the unfolding philosophical movement
until it reached the Safavid renaissance, which
gave birth to Mulla Sadras school of
transcendental theosophy, a fundamentally
synthesizing and culminating point of Islamic
thought, a school which is still a dominating
one in Shiite world. Mulla Sadra
(1571/72-1640/41) masterly brought together
all previous currents of philosophy, theology
and esoterism. Till nowadays in all works
produced by philosophical Shiite
consciousness we can see the clear line of his
influence. Mulla Sadra initiated a revolution in
the traditional metaphysics of essences,
replacing it with the metaphysics of existence,
where the priority is given to existence over
essence. The philosopher was saying that
there are no stable essences - each of them is
moving according to the intensity of its act of
existence - in this way promoting for the first
time in the history of philosophy the concept of
trans-substantial or infra-substantial motion.
Matter, according to him, is experiencing
numerous stages of transformation. There is
also an idea of spiritual matter, which makes
Mulla Sadra simultaneously different both from
materialists and spiritualists. He is a
philosopher-metamorphose and his teaching is
in absolute accordance with imamite Shiism,
where the expectation of the Twelfth Hidden
Imam will be the arrival of the Perfect Human
through a grandiose cosmology, ie. the fall of
Soul into the abyss of abysses and its slow
ascendance till the human form, which is a
point of arrival to the edge of Malakut
(transphysical spiritual world). All later
philosophical schools in Iran of the Safavid
period and later through the Qajar period until
now, such as the schools of Isfahan, Tehran,
and of Khorasan and present day Qum were
and are continuing the ideas inspired by Mulla
Sadra. This school is the greatest gift that
Muslim culture has ever given to the world,
when human thought became extremely
integrated or unified, and spiritualized, and the
sciences preserved their sacred nature
reflecting the fundamental idea of the unity of
life.

la Parola 2/2015 | 19

This was a very short look at late traditional


Islamic philosophy, which still needs to be
studied and understood. We were able to
mention only several the most valuable events
and names. For further reading we
recommend Henry Corbins "The history of
Islamic Philosophy", which is available in
several languages, and which we widely used
while writing this essay.

ADDICTION & INTERRELIGIOUS


DIALOGUE
Blitch (Marco) VIZIOLI,
Theology

For

over 20 years I have been blessed with


the opportunity to work with thousands of men
and women from many faith backgrounds.
While we differed in our creeds, religious
cultures, scriptures, doctrines, and concepts of
the Divine we all held one thing in common.
We all held that only the power of God could
transform a fatal condition known as
alcoholism/ drug addiction. This wasnt an
easy thing to admit, nor was it a fun
conversation to have in the beginning for many
of us. Almost everyone I worked with came
into recovery with anger, pain, and resentment
regarding the religion they were raised in. For
many of us, religion had been somewhat of a
dead-end, and if God existed He was certainly
not interested in the likes of us.
Two decades ago I was a 19-year old, angry
young man in a world of pain. Throughout my
life I had tried to reach toward God, learn
about religion, and gave ministers plenty of
occasions to transform my life. I had been a
liar, a thief, and a problem for most of my
childhood. My teen years were spent in an
alcoholic haze and drug addled labyrinth. I
grew ever more depressed and cynical about
life, as well as my place in it and while I still
knew that God existed, I didnt believe I was
capable of having a relationship with Him. I felt

lost and let down by religion, and disheartened


by the never-ending arguments between
different faiths. Various forms of Christianity
seemed to despise each other, and had little to
say about other religions that sounded
encouraging. Everyone I listened to was
convinced that they were right and everyone
else was wrong, and they were shocked if you
didnt see it their way.
My path hit a dead end of its own and I
reached out for help. I prayed to God that He
enter my life and make the difference I couldnt
make on my own. Within 6 months the
unthinkable happened. I got the help I reached
out for. I found a community of men and
women like myself with the same struggles I
had been wrestling with. Not only had they
been dealing with addiction, but they too had
struggled with God. None of our beliefs,
convictions, arguments, or opinions had been
able to keep us clean on our own, but together
we were able to agree that an encounter with
God (however we might understand Him)
could transform our lives. It was informal, yet
honest. It was unconventional, yet effective.
This was my entry into an early form of
interreligious dialogue. I felt a pull to return to
the Catholic faith that I was raised in. I
surrendered my self-will and was led back to
the Church of my youth. Yet others in my
community surrendered as well and were led
to completely separate faiths. For some it was
also a return to the belief system they were
raised in, and for others it was a new religion
entirely. How could this be? Why wouldnt God
lead us all to the same religion if we were
willing to surrender to His will authentically? So
far, I have not been able to answer that with
any satisfaction. I can only speak for the
results. Over the last 20 years I have engaged
in conversations with fellow Christians, devout
Jews, and converts to Buddhism. There are
also those who have grown in their spiritual
lives without an organized religion. While we
do not always agree on certain ideas, or
doctrinal points of view, we have experienced
a remarkable unity in spiritual principles. We
have seen a power far greater than ourselves
completely transform the lives of men and
women who had previously abandoned all
hope. We have learned from each other
profound truths that we were able to take back
to our own religious systems and offer
contributions in those communities. While few

la Parola 2/2015 | 20

people engaged in serious interreligious


dialogue would assert that all religions say the
same thing, we have discovered that there is
enough that we hold in common at the level of
principle. When we lead our conversations
from those ideas that we have in common we
become able to make a difference in the world.
My personal work has been to aid those who
still suffer anger and resentment with
organized religious systems and lead them to
healing. For addicts and alcoholics this healing
is vital to recovery. In fact I have found it vital
to living a life of possibility, mission and
spiritual development for everyone.
My vision is a collaborative effort of religious
leaders to create a rehabilitation facility that is
staffed by people of varying faiths and open to
anyone of any, or no faith at all. This is a
mission that I have given my life to. The
principles we share are our guides to progress,
and the intention of this collaboration is to
make a difference for alcoholics and addicts
that can transform the course of their lives on
spiritual as well as practical levels. I feel that
this will have a positive impact not only on our
collective spiritual identities, but also on our
ability to become leaders in the communities
that are most important to us.
Whether our area of interest lay in the world of
addiction recovery, the political sphere, or
more local levels, the urgency of
compassionate cooperation has never been
greater. By learning more about eachothers
faith traditions, studying their wisdom, insights
and disciplines, and focusing on the underlying
spiritual truths that we have in common, I am
certain new advancements are ahead for
people of interreligious dialogue.

RIFLESSIONE PERSONALE SUL


DIALOGO INTERRELIGIOSO

Shigenori TOI, Filosofia

In

questo mondo esistono varie religioni,


confessioni, insomma, considerando anche le
scuole, che si ispirano a una religione, c'
uninfinit di credo diversi; ognuno propone
strade per emanciparsi dalle sofferenze che si
provano nella vita, per raggiungere la pace e
la salvezza. Questo un dato di fatto e, nel
mondo odierno, una religione non deve essere
negata in modo assoluto dallesterno, in
quanto mira alla salvezza degli uomini.
Oggi il dialogo interreligioso interessa sempre
pi la gente, proprio perch ormai siamo in un
periodo in cui una religione non si pu
permettere di pretendere di avere una dottrina
assolutamente giusta in un atteggiamento di
esclusione degli altri credo. Penso che, da un
canto, sia necessario che ogni fedele delle
diverse religioni affermi lautenticit della
propria dottrina, in modo da credere nella
salvezza praticandola, ma dallaltro debba
essere ben cosciente che ci sono delle
persone che praticano unaltra fede per essere
salvate in modo diverso. Anzi, io dubito
profondamente che una dottrina che in
conflitto o esclude gli altri si possa chiamare
una vera religione.
Allora qual il vero dialogo interreligioso?
Penso che non sia sufficiente, per esempio, la
tolleranza religiosa proposta dal filosofo
britannico John Locke, secondo la quale una
religione deve essere tollerata fin quando essa
non causa nessun danno alle altre. Mi sembra
che presenti soltanto un atteggiamento
negativo nei confronti degli altri credo. Io vorrei
piuttosto mettere in risalto un aspetto pi attivo
di tale dialogo, ossia fare delle concessioni
reciproche condividendo lo scopo di mandare
avanti il cammino verso la salvezza che ogni
religione propone, oppure in un termine pi
generale, verso la pace nel mondo. Proprio
per questo motivo ogni religione e ogni

