Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The New York Encounter NOT Encountering New York

It's been a week and a half since I got back from Communion and Liberation's annual New York Encounter.  This event keeps getting bigger and bigger--somewhat unintentionally.  The organizers of the event (and their friends) find people who have something interesting to present about life, they are invited, and in turn, everyone present is educated to some new perspective on reality and the inclinations and interests that God puts into hearts.

The objective of the weekend was to "celebrate the joy of life at the level of the Infinite."  With that objective, ANYONE can participate because everyone was created with a heart of infinite need and want. 

So what did I see?  Poster presentations on Flannery O'Connor and the Financial Crisis of the past two years.  A play called "The Tidings of Mary" written by Paul Claudel. A talk on if science and faith can BOTH be believed.  A book talk on Fr. Giussani's Religious Sense. A "Night in New York" with several performances from musicians that typically perform in the subway system of the city.

Underneath it all was a begging to the participants:  What causes these presenters to live this way?  Who looks at life this way?  What EXACTLY is going on here??  In comes the answer of "Jesus Christ" such a small name, yet such a powerful Presence that it generates LIFE in front of the most unexpected of circumstances--800 "friends" that you've never met, interest in subjects you've never been interested in before (I mean, the financial crisis, really??) and, most unexpected, a vigor for life when you go back home because in New York, you were reminded that life is positive.  Nothing is meaningless, nothing is uninteresting with the correct lens.

And all of this without leaving the block of 34th St. and 8th Ave. all weekend.  Because, in the end, the Statue of Liberty (which I've seen a couple of times) is meaningless if I don't know where true liberty comes from.