Servant of God William Giaquinta1
The History of Salvation can be “seen and lived”; it cannot be reduced to the deliverance from sin, but it must also embrace the total transformation of man.
What is most essential is to live it. But how can we live it if it is not known?
The “Ascending path” is the logical and thus theological presentation of the whole History of Salvation, seen, however, in accordance with the logical demands of man. In fact you cannot speak of the action of God and of Christ, without having first proved the existence of God and of Christ, just as human reason demands.
Thus the first and second parts of the Ascending path, which are the pre-evangelization (demonstration of the existence of God) and the evangelization (historical demonstration of the existence and the divinity of Christ), are justly presented.
There follows an exposition of truths that have been revealed and of the theological thinking of the Church (catechesis), which seek to have these truths be lived through journeys of spirituality.
The conclusion is given by some concrete suggestions that aim at leading the Christian to a deep inner life inspired by the principles stated in the Ascending path, that is to "breathe" the divine.
The first impression that you might have is that the Ascending path is nothing but a common treatise of theology and spirituality. This is only partly true.
The Ascending path wants to be almost a special theological-spiritual way of seeing the History of Salvation rather than a simple exposure of it.
St. Irenaeus talking about the History of Salvation, calls it a 'symphony'.
We may also use this term, stating, however, that the purpose of the Ascending path is to present the History of Salvation as a symphony of love.
It is possible, while exposing the 'wonders of God ', to highlight one aspect or another; to dwell prevalently on the reality of Christ or the Holy Spirit; to linger on the nature and the aims of the Church.
In the Ascending path the real starting point is John’s affirmation, “God is holy” (Jn 4:8); the final point is the Old-New Testament exhortation, “Be holy because I am holy "(Lev 20: 26; 1 Pt 1: 16); the middle point is the Ascending path and the effort of the 'new man' and of a world that is ‘other’ 'inspired by the vocation to holiness which has as its goal the ideal slogan 'all saints, all brothers and sisters'. Why this special theological-spiritual touch of the symphony of love?
The Pro Sanctitate Movement that has prepared this path through “movies”, has as its purpose the apostolate of announcing this threefold principle:
- God- Love loves us and wants to be loved
- Because God loves us infinitely, He wants a response from us that strives toward the maximum, that is that we strive toward holiness
- We are all brothers and sisters because we have the same Father and we should love each other to the maximum in imitation of Christ Who loved us up to the sacrifice of the Cross.
There follows that the Ascending path is the daily handbook that every Christian should read, study, learn, and consult in the various stages of his life and his apostolate.
It is clear that such a rational effort, while essential, is not enough.
It was said at the beginning: to see, to live and eventually to breathe. The Ascending path should, of course, be read and known, but more importantly, it should be lived and breathed.
Its last part ‘to breathe the divine' proposes some concrete indications - not less demanding- that are to be added to those that already are found in spiritual journeys. However, let us be careful not to establish an absurd gap between thought and life, knowledge and implementation.
The Word of God Who became flesh did not come to reveal a new philosophical theory to us, but to communicate a message to be implemented.
We must therefore embody each single note of the symphony of love presented by the Ascending path.
Only Our Father in Heaven knows the work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in us. Surrendering with trusting simplicity to His love will mean to repeat the words of Mary, our Mother, Behold the handmaid of my Lord, be it done to me according to your word.
1 May 1, 1984