la Parola 2/2015 | 21

credente devono sviluppare coscientemente la


comprensione degli insegnamenti e della
cultura delle altre religioni, abbandonando un
modo di porsi autoritario, per cui si ritiene di
credere nell'unica fede giusta.
Ora vorrei presentarvi la prospettiva di
Tenrikyo [1], la religione in cui io stesso credo.
Io sono il Creatore, Dio vero e reale. Io ho
predestinato questa Dimora. Ora Mi rivelo al
mondo, in persona, al fine di salvare tutta
lumanit. Vi chiedo di lasciarMi Miki [2] come
Mio Tempio Vivente. Questa la prima
rivelazione ricevuta da Tenrikyo. Il Dio di
Tenrikyo, essendo il Creatore e il Protettore del
mondo e dellumanit, si assume il carattere di
vero genitore dellumanit e infatti noi lo
chiamiamo Dio Genitore. Dio Genitore cre il
mondo e gli esseri umani volendo condividere
con loro la gioia nello Yoki-gurasi, la Vita di
Gioia, vale a dire una vita in cui tutti gli esseri
umani vivano nella gioia, aiutandosi
vicendevolmente in questo mondo. la Vita di
Gioia, dunque, il motivo per cui Dio Genitore
fece la creazione e lo scopo dellesistenza
umana. Tuttavia, la Vita di Gioia non da
realizzare solo tra i fedeli di Tenrikyo, ma col
resto dellumanit proprio perch tutti noi
siamo ugualmente figli di Dio Genitore e
ognuno va coinvolto nella salvezza, senza
nessuna eccezione. chiaro, pertanto, che
Dio Genitore preferisce larmonia ai conflitti tra
fratelli e sorelle e questo discorso
certamente valido anche nelle relazioni
interreligiose. Il concetto di armonia, infatti,
stato utilizzato come una parola chiave anche
da Papa Francesco in occasione di un
convegno interreligioso tenutosi lo scorso
novembre.

essere espressione di una quotidianit in cui il


confronto e la crescita spirituale di ognuno, pur
nella diversit, si arricchisce di spazi di vita e
di studio in cui scoprirsi, narrarsi e rispettarsi.
Infatti, indispensabile lo sforzo personale
quotidiano di rendersi pi aperto verso gli altri
tipi di insegnamenti, nella progressiva
convinzione della necessit del dialogo
interreligioso e della comprensione degli altri
credo. Secondo me, senza lapertura
cosciente di ognuno, il dialogo interreligioso,
attuato solo da chi ha funzioni rappresentative
ed organizzative, senza il coinvolgimento dei
fedeli, non godrebbe di grande sviluppo.
Credo, infine, che la nostra casa, lAngelicum,
ci offra un ottimo ambiente per il dialogo
interreligioso in tal senso. La nostra universit,
infatti, accoglie gli studenti anche di varie fedi
non cristiane, per esempio islamici, buddisti di
varie scuole, e anchio, se non mi avessero
offerto questa grande accoglienza, non avrei
potuto studiare qui. Grazie a questo ambiente,
noi ci troviamo tutti vicini in ununit cos
stretta, in cui sono convinto che possiamo
sviluppare la reciproca comprensione e
contribuire alla realizzazione della salvezza.
Grazie mille per la vostra lettura paziente.
[1] Tenrikyo: una religione nata nel 1838 in Giappone
quando Dio Genitore si rivel attraverso Miki
NAKAYAMA
[2] Miki: Miki NAKAYAMA, la fondatrice del Tenrikyo

Dunque, per creare questa armonia tra noi,


ripeto, bisogna fare delle concessioni
reciproche sia a livello organizzativo sia a
livello personale.
certamente vero che necessario
partecipare e contribuire in qualche modo al
dialogo interreligioso, usufruendo degli eventi
in merito, come convegni organizzati a tale
scopo. Eventi del genere, per, non
dovrebbero interessare solo coloro che hanno
responsabilit di guida e di supporto alla
condivisione delle diverse religioni. Questi
incontri organizzati secondo scopi di pace, per
essere fruttuosi e generare armonia, devono

la Parola 2/2015 | 22

LA STORIA DI DUDU
Claudia
GIAMPIETRO, Diritto
Canonico

Un racconto tratto dal libro Vite che si


raccontano al Morro da Conceio, di Claudia
Giampietro

Ciascuno

segue il proprio cammino, trovando


spesso in una vita difficile pi spine che fiori.
Non serve lamentarsi, dato che nascere,
vivere e morire costituiscono la nostra eredit
naturale. Era questa lessenza del pensiero del
grande poeta del serto Patativa do Assar,
che aveva ispirato tanti artisti con i suoi versi.
Eduardo, un ragazzo diciottenne del Morro da
Conceio che tutti chiamavano Dudu,
osservava con attenzione la moltitudine di
piccoli libri colorati disposti con ordine dietro il
vetro della bacheca; visti cos sembravano
solo un mucchio di carta riciclata, in formato
tascabile e con un disegno estremamente
semplice in copertina, venduti a prezzi
stracciati. In realt si trattava di un piccolo
tesoro di cui molti ignoravano lesistenza.
Anche lui, fino a pochi anni prima, li avrebbe
archiviati sotto la categoria bobagens, ovvero
scemenze, e non sarebbe mai andato fino al
centro di Recife, per la precisione nel Museu
de Arte Popular situato nel Ptio de So
Pedro, per farsi raccontare, seppur
gratuitamente, la storia del viaggio incredibile
di quei libri, arrivati in Brasile nelle valigie dei
colonizzatori portoghesi durante il XVI secolo.
I brasiliani si erano innamorati della literatura
de cordel, chiamata cos perch gli opuscoli
erano venduti in strada, appesi ad una corda,
e se nerano serviti per narrare fatti realmente
accaduti, duelli, biografie di personaggi illustri,
inventare litigi o storie assurde, fare satira, con
una voce tipicamente popolare. I semplici
disegni in copertina erano realizzati con la
xilogravura, una tecnica secondo la quale si
incideva il modello su una tavoletta
preferibilmente in legno di cedro, vi si passava
sopra una mano dinchiostro nero e questa
diventava una matrice che serviva per
imprimere quel disegno sulla carta; a volte chi

