Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Journey to Truth is an Experience

Journey to Truth is an Experience

John Zucchi
Patrick Stevenson
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 160
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Journey to Truth is an Experience
    Book Description:

    The Journey to Truth Is an Experience is the first English translation of Il Cammino al vero è un'esperienza, Giussani's early works on the Christian experience, written from 1959-64. It begins with a guide on how to live the Christian life within the Student Youth community, followed by a call to base one's relationship with Christ on the example set by the apostles and other figures in the New Testament. Giussani concludes by outlining the movement's mission and the possibility for community, charity, and communion in the Christian life.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7640-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Cardinal Marc Ouellet

    At times life offers some momentous experiences that awaken and provoke a decisive change of direction. I remember one day in the Grand Séminaire in Montreal I noted that some of my companions did not seem to be making the same discoveries, on the spiritual plane, as I was. I was struck and disturbed by this and it led me to the Priests of Saint Sulpice, where I dedicated myself to priestly training. My discovery of something lacking in their formation was the catalyst for my vocation to train priests.

    Father Luigi Giussani took the reverse path. As a young...

  4. Translator’s Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
    John Zucchi
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-10)

    This volume assembles the writings that gave an initial, organically expressed form to what was being lived at the beginnings of the movement Communion and Liberation, then calledGioventù Studentesca, or GS.¹

    To re-propose them today is to re-discover the birth of an experience. These writings often originated as notes from Sundaymorning lessons given at 5 via San Antonio in Milan, Italy, the headquarters of Catholic Action in that city. They are really a “reflection on an experience” and it is not coincidental that this is the title of the first basic booklet presented here. One of the early texts...


    • 1 Methodological Instructions on the Christian Proposal
      (pp. 13-31)

      1 The first condition for reaching anyone is a clear definition of what we hope to achieve.

      2 We must avoid presenting ourselves, no matter what the milieu, in a way that appears indecisive. While we might be tempted to weaken our proposal because we fear that our ideas will conflict with the current mentality, making others ill-disposed towards us and creating insurmountable misunderstandings and distancing, to do so can lead us to illusion and ambiguity. We may be tempted to look for ways to accommodate and camouflage our ideas, which may perhaps be done astutely, but this can easily...

    • 2 The Effort to Achieve Something Practical: Gioventù Studentesca
      (pp. 32-50)

      1GS’s starting point is the existence of somepersonsin a given student environment who have an active and serious perception of the Christian reality.

      2Active: that is to say, having a sensitivity that motivates them and generates the need for contacts and communication; that produces energy.

      This is quite different from a shy reserve, a detached unease, or a stubborn indifference.

      Serious: that is to say, engaging the essential factors of one’s own personality, inquisitive intelligence, and moral strength; thus one is beyond every rhetoric and preconceived opinion. Some may sense Christian reality more as a...


    • 1 Formulation of the Human Problem
      (pp. 53-58)

      Even after sharing their lives with Jesus for such a long time, after the disaster of Calvary and the mystery of Easter, after all that, the apostles understood little of Him. Only a few hours before His ascent into Heaven, they still asked Him when he would establish the Kingdom of Israel, such as everyone conceived it at that time: a kingdom of earthly and political power.

      “So when they had come together they asked Him, ’Lord will you at this time restore the Kingdom of Israel?’”¹

      If they did not understand Him, why did they follow Him? And among...

    • 2 The Encounter with Christ
      (pp. 59-68)

      What we have described as human experience is the prerogative of all men and women.

      The only genius who grasped all the different human factors, brought them to light, and revealed their definitive meaning by giving them value in an unimaginable and unexpected way was Jesus Christ. The historical encounter with this man constitutes an encounter with the resolving and clarifying point of view of human experience.

      It is precisely this encounter that we wish to attain once again. Hence let us examine the initial moments in which it emerged. Here is the first historical record of the fact: “On...

    • 3 The Gift of the Spirit
      (pp. 69-77)

      “You cannot understand now. When the Spirit of Truth comes He will lead you to the complete truth.”¹ The apostles had happened upon an exceptional, fascinating, and profoundly persuasive reality and accepted it, but they were not completely aware of what it was. They retained the words and respected them, but they measured them according to their own conception of things, without envisioning their hidden content. They reiterated definitions He gave of Himself without exactly understanding the mystery.

      Saint Paul made a lucid analogy. An animal is aware of the presence of man and reacts to his behaviour and actions....

    • 4 The Christian Existence
      (pp. 78-84)

      Only in clarity and confidence can we find the energy to act.

      The event of the Spirit overturned the apostles’ faint-heartedness and inspired the most intense, courageous, and dynamic adventure that the history of the human spirit has known.

      ”You alone, Lord, make me rest secure.”¹ The discovery of Christ as the centre of all things eliminates fear and makes us sense a capacity to ”possess” everything we encounter: ”all are your servants, but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.”²

      More precisely, this new culture demands an extremely rich concept of life: unremitting activity, unavoidable responsibility, a...


    • 1 A Great Premise
      (pp. 87-90)

      I Saint Paul wrote to the early Christians in Corinth that he had based his message “not on arguments based on human reason … so that your faith not be founded on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”¹

      Christianity is not born as the fruit of our culture or as the discovery of our intelligence. Christianity does not communicate itself to the world as the fruit of modern or effective initiatives. Christianity is born and spreads throughout the world through the presence of the “power of God:”² ”God, in your name, save me.”

      God’s power reveals...

    • 2 The Encounter
      (pp. 91-106)

      1 How wonderful to reflect that even in natural time the divine Power calls men and women to assume their place in the providential plan through the phenomenon of theencounter! While one aspect of the world is governed by a mechanical system, such that we are able to intuit and discover its laws, the more typically human aspect, where freedom, intuition, and love come into play, is completely evoked by this sequence of apparently chance encounters. This is almost irrational and is not translatable into laws. And yet this is precisely what creates human history within the evolution of...

    • 3 Communion
      (pp. 107-124)

      1 Why does God allow himself to be encountered in the world by means of His Church?

      To have us enter His life, which is the foundation of all things. In Christian language this sharing is calledcommunion, a beautiful word: ”What we have seen and heard we announce to you, so that you too may be in communion with us. Our communion is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.”¹

      ”Communion” means a capacity for personal life so deep that a person cannot realise it alone: this capacity lies at the origins of our being, where it is...

    • 4 Mission
      (pp. 125-132)

      1 The mystery of God engages the whole universe, and its communion motivates us towards an unforeseeable unity of human reason. ”Everything is yours, and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”¹

      Jesus Christ wassentto ”take up all things” in Himself and so we are sure of all being one single thing: ”there is no longer slave or freeman, Greek or barbarian, man or woman: we are all one in Jesus Christ.”²

      In history, though, this truth has not yet been wholly expressed andrealized. This is why everyone who participates in the “communion” of the Church also...

    • 5 Culture
      (pp. 133-142)

      Participation in the life of the Christian community brings about a new awareness of existence and reality: new not in the sense of different, but in the strong sense of the word, that is to say definitive — according to the expression of the Liturgy, ”the old has passed away, all things are made new”; all the efforts made up to now have been completed, not through our initiative, and the meaning of reality is now revealed in a definitive way.

      Christian culture therefore points to the definitive view on the whole question of our existence and the reality of the...

  9. Index
    (pp. 143-148)