A Blossom in the Desert


ID 118753549 © Abdellah Boughazoual | Dreamstime.com

ID 118753549 © Abdellah Boughazoual | Dreamstime.com

The stubborn expectation of the human heart: witnesses from Aleppo, São Paulo, Nairobi, and New York

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In the evolution of time and in the work of man, there is something, there is a phenomenon, a phenomenon of something that is incorruptible, that doesn’t manage to crumble away: everyone speaks of it, and it is always new. The great Italian poet Leopardi called it the “Dominant Thought.” This phenomenon is much wider and greater than the ephemeral aspect of reality, the sign, that brings it about. Something bigger: It is the thirst for beauty. It is the thirst for truth. It is the thirst for happiness. It is the heart! The dominant thought, according to the totality of its meaning, is what the Bible calls “heart”: man perceives within himself to be destined for happiness, for truth, for beauty, for goodness, for justice. Everyone judges based on these things; at least, even a bit superficially, everyone! But what is most impressive is that this phenomenon cannot be removed: it cannot be removed! Ultimately, it is something that cannot be removed! In the middle of the “great ruin” – to use Dante’s words – there is this impetuous, grandiose, powerful thing that raises itself. If this phenomenon dies, man dies of boredom, of anorexia.

~Fr. Luigi Giussani, notes from a talk on Giacomo Leopardi, Milan 1996

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