era cordelista sapeva realizzare anche le


immagini in copertina con questa tecnica.
Dudu era un ragazzo sfortunato, cresciuto
senza genitori; non aveva idea di chi fosse suo
padre, mentre sua madre, una ventenne piena
di tatuaggi e piercing, laveva lasciato appena
nato al Morro con una donna anziana che
aveva pagato perch se ne occupasse, visto
che lei lavorava in citt e non aveva tempo.
Ricordava le sue telefonate e le sue rare visite
nei primi anni; lui non aveva alcuna voglia di
sentirla o vederla e lei si amareggiava per
questo, come se ne avesse il diritto. Lultima
volta che and a trovarlo era incinta, ma non
mand mai laltro figlio a vivere l con lui e da
allora non ebbe pi sue notizie.
Molti bambini di quel quartiere erano
tormentati e senza futuro, nati quasi per errore
e non desiderati da nessuno, passavano la
giornata seduti nella piazza principale a
fumare colla, o approfittavano dellassenza del
custode del Santuario per intrufolarsi e creare
confusione, magari rubando i soldi delle
offerte. Lui li conosceva tutti perch come loro
stava sempre in mezzo alla strada, correndo
scalzo e in mutande. Certe sere arrivavano i
ragazzi pi grandi che si erano fatti i soldi
facendo gli spacciatori. Vestivano bene,
avevano macchine di lusso con impianti stereo
da favola e fumavano maconha, che
puntualmente offrivano anche a loro; facevano
qualche giro in piazza, a volte cacciavano fuori
il revolver per regolare i conti con qualcuno
che non pagava e, se ne decidevano la morte,
il giorno dopo facevano ritrovare il suo
cadavere in bella mostra, magari con una
pallottola in testa. Andavano l per reclutare i
bambini per qualche lavoro sporco, visto che
erano praticamente insospettabili.
Dudu si era salvato da quel brutto giro. Un
giorno era entrato nel Centro de apoio Divino
Amor per chiedere un pacco di pasta e aveva
incontrato una giovane suora che prima di
dargli da mangiare aveva voluto parlargli; si
era interessata alla sua vita, cosa che nessuno
aveva mai fatto prima dallora. Dal suo
sguardo trasparivano un grande amore e
uninfinita dolcezza, che lui non pensava di
poter leggere negli occhi di nessun essere
umano. Quel dialogo era andato avanti per
giorni, fatto di tanti incontri che avevano
suscitato nuove speranze nel suo giovane
cuore. Quando lei gli aveva spiegato che

la Parola 2/2015 | 23

poteva cambiare, scoprire i suoi interessi e


determinare la sua identit, lui aveva provato
per la prima volta fame di qualcosa di diverso:
unesistenza vera. Doveva solo lasciarsi
formare e questo non avrebbe significato
nessuna imposizione, avrebbe appreso quanto
gli interessava per esprimersi e raccontarsi.
Non era mai andato a scuola e decise di
cominciare a frequentare i corsi di
alfabetizzazione che
seguivano il metodo di
Paulo Freire, un
famoso pedagogista
nato proprio a Recife,
che negli anni
Cinquanta aveva
rivoluzionato la storia
dellistruzione,
restituendo finalmente
visibilit alloppresso.
Dalle
parole
generatrici si era
aperto uno sguardo pi
ampio, un vocabolario
che si faceva via via
pi complesso e Dudu
aveva compreso di
e s s e r e
fondamentalmente
curioso e bisognoso di
confrontarsi con gli
altri; aveva imparato a
non sottovalutarsi e a
credere nelle sue
capacit. Ora, grazie al
potere che la lettura e
la scrittura gli avevano conferito, poteva
raccontare la sua storia e sognava di essere il
nuovo Leandro Gomes de Barros, il poeta di
literatura de cordel che aveva lasciato a
quindici anni la Fazenda Melancia nello Stato
di Paraba e la sua condizione di analfabeta
per imparare a leggere e scrivere e vivere un
giorno a Recife, mantenendosi con quanto
guadagnava dalla vendita dei suoi folhetos.
Non possedeva un televisore in casa ed era
solo servendosi di quei mezzi che poteva
avere informazioni sul resto del mondo. Aveva
collezionato un centinaio di livros de cordel,
che teneva nascosti sotto il letto per paura che
Ndia, lanziana donna con cui aveva sempre
vissuto, li prendesse e li scambiasse per
ottenere qualche pacchetto di sigarette, come
aveva sempre fatto con gli alimenti che lui

andava a prendere in parrocchia due volte al


mese.
Aveva letto storie di personaggi della
tradizione popolare quali Lampio e Maria
Bonita, Luiz Gonzaga, Mestre Vitalino, ma
anche di campioni dello sport come Ayrton
Senna, Ronaldo. Aveva pianto dopo aver
conosciuto la tragedia delle Torri Gemelle e la
malvagit di Bin Laden e
dei suoi seguaci: In
qualit di poeta e
reporter nordestino,
brasiliano/ in questo
cordel mi accingo a
narrare/ la terribile
storia scaturita dal
fanatismo pi crudele/
che in un atto di
terrorismo/ ha
sconvolto il mondo
intero [1].
Aveva gioito davanti al
miracoloso salvataggio
dei minatori cileni,
avvenuto nel 2010, pur
non avendo potuto
assistere al cruciale
momento riportato dai
telegiornali di tutto il
mondo: Erano
trentatr minatori/
intrappolati in una
miniera in Cile./ Furono
salvati tutti/ e in piena
salute [2].
Gli sembrava di vedere quegli uomini risalire in
superficie uno per volta dentro una grande
capsula e subito dopo riabbracciare i loro
famigliari in lacrime; era come se nascessero
di nuovo. Quante cose stava imparando e
quante avventure lo aspettavano. Forse,
dopotutto, la vita poteva riservargli delle
sorprese; dopo aver conosciuto il dolore delle
spine avrebbe saputo dare il giusto valore alla
pi bella rosa che potesse cogliere: la
conoscenza, che gli apriva orizzonti e spazi
fino ad allora inesplorati.
Con la stessa delicatezza con cui luomo
mosse i primi passi sulla luna, Eduardo
sincamminava verso la sua liberazione.

la Parola 2/2015 | 24

[1] Como poeta reprter/Nordestino, brasileiro/


Descrevo neste cordel/Um lamentvel roteiro/Do
mais cruel fanatismo/Num ato de terrorismo/Que
abalou o mundo inteiro.
[2] Eram trinta e trs mineiros/Presos na mina
chilena/Foram todos resgatados/Com sua sade
plena.

CASA ITALIA
Storia di una riunione di condominio

Francesco
DANTINO, Diritto
Canonico

Dalla

mia nascita risiedo in un palazzo nel


centro di Roma, in via 2 giugno al civico 1946.
Gli abitanti del quartiere lo chiamano Casa
Italia. Sinceramente non conosco la
motivazione di questo appellativo: si narra che
derivi dal nome del primo inquilino, un certo
Italo; ma credo si tratti solo di una leggenda!
uno stabile molto bello e sono sicuro che in
passato deve esserlo stato ancor di pi,
almeno secondo i racconti di mia nonna. Oggi,
purtroppo, alquanto malmesso, eppure il suo
fascino rimane ancora intatto e sarebbe
sufficiente solo un piccolo restauro, ma
sembra che proprio a nessuno interessi. Mio
nonno compr questa casa tra la fine dellanno
1947 e linizio del 1948, ora non ricordo bene,
forse tra dicembre e gennaio; tuttavia, conosco
il giorno in cui vi entr per la prima volta, ed
evidentemente per lui fu un giorno davvero
speciale: era il 1 gennaio 1948. Noi viviamo al
piano terra e ai piani superiori abitano altri
condomini. Un giorno chiesi a mio padre se
anche loro comprarono gli appartamenti ai
tempi del nonno, ma la sua risposta non fu
molto chiara e cos ne lascio a voi
linterpretazione: Caro mio, sembra che
neanche loro sappiano chi gli compr casa,
persino la portiera non sa nulla. Perch dovrei
saperlo io? Vai a studiare!. Da quel momento
presi ad osservare i miei coinquilini con grande
curiosit e ogni giorno che passava mi
accorgevo di tante stranezze; mi spiego: ho

