Old works, renewed by love
“E” as in “Enemies”
When I saw a Hungarian honved or an Austrian Kaiserjäher (war enemies) wounded in a rock fissure or huddled up in a grenade trench, I felt no hatred. Was this a crime against the country? Sorry if I was not able to squeeze out a drop of hatred from my spiritual being. And also in the face of that deathly pale and terrified face, I remembered the logic of Jesus: «Look at the face of your brother, and you will see the Lord. »
Igino Giordani, Diario di fuoco, (Diary of Fire) New City, Rome (1980) 2005, p. 17
“W” as in “Works” of mercy
The Church has summed up the duties of charity and justice towards our brethren into some fundamental forms, those of the 14 works of mercy: out of which seven regard the body and seven the spirit. The Gospel is not a series of words. It is also a series of facts. It is life. Besides preaching Jesus also cured the sick, comforted the afflicted, resuscitated the dead, and fed the hungry: he performed the works of mercy because he loved. «I pity the masses,» he exclaimed one day, seeing the throngs of hungry people: and multiplied the bread to feed them.
Igino Giordani, Il fratello (The Brother), New City, Rome 2011, p. 62
The work of mercy is a moral and material duty; in feeding the hungry I nurture myself, since his hunger is my own and that of the social body of which I am an organic part. We cannot throw wheat grains into the sea when in another part of the world, there are those who are hungry. «We are many but a sole body»: and we cannot hurt an organ to favour another. Otherwise, the price to pay is revolutions, disorders and epidemic outbreaks in this life, and then hell in the other life.
Igino Giordani, Il fratello (The Brother), cit., p. 65
In a Christian society, one cannot imagine a citizen – a brother – who lacks the minimum necessary to nurture himself. Unless in exceptional cases or when due to laziness, idleness (idleness is social injustice, as St. Paul says, «He who will not work, shall not eat») or abnormal cases, when one lacks his daily bread it is a sign that someone has robbed him of it. If a person is without his share, it means that another person has two portions.
Igino Giordani, Il fratello(The Brother), cit., p. 67
The works of mercy are justified by the reality of human nature, and perform the miracle of putting love into circulation, passing around bread: the miracle that makes a gift out of a piece of bread is a sort of social sacrament with which one communicates with God.
Igino Giordani, Il fratello(The Brother), cit., p.67