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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Beggar in all of Us!

Father Julian Carron

The true protagonist of history is the beggar. If we wish to live this moment as protagonists, that is, without being formal, by following the manner in which we have been educated, each of us must become, or better, recognize what he is: a beggar.

It is easy: each of us must realize his need. The beggar is the one who is aware of his own human need.

One instant of true awareness would suffice to make us realize how needy we truly are. To become aware of one’s own need means to become aware of oneself, of the fact that he is a man. The beggar, therefore, is the man who is most self-aware. And in order to be aware, we must use reason even today, or better, especially today. We therefore begin to be protagonists when we begin to use reason, which means becoming aware of reality, aware of what I am according to all the factors.

So the beggar is not the one who is most naïve, but who is most realistic. And, consequently, as we begin to defeat the confusion that surrounds and penetrates us, nothing can hinder us from becoming aware of ourselves in the present moment.

We have no fear of looking at our need, of recognizing that we are needy, because of what has happened in our lives. Yes, we can look with sympathy on what is human because someone has embraced us; we can look with sympathy on our nothingness because Someone has had pity on it: “I have loved you with an eternal love and I have had pity on your nothingness.” It is this awareness that can help us to live this gesture. It is this awareness of standing before a Presence which permits us to take on an attitude of expectation.

The word that must govern, the attitude that must govern in all of us is “expectation,” the expectation of what will be given to us … The beggar has only one option: asking. Our expectation is one that becomes asking. Asking for what? Asking for the willingness to accept and welcome everything that will be given to us today.

Father Julian Carron is a Spanish priest and a professor of theology at the University of Milan.
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