scoperto che i loro volti erano e sono sempre


gli stessi ma, a seconda degli anni, c chi
passa dal secondo piano allultimo, dal terzo al
primo e chi dal quarto piano, dopo unassenza
di qualche mese, si ritrova sul pianerottolo
senza sapere dove andare, tanto veloce il
giro di giostra! Insomma, chi al di sopra, chi al
di sotto e chi in attesa. Cambiano piano, ma
sono sempre loro. Inoltre, soprattutto in questi
ultimi tempi, ho notato che anche le
manifestazioni di simpatia e antipatia si
alternano frequentemente: un giorno si vede
uscire dallascensore il tizio del secondo piano
a braccetto con quello terzo e il giorno dopo
vedi quello del terzo piano che, sobillato da
quello del quarto, se la prende con quello del
secondo piano, lamico del giorno prima; non
solo, ancora il giorno dopo, si vede uscire
quello del secondo, il ripudiato, di nuovo con
quello del terzo, il ripudiante, che aspettano
quello del quarto piano, il terzo incomodo, per
dirgliene quattro e potrei continuare ancora
e ancora, ma se metto di mezzo anche quello
del quinto e del primo piano rischio di
diventare pazzo al solo pensiero di
raccontarlo. Altra cosa davvero strana, seppur
lunica che li accomuna, il colore delle loro
macchine: blu, rigorosamente! Quanta
curiosit, quasi me ne vergogno! Ancor di pi
se vi confesso che ero stanco di essere solo
un osservatore, volevo sapere di pi, andare
oltre il saluto conviviale, volevo entrare in
relazione con loro, conoscere le loro idee.
Inaspettatamente, arriva la mia occasione.
Una sera, sento mio padre tornare borbottante
dallennesima riunione di condomino: non ci
capisco nulla, nulla!, ripeteva tenendo tra le
mani diversi fogli di carta. Che succede?, gli
domandai e sentii mia madre rispondere dalla
cucina: Nulla di grave, non ti preoccupare,
saranno i nuovi regolamenti condominiali!.
Mia madre non si sbagliava affatto e mio padre
annu sommessamente, esclamando: sono
stanco di queste riunioni!. A questo punto,
quasi inconsciamente, dissi loro: Ormai ho
trentanni, posso andare io alla prossima
riunione?. Loro, perplessi, si guardarono e
quasi allunisono risposero: Va bene!. Ero
impaziente, attendevo con ansia la lettera di
convocazione per la riunione di condominio,
quando finalmente arriv. Ordine del giorno:
tinteggiatura facciata del palazzo, varie ed
eventuali. Arriv il giorno dellassemblea, e
neanche era iniziata che i toni erano gi alle
stelle: chi strillava, chi imprecava, chi
mangiava mortadella, forse per lora tarda, e

la Parola 2/2015 | 25

chi sembrava scaldarsi per un incontro di


pugilato! Inutile a dirsi, nessuno si era accorto
di me, dunque, decisi di sedermi. Ad un certo
punto, sentii una voce fievole ma autorevole,
era lamministrare del condominio; un uomo
anziano e visibilmente stanco. A detta di mio
padre, questo poveruomo fu costretto a
perseverare nel suo lavoro dai famosi inquilini
che, non trovando un sostituto alla scadenza
del suo mandato, lo pregarono di rimanere
ancora per qualche tempo. Lamministratore,
dunque, parl: Calmi, per favore! Stiamo
calmi e procediamo con lordine del giorno. Si
alz in piedi quello del quinto piano e
cominci: Signori, siamo qui riuniti per
decidere il nuovo colore della facciata di casa
Italia. Il mondo cambia, il mondo dei giovani,
scegliamo un colore per questo nuovo mondo
dei giovani, per i giovani, che piaccia ai giovani
e magari diamo lopportunit a unazienda
giovane di fare il lavoro giovane... eh,
scusatevolevo dire di tinteggiatura! Sono
sicuro che tutti noi siamo daccordo, tutti noi
teniamo ai giovani!. Non avevo mai sentito
cos tante volte ripetere la parola giovani e
con quanto entusiasmo pensai: ci devono
proprio tenere ai giovani!. Mi ripresi dal conto
della parola giovani (scusate la ripetizione),
mi guardai intorno e, accidenti, mi accorsi che
ero lunico giovane! Mi dissi: Bene, tranquillo,
sicuramente ascolteranno il mio parere,
valuteranno seriamente le mie proposte e,
perch no, magari le accetterannonon
potevo mancare; inoltre, potrei proporgli
lazienda di Marco, giovane, ha unazienda
giovane proprio quello che cercano! Ok,
adesso pensa bene al colore giusto e aspetta
il tuo turno. Terminato il discorso introduttivo
dellinquilino del quinto piano, lamministrare
cominci a raccogliere i pareri. Il primo sugger
il Rosso e, neanche arrivato alla prima s
della parola, cominciarono le accuse e gli
strilli: Rosso mai Piuttosto Rosa (grid
quello con la mortadella in bocca). Il secondo
azzard il Nero e di nuovo: Il nero mai non
esiste piuttosto marrone (disse un altro
mentre agitava una bottiglia di spumante). Si
arriv al terzo che propose il Verde e ancora:
Che folliamaipiuttosto bianco (strepit un
altro mentre sventolava insolite bandierine).
E poi un altro che consigli i colori
dellarcobaleno eancora: Mai e poi mai
cose da pazzi! e cominciarono ad azzuffarsi.
Ecco, finalmente tocc a me, il giovane che
avrebbe potuto proporre il colore dei giovani,
per un mondo di giovani a cui loro sembravano

tenere tanto. Ero entusiasta, li avrei potuti


aiutare, consigliare, presi coraggio mi alzai in
piedi e ... quello del quinto piano: Bene,
chiaro che oggi non possiamo decidere.
Lasciamolo cos, facciamo giusto un
ritocchino. Ma come, il parere del giovane per
il colore giovaneci riprovai, mi alzai in piedi e
quello del quarto piano mi guard e disse:
Su, lasci stare, lei giovane. Che ne sa di
queste cose, si siedaascolti, ascolti!. Si
sieda? Non capiscoe il tanto desiderato
parere dei giovani?!?!?!. Ok, decisi di
calmarmi e mi proposi di tentare almeno di
consigliare lazienda giovane di Marco per il
piccolo lavoro di ritocco. Part il giro per la
scelta della ditta. In questo caso furono,
stranamente, tutti daccordo per quella
dellinquilino del secondo piano. Ma come? E
la ditta giovane? Non fui daccordo, questa
volta decisi dimpormi e dissi: E no, Signori
a questa scelta mi oppongosi era detto che il
lavoro sarebbe stato affidato a unazienda
giovane e, con tutto il rispetto, linquilino del
secondo piano sono anni che fa, o meglio non
fa, i soliti ritocchi!!!. Ero sicuro di averli
scossi, quando linquilino del quarto piano si
alz e mi disse: Infatti, caro! Noi siamo
coerenti, badi bene, non abbiamo detto
azienda di giovani ma azienda giovane e per
sua informazione quella dellinquilino del
secondo piano giovanissimaanzi, una
neonatapensi che la societ stata
costituita poco prima della riunione di
condominio e glielo possiamo garantire io,
linquilino del primo e dellultimo piano, perch
ne siamo soci!. Dopo queste ultime parole,
firmarono frettolosamente il verbale e via di
corsa a casa. Io rimasi ancora un po nella sala
della riunione di condominio, allibito, e tra me
e me pensai: Che disastro, come si pu
amministrare in questo modoper fortuna si
tratta solo di un condominio, di casa Italia e
non di un Paese interoaltrimenti, sai che
confusione!. Il giorno dopo, mentre salivo le
scale, la portiera mi ferm e mi consegn una
busta. Sopra cera scritto Condominio Casa
Italia, la aprii e dentro vi trovai la seguente
unica comunicazione: Si avvisa che
cambiato lamministratore di condominio
Chiss che succeder alla prossima riunione!?
Ogni riferimento a fatti, eventi, cose e persone
puramente casuale!!!

la Parola 2/2015 | 26

LAW & COFFEE

Rev. Nicholas E.
CALLAGHAN, Canon
Law

This past semester at the Angelicum, Fr. Paul


Murray's course on "Aquinas at Prayer: the
Bible, Mysticism and Poetry" was extremely
popular, especially with first cycle students.
So great was the sign-up for the class that it
was moved to the second largest classroom at
the University, the Aula Minor, or Aula San
Raimondo - named after the patron saint of
canon lawyers. This displaced a much smaller
class for two hours every Wednesday morning.
All in all, that sounds like good news. But it
was not so for the members of that smaller
class, including me. The Aula San Raimondo,
as you might guess, is normally used by
second and third year canon law students in
second cycle. Besides its beauty and history, it
is notable for its unique location - directly
across the corridor from the University's coffee
bar. Ordinarily, this gives students in that room
almost a minute to buy their coffee and step
out of the way before students from elsewhere
on the campus can get there. This is especially
valuable at the 9:15 AM break, when the space
in front of the bar can resemble a rugby scrum
by 9:18.
One of the things most first year Canon Law
students, in much more distant classrooms,
look forward to is having that privileged access
to reasonably-priced caffeine. After two
semesters of studying General Norms, it
seems a merited reward to drink one's caff
lungo in peace while the students of lower
cycles and lesser subjects scramble for theirs.
The last few months of Wednesday mornings,
contemplating a cheerful and chattering
phalanx of young spirituality students, buzzing
from the latest lecture and blissfully unaware
that they were standing between me and a
vitally needed stimulant, has given me time to
consider the question of how I might prove the
greater justice of our claim to primacy at the

bar over theirs. And, harder still, how could I


make that case in a biblical, mystical and
poetic way.
Coffee beans, it is said, were first discovered
by monks in Ethiopia, where they chewed
them for energy while fasting and keeping vigil:
that sounds spiritual. And who could doubt that
milk, the food of shepherds and prophets, the
food of Abel and the wild, rather than of Cain
and civilisation, is in the same camp? The
main things the bar sells would seem to be
more on the side of spirit than law.
Sugar, so much of which gets poured in the
coffee we drink, does balance things out a bit.
Sugar is biblical (Jer. 6:20) and, in its crystal
form, gives us the sweetness and refinement
of civilisation. Sadly, it is also a sign of its
cruelty, exploitation and waste: think of the
horror of slave ships on the middle passage,
Napoleon's Polish legion sent to die of yellow
fever in Haiti, and, at vastly lesser order of evil,
the endless debates in Brussels over
imaginary beets.
These images, however, are superficial
products of history. Like any good mystic, we
must look beyond them to deeper realities.
Though Elijah fled to the lawless wilderness of
Carmel, he did so after denouncing the lawless
tyranny of Ahab and Jezebel and doing so in
reference to the laws of Israel. Cain was a
criminal because the law of nature was
present in his heart before he took up his knife.
And back at the beginning, God spoke and
made rules for all material existence, down to
the smallest particles, that are so consistent
that even the most determined atheist is forced
to call them laws of physics.
That admission is so damaging to materialists
because law is a direct sign of intelligence and
order. Thus Bach could compose his Coffee
Cantata because of the fundamental laws of
harmony that distinguish music from noise.
Indeed, to ignore the role of law in all of life is
rather like watching a dance without hearing
the music the dancers are following.
Whenever monks in Ethiopia first used coffee
to keep a vigil, they were acting to fulfil a part
of their common life: something regulated, as it
is in every religious community, by law. On the
civil level, law is the unseen force that allows
paper and metal we carry in our pockets to be
transformed into nutrition and chemical

la Parola 2/2015 | 27

stimulation. Without that hidden music the


University could not exist and none of us could
be revived and fed.
What better way to give concrete expression to
these biblical, mystical, and poetic facts than
by letting the law students get their coffee
first?

I realize that these arguments may not


convince everyone of the correctness of the
Sala San Raimondo's placement and it's use
by the Canon Law faculty most mornings. I
look forward to a response, in legal terms, in
the pages of a later edition of La Parola.

TESORI DELLANGELICUM
Passeggiata fra le mura e le opere darte
custodite dalluniversit

Marianna
SORONEVYCH,
Scienze Sociali

Quando

entrai la prima volta allUniversit


rimasi affascinata dalla maestosit della sua
Chiesa, dalle sue mura medievali, dal cortile e
dal giardino impreziositi da alberi di agrumi.
Qualcuno lha definita unoasi nel centro di
Roma. Questa sensazione mi accompagna
ogni giorno, quando attraverso di corsa il
chiostro per arrivare in tempo alla lezione,
quando salgo le strette scale dietro la
chiesetta, nelle aule sui piani alti, per seguire il
sapere e la saggezza dei professori,
accompagnata dal riflesso dei tetti di Roma.

essere passati per la frenesia di Roma.


Linteresse per la ricchezza artistica della
nostra Universit pu essere in parte saziata
dallalbum Santi Domenico e Sisto, in
distribuzione presso la libreria e la segreteria
generale. Invita a vivere lAngelicum e vederlo
come un monumento, una casa, unopera
darte.

Sarei meravigliata se qualcuno non provasse


le stesse sensazioni, entrando in facolt dopo

Come affermato dallex-rettore dellUniversit,


padre Francesco Compagnoni OP, abbiamo la
fortuna di vivere su questo privilegiato colle di
Roma e dobbiamo preservare con cura tale
monumento perch i nostri contemporanei e le
generazioni future possano trarne giovamento.
Ogni giorno abbiamo loccasione unica di poter
ammirare meravigliose opere darte, accanto
alle quali spesso passiamo incuranti. Questo
pensiero mi ha portato ad approfondire la
conoscenza dei tesori storici, artistici e
religiosi, custoditi dalluniversit di San
Tommaso.

la Parola 2/2015 | 28

Le preziose opere darte delluniversit,


affreschi e sculture, stanno in disparte,
quasi a non voler disturbare gli studenti,
immersi nella riflessione sulla teologia, la
filosofia o i processi sociali.
Le fondamenta delluniversit sono radicate
nelle rovine dellantica civilt, come ogni
cosa nel centro di Roma. Nel giardino o
negli angoli nascosti troviamo frammenti di
vecchi marmi, ombre delle costruzioni di un
tempo. Il convento dei Santi Domenico e
Sisto a Magnanapoli delle monache
domenicane, dal 1932
sede
dellUniversit Pontificia Angelicum
Entrati nel cortile, ci colpisce la chiesa di
San Domenico, con la sua elegante scalinata.
Le rampe abbracciano una terrazza barocca.
Lo sguardo scivola su due colonne che
sorreggono il timpano spezzato. Sopra, il

rilievo raffigura il cane con la fiaccola apparso


in sogno alla beata Giovanna dAza, madre di
San Domenico. La visione simboleggia il santo
che avrebbe infiammato il mondo con la sua
predicazione. Oggi il cane con la fiaccola
il simbolo dellordine dei Domenicani.
Nella parte superiore della facciata, le due
nicchie ospitano San Pietro da Verona e
San Tommaso dAquino, che reca in mano
un ponderoso libro, simbolo della sua
opera di teologo e filosofo.
Il chiostro ci accoglie con lombra degli
alberi di mandarino e una bella fontana al
centro. Il refettorio dove le monache
consumavano in passato i loro pasti - in
parte ha conservato la sua funzione
durante le feste dellUniversit. Eleganti
colonne marmoree sorreggono una serie
di arcate che tagliano longitudinalmente la
sala. Avete indovinato
quale locale intendo?
S, la sala delle
colonne, usata nei giorni
feriali come sala di
lettura,
meno
impegnativa della
biblioteca.
Il capitolo una bella
sala rettangolare posta
al primo piano,
adiacente alla parte
superiore della Chiesa e
con essa comunicante.
Contiene opere darte di
grande importanza
storica e artistica per la
comunit domenicana,

la Parola 2/2015 | 29

che ha vissuto o vive nel monastero. Vi invito


ad ammirare i suoi soffitti e cassettoni. In
particolare limmagine della Vergine, lantico
crocefisso del XIII secolo, proveniente
dallantico monastero di San Sisto, il trittico di
SantAurea e altri tesori.

Il giardino fiancheggia il lato meridionale del


monastero e dona agli studenti tranquillit, un
fresco rifugio in mezzo al verde e un tocco di
sole con gli agrumi, alla portata di tutti.

Lenten meditations

Teniamo fissi gli occhi sul sangue di Cristo, per comprendere quanto sia prezioso davanti a Dio
suo Padre: fu versato per la nostra salvezza e port al mondo intero la grazia della penitenza.
San Clemente di Roma

God wanted all his beloved ones to have the opportunity to repent and he confirmed this desire by
his own almighty will.
St. Clement of Rome

The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to
act, it ceases to exist.

- Pope St. Gregory the Great

As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus' thirst 'Repent and believe' Jesus tells us.
What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus
thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor - He knows your weakness. He wants only your
love, wants only the chance to love you.

- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

la Parola 2/2015 | 30

LAUS SANCTI MARTINI


by Br Maximus Spoeth, O.S.B.

There was a boy named Martin


A son of pagan mother and pagan father
Who learned of Christ from his schoolmates
And from that moment believed in Him.
A soldiers son, he too carried a sword,
But he was already a soldier of Christ
For on a cold night he cut his cloak in half
And clothed a beggar, who was Christ in disguise.
What he desired from his childhood
Wonderful to tell, he fulfilled
Armed with faith, he began to do the works of Christ
And greater works than these he began to do
We read that in the midst of a land of darkness
He went about his way, healing the sick and raising the dead,
Yes, and single-handedly pulling down temples of superstition and grinding altars to dust
While the people in darkness could not apprehend him.
And his sons he advised to copy the Word by hand
While the old men were to labour at the leisure of prayer
How many of his blessed sons labored with axe and pen by day,
And from illuminated words sang hymns, during the ages we now call dark!
But dont we know many things, now, that they did not?
Surely they were unaware of quarks and black holes
They did not know that the earth moves
How could any of their faith be fundamentally trusted?
We can now divide the atom
And the limbs of a baby
We can now produce twice the amount of cloaks in half the time
And clothe the whole world four times over.
What was once fiction has become science fact
By the power of our reason and will.
Have we not made our own pleasant dreams come true,
And finally conquered religious superstition?
Our forefathers by the power of their own hands
Utterly destroyed the temples of obscurantism,
As old women looked helplessly on yes, the temple of St. Martin.
The sun was bright with terror, as heads were lopped off one by one.
They advised a road to be built, right over the old tomb:
Rue de Halles, intersecting in a grid with Rue Descartes.
A new way of life, a new network of exchange,
Rue de Robespierre to the train station! To the school, Rue de lEgalit!

la Parola 2/2015 | 31

If you want to know about religion, ask Diderot.


Or about history, visit the Louvre.
You can learn about society in the Peoples Republic,
Or to learn whatever you want, just ask Google.
But a good man, not so long ago,
With a house on the corner of Rue Descartes and Rue de Halles,
Asked an old lady what she knew of the past,
About an age 60 years before, which everybody had long since forgotten.
It was 12 feet to the right, she insisted, pointing at something only she could see.
How could they have missed their target? the man silently wondered to himself.
But he believed the old woman, this good man.
And after converting feet to meters, he went into his chamber and began to dig.
And he dug until he reached stone, the tomb of the saint,
And uncovered for himself the precious relics.
The shutters were closed to the world outside.
How distant it all sounded at that second the trotting of horses and the commotion of worldly
people?
He considered for a moment all the labor of his life,
His home, this city, the way of life we know so well.
You cannot overturn a whole city, he thought, and even if you could, you should not.
But as he felt the cool stone he knew, with certainty, that he would begin with his own home.
And thus we arrived, we pilgrims, from one end of the world,
After walking through the byways of the city of Tours,
Into the sanctuary of St. Martin, we descended the steps,
To find Holy Mass about to begin.
We kneeled in that place, and prayed to Almighty God,
All of us, united, for we were not the only ones.
And the plaques of thanksgiving how many there are!
In French, Latin, German, Polish, from young and old, near and far!
How wonderful God is in His saints,
And how awesome are His works.
St. Martin defend us,
And be our father now and forever!

la Parola 2/2015 | 32

SLEEPING IN CLASSROOM OR A POETRY-ESSAY TO AWAKENED MIND

by anonymous reader
that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
Wed jump the life to come.
- MACBETH, Shakespeare
To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
- Lao Tzu
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
- EAST COKER, T.S. Elliot
The Sun moves into the healing and forgiving waters of Pisces on February 18. This new solar
phase is a time when compassion, empathy and forgiveness cleanse the soul. Our hearts are more
open and our defenses are down. We tend to feel more sensitive during this time as Pisces is a
mutable Water sign and often compared to a psychic sponge.
- A local astrologer

For known reasons I thought it would be more


expedient to attempt from my side to protect
my anonymity, but for the sake of truth and
with comprehension of the complete
responsibility that it may require I find it
necessary that my letter be published and
presented to the peoples judgement, no
matter how severe it may be. At least, the
Truth doesnt need any protection. This would
cause as much fear as the moment that the
head of the Cheshire Cat would be brought to
the guillotine of the butcher. Yet, thinking over
it repeatedly, I was pacing on the floor all night
long thinking of how one can excuse himself in
writing this. Where exactly may my action take
a safe and peaceful refuge? It is not that Im
playing Medea who wants to be helpful in
stealing the Golden Fleece and then chops her
brother into pieces in order to reach her
desires. Nor do I have any intentions to imitate
art which itself is an imitation and sometimes
has serious, dishonorable and ugly ambitions
to take a monopoly over life. All my concern is
rather about being pitifully misunderstood and

looking like Heraclitus pouring out copious


tears or like a desperate Orpheus with his
courageous attempt to retrieve his wife from
the underworld and his wonderful lyre placed
on the skies far away from wicked hands.
What I try to give in a written form is extremely
difficult to formulate with simple human
language and I may be deceived by the
whispers of evil daemons who may try to put
wrong words in wrong places, till we finish with
a mishmash of weird thoughts. However, Im
deeply convinced of one thing - my pure and
good intention to share the Truth which is
already here, but just needs to be unveiled.
Yes, this is the most precise principle on which
I would like to joyfully rely and produce the rest
of my letter. It never stops bothering my mind
what a wise man once uttered neither cast ye
your pearls before swine. But at the same
time a true sage should not be sad because of
the world and its opinions. And a true gnostic
has full privilege to remain nameless for the
sake of not being a person who pretends that
he knows something, but to be an impersonal

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voice of the oracle of wise counsel. What I


write is absolutely not me or mine, nothing is
left of my own clothes and foot traces I will
simply narrate what was given to me as a gift.
Because it was not a long time ago that I fell
into a deep scholastic sleep during one of the
evening lectures which turned out to be a very
unusual experience for my soul, not for my
body at all, since it was not corresponding to
any of my feelings; rather it was a certain
detachment from my fleshly existence, and the
deeper layers of Reality were revealed to
me what a glorious journey towards
unknown! The wisdom that was given me was
like fresh water from a divine pond and I
satisfied my thirst like a camel, which has been
vainly looking for water in the middle of a
desert. Or I was a Narcissus, the son of river,
who was attracted to the pool, on the surface
of which he saw himself without knowing
himself and became drawn into himself, going
back to the waters of the beginning, prima
substantia. Probatur quod prima substantia est
substantia, quia dicit Aristoteles 'Prima
substantia est quae proprie et principaliter et
maxime dicitur substantia', ergo prima
substantia est substantia... and I found myself
in the darkness of inner light, and I was led on
a heavenly chariot to the subtle instances of a
black universe where I read all black letters
written on black tablets... Frankly speaking, I
must admit that this would be absolutely
impossible without Kant, one of the most
boring yet sincere philosophers of poor and
abandoned mankind, after whom something
really has changed in all the lecture halls of all
universities. Yes, the teachers became
noumena, undisclosed thing in itself, so that
this high position of delivering a lecture
became split from young learners, and its
phenomenological appearance extremely
limited to our small consumerist worlds,
causing nothing but a sleep, as it happened to
me on Fat Tuesday. It seems ironic, but the
great pessimist and the little pastor were quite
right about official side of academic institutes. I
know that this sounds like a blasphemy, but I
promised on my honour not to hide the truth
once it was revealed to me. I would never
leave a good hope that my noble readers will
yet accept that what I write is not even one iota
harmful after all that the infidel ink of
Nietzsches pen disastrously spoiled in the
already disappointed mind of mankind, and
now, in 2015, here in Rome, as Lord Byron
calls it "the mother of dead empires", who

would dare to bother a terribly, terribly old,


suffering and pining mankind with any
thoughts?! Are there any surprises left in our
chapiteau?! It is not that Im trying to deny the
historical reality of the Holocaust, for which
one will have to pay. But nothing horrible is
going to happen if one says that God is dead.
At least, here with lay judges around. But no,
my argument is not about the Jewish question,
bills or atheism. I simply wanted to enjoy the
unbelievable lightness of being and provide my
humble charity of an intellectual treasure
Because the universal mercy would never
abandon the asking hand and crying poverty of
your souls waiting to be opened when you will
fall into sleep and my eyes closed, in spite of
the dictate of the will to get some intellectual
good from the accidental process of note
taking, and I slowly started to get drawn into
my eternal consciousness, like a Buddha
sitting under a tree with closed eyes but so
awake at the same time. All the ropes and
chains of my ego were destroyed and I lost my
miserable identity, replaced by immediate
knowledge given in clear and self-evident
propositions, although this term is so limiting,
where dolphins were human beings and
human beings were dolphins, smell was odour
and odour was colour, waters were flowers,
flowers were birds and birds were clouds,
where the shiny posture of Virginia Woolf was
manifesting calmly and enjoying the stream of
consciousness over Albion and meanwhile the
powerful Aufheben dialectics of continental
Hegel were majestically marching through their
spiral, dissolving all terrible and harsh
contradictions of life, moving the avant-garde
of historically determined slaves towards the
trumpets of a victorious future where the
absolute sun of equality will never fade My
chariot finally arrived at the gates of Truth
where no propositions were left by the
magnanimous triumph of the greatly important
and deeply empty silence of pure existence
filing each moment of the eternal Now. Under
the Tabernacle of the union of love, Above and
Below became supra-identical But behold! I
already revealed too much But what else
can I do, if even each bush is speaking about
it The air was fresh and rich with invigorating
ozone when I opened my eyes, it was raining,
the falling drops of water were renovating the
picture of reality There is no boredom in life
for widely open eyes... Is someone tired of
post-modernism and citations? Is someone
listening?

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL AND A REDEEMED SOUL"


A Christmas skit written by Emilio Agostino PALOPOLI

Ebenezer Scrooge's Room. Lights partially


turned on when Scrooge makes his entrance.
He is mumbling something.

EBENEZER SCROOGE
Money, Bread, Moolah, Smackeroos,
Spondulicks.

EBENEZER SCROOGE
Merry Christmas! Out upon Merry Christmas!
What's Christmas time to you but a time for
paying
bills without money; a time for finding yourself
a year older, and not an hour richer....

Different names for the same stuff Sinning to


get it,
Sinning to spend it Drinking, Gambling,
Wenching
What more could a man wish to do
Besides, it's in manhood to lust for fleshly
pleasures.

Scrooge is approaching his desk, holding two


sacks of money. Lights are directed at his
desk. It is pitch-black all around. After a few
steps, Scrooge takes a seat and puts the
sacks down on the desk with a gloating look.

EBENEZER SCROOGE
Fortunately, I have a steady gain from my

All of a sudden He hears a sound like a crash


of thunder. Before his eyes a woman pops up.
(Lights are also focused on this figure)

EBENEZER SCROOGE (Startled)


Who are you? A ghost or what?

investments
Human smuggling, drug peddling, pimping,
embezzlement, to name but a few.

He picks up one of the sacks, unties it, and a


heap of coins is disgorged.

GUARDIAN ANGEL
I am your Guardian Angel, Ebenezer.
I have come all the way down to earth to warn
that you are going astray.
Take heed and mend your ways....

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enjoying money, /silver and gold


EBENEZER SCROOGE (fiercely recovered)

But the end/that you/ are gonna face

What are you talking about? (holding a sack in


his hand)

Vanity of Vanities

Don't you know with these I can also buy a


place in
the grave before climbing the Golden
Staircase?

You are Looking Here, You are looking There


all in pursuit/of happiness
you'll be happy/and/ without sorrow
Vanity of Vanities
If now/look in the mirror

GUARDIAN ANGEL
You're a fool, Ebenezer. Money is just
apparent good.
It makes your pride swell and makes your will
go
towards something which is evil in reality. You
should worry
about piling up treasure in Heaven where no
thief comes near and no moth destroys...

Yo-our face is serene


Surely/do not imagine
what a day/it'll be/ of all your vanity
All Vanity/Just Vanity
Livin' all/with joy and simplicity/
Be-eing really good/if you can
All the rest is/Vanity
All Vanity/Just Vanity

This time Ebenezer Scrooge looks despondent


as if he has grasped the message.

Praise the Lord/with Humility/


Give Him/All the Love/He deserves/
Nothing More/ You'll ever need/

GUARDIAN ANGEL
Listen carefully..

Tika/Teirat/Taka/Teirat
Tat/Kiteira/Tat/Kit/
Tika/Teira/t/Tar/titka/
She points her finger towards a dark spot in
the room. All of a sudden that spot is lit up and
discloses a chorus of angels who starts to
sing...

Tikateira/Tatak
If now/look in the mirror
Yo-our face is serene

FIRST CHORUS (VANITY OF VANITIES)

Surely/Do not imagine

You are Looking Here, You are looking There

what a day/it'll be/ of all your vanity

But when/death comes to your door

All Vanity/Just Vanity

What will/remain/ of your desires?

Livin' all/with joy and simplicity

Vanity of Vanities..

Be-eing really good/ If you can

You're happy with/all the pleasures of yours

All the rest is/Vanity


All Vanity/Just vanity

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Praise the Lord/with Humility

EBENEZER SCROOGE

Give Him/All the Love/ He deserves

How?

Nothing More/ You'll ever Need.


(CONTINUED)

This Time Ebenezer Scrooge is drawn as if in


death throes The Guardian Angel picks up
where she left off. (Lights off on the first
chorus. Just focused on Scrooge and His
Guardian Angel)

GUARDIAN ANGEL
Come closer, Ebenezer. Hold my Hand. Let's
go
and
Pay Homage to Jesus, The Only One Who can
change
man's life and turn his heart of stone into one
of

GUARDIAN ANGEL
Now you have understood you'd better lose
your
earthly riches so as to be outwardly poor but

flesh...
In this way, eventually you'll grasp the real
meaning
of Christmas.

inwardly rich. In Heaven we don't want you to


become a Gentleman of Three Ins: "In Jail,

Chains

Ebenezer Scrooge comes up to His Guardian


Angel, and all the room is lit up There are
two choirs of angels at two sides and just one
in the middle. They start singing.

EBENEZER SCROOGE (Visibly Dejected)

SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS (J. LENNON)

(As if he had come to his senses) Better than


being

(Solo Singer)

A Gentleman of Three Outs: Without Money,

So This is Christmas, and What have you


done?

Without Wit and Without Manners.

Another Year Over, A new one's just begun

Indicted And In Danger Of Being Hanged In

And So This is Christmas, I hope you have fun


GUARDIAN ANGEL (Noticing Scrooge's
sadness)

The Near and The Dear Ones, The Old and


The

Come to think of it, You might still be a


Gentleman

Young

of three Ins.

(First Chorus)

This Time, However, Ingenious, Inspiring,

A very merry Christmas and a Happy New


Year

Intrepid...

Let's hope it's a good one without any Fear


(Solo Singer + Back-up Second Chorus)
So This is Christmas (Chorus: War is over)

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For Weak and For Strong (Chorus: If You want


it)
The Rich and The Poor Ones (Chorus: War is
Over)
The World is so Young (Chorus: Now)

So This is Christmas (Chorus: War is Over)


And What have you done? (Chorus: If you
want it)
Another Year over (Chorus: War is Over)
A New One's just begun (Chorus: Now)

And So Happy Christmas (Chorus: War is


Over)

And So Happy Christmas (Chorus: War is


Over)

For Black and For White ( Chorus: If you want


it )

I Hope you have Fun (Chorus: If You want it)

For Yellow and For Red Ones (Chorus: War is


Over)

The Near and The Dear Ones (Chorus: War is


Over)

Let's Stop all the Fight (Chorus: Now)

The Old and The Young (Chorus: Now)

(First Chorus)

(First Chorus)

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New


Year

A very merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Let's Hope It's a Good One without any Fear

Let's Hope it's a Good One Without any Fear


(Solo Singer + Back-up Second Chorus)

(Second Chorus)
War Is Over, If You Want It, War Is Over
Now....

THE END

Presentation of all the cast with music in the background: George Soltis. Rendition of Beethoven's
Ninth Symphony - Ode to joy.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Saint Augustine, City Of God, London: Penguin Books, 2003
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, London: Collins Classics, 2013
Professor G. Morris, Notes on Rational Psychology, Rome: Mater Ecclesiae, 2013
Adam Jacot De Boinod, The Wonder Of Whiffling, London: Penguin Books, 2009

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San Giuseppe ha lo sguardo


cos dolce, ma io preferisco
mangiargli la barba!
Ricetta di Laura SAPIENZA, Mater
Ecclesiae

La barba di S. Giuseppe

Prendere una pentola e versare lacqua.


Quando bolle, aggiungere i capelli dangelo e lasciar cuocere
secondo i minuti indicati.
Dopo averli scolati, adagiare su un piatto piano e lasciar
riposare per alcuni minuti, finch non assumono un aspetto
colloso (simile a un disco).
I capelli dangelo

Prendere una padella, friggere nellolio i capelli dangelo.


Asciugare con carta assorbente su entrambi i lati per togliere

lolio in eccesso.
Disporre su un piatto piano, versare del miele caldo sui capelli dangelo e aggiungere una
spolverata di cannella.
Il piatto servito!
Buon appetito!

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CULTURA VIETNAMITA: LA TORTA E IL PIATTO DI RISO DEL GIOVED


SANTO

Suor Teresina NGUYEN Thi Tu Trinh, O.P., Diritto canonico

Come

vuole la tradizione della Chiesa cattolica, anche in Vietnam il Gioved Santo si celebra il
rituale della lavanda dei piedi. Questo rito liturgico molto sentito dai fedeli ed preparato con
grande cura.
In alcune diocesi, dopo la Messa, a ciascuno di coloro che
rappresentano i dodici apostoli si dona una torta (bnh dy)
oppure un piatto di riso (a xi), da portare a casa e condividere
con tutta la famiglia. Tale gesto non proviene dal rito ufficiale della
Chiesa universale, ma dalla lunga tradizione che si osserva in
alcune diocesi del Vietnam del Nord.
La Pasqua nellAntico Testamento memoria della liberazione del
popolo dIsraele dalla schiavit
dEgitto. Durante questa festa, gli ebrei avevano l'abitudine di
mangiare agnello arrostito e pane azzimo. Ges aveva mantenuto
questa tradizione e laveva celebrata dopo aver lavato i piedi dei
suoi discepoli. E oggi, quando ripetiamo questazione, possiamo
vederla cos: il parroco rappresenta Ges e i 12 fedeli sono gli
apostoli.
Per rappresentare lAgnello Pasquale, in parrocchia si prepara
un agnello fatto di riso, poi lo si copre con la carta da forno e
alla carta si attacca un tipo di cotone che rievoca il pelo
dagnello. Il pomeriggio del Gioved Santo, lagnello viene
adagiato su un tavolo dopo il rituale della lavanda dei piedi, e il
sacerdote accende un fuoco per bruciarlo.

Inoltre, si frigge un agnello, lo si divide per i 12 fedeli che hanno


rappresentato gli apostoli. Ognuno ha un piatto di riso con la
carne dagnello fritta, che porta a casa per fare un po di festa. Coloro che rappresentano gli
apostoli il Gioved Santo vivono questo momento con grande
gioia, dato che si tratta di un vero onore per la propria famiglia.
Di solito, queste 12 persone vengono scelte attentamente da chi
lavora in parrocchia, ovvero i referenti della regione che, dopo la
cerimonia, festeggiano insieme ai parenti.
Se in alcune parrocchie non hanno la possibilit di fare un
agnello di riso, possono sostituirlo con delle torte. Queste torte
sono realizzate con un tipo di riso colloso, disposto in un
cerchio, e poi si coprono con una foglia di banana. Subito dopo

la Parola 2/2015 | 40

la lavanda dei piedi, il sacerdote consegna una torta ad ogni apostolo. Questi la porta con gioia a
casa per condividerla con tutti i membri della sua famiglia.

Questa usanza si mantenuta fino ad oggi per dimostrare che i cattolici vietnamiti onorano la
tradizione della Chiesa, e in particolare per riproporre il gesto di Ges alla vigilia della Sua
passione.

Lenten meditations

Sharing then in the heritage of so many vast and glorious achievements, let us hasten
toward the goal of peace, set before us from the beginning.

St. Clement of Rome

Nessuno pu conoscere se stesso, se non tentato, n pu essere coronato senza aver


vinto, n pu vincere senza combattere; ma il combattimento suppone un nemico, una
prova.

SantAgostino

Quando autem opportunius, dilectissimi, ad remedia divina decurrimus, quam cum ipsa
nobis sacramenta redemptionis nostrae temporum lege referuntur?

Sanctus Leo Magnus

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LA VIGNETTA: GLI ESAMI

Roberta CONGIA, Diritto Canonico

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