Ms Anna Catenaro Lawyer
Let’s thank wholeheartedly the Ambassador, he has honored us with his presence and his precious time. Thank you for presenting us this Truth on the whole world. The title that I had thought of for this meeting is: ‘The Truth in international legislation’. And now I wonder where a greater Truth than what he has just illustrated can be? He has shown the Truth in our world, the Truth of how reality can be changed through this encounter with the Lord.
I think that the best conclusion is praying. The teaching that we have received today is that the only Truth is Jesus Christ; therefore the only Truth that we can carry within us and that we could take to the Courtrooms is the Truth that comes from Christ.
The incarnate verb, that is Jesus Christ the Word became flesh. He, who said, I am the Way, the Truth, the Life, He came among His people –says John in his Prologue – but they did not welcome Him. We often see that the Truth is not welcomed in Courtrooms; sometimes the behavior of us lawyers, sometimes the behavior of the magistrates who do not manage to pronounce a judgment in full Truth do not support the Truth. So, what’s our mission? Why was Avvocatura-in-Missione created? I hope and I believe that it was born thanks to the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit wants to renew our hearts, wants to renew justice in the world, wants to renew the hearts of legislators and politicians.
When in Rimini I heard the testimony of the Ambassador a few months ago, it was not as beautiful and as thorough as it has been today, but I fully captured what he just mentioned. It was a testimony of only a few minutes, but I understood that he could be for us that example that I wanted to bring to Avvocatura-in-Missione. An encounter with Christ can transform our life; we are lawyers, jurists, legislators. We represent those categories that are at the apex of the hierarchy, and the world can truly change only if we change, if our hearts change. So, let me confess you another thing. I had written the Statute of Avvocatura-in-Missione already three years ago, and I had put as special charisma the mission in our workplace, because, since the beginning, I had felt that changing man’s heart meant capsizing the whole of humanity in a beneficial way.
And so, a few months ago, I added another aim of Avvocatura-in-Missione that basically completes its mission and that here coincides with the testimony of the Ambassador, that is helping the poor.
So, why are the poor starving? So long as there is accumulation of wealth, the poor will keep on dying. So, from our conversion, from the conversion of governors, world hunger can really be over. We have seen hunger for too many years.
But why is all this happening? This unbalanced situation derives from the fact that the most powerful nations, governors, administrators, judges, those with power, money, are not yet converted, have not emptied themselves in order to give. We need to have the revelation that all is a gift from God, that I cannot possess everything and let my brother in the nearby house or in Africa starve. If I am living in abundance it is probably because someone is dying and hasn’t even got those crumbs that I would not even throw to my dog.
So, the aim of Avvocatura-in-Missione is to create a new leading class, a new justice; so here I am urging you once again to join our prayer groups. Many of you subscribe, many submit their subscription form, in many of you I see a certain desire to take part, but then you are tempted and do not come. I talk of ‘other temptations’ because I cannot see any other explanation: if your heart makes you “say” yes when you fill in your subscription form, I am sure that you had the desire to partake. But then you don’t turn up. These prayer groups are not simple prayer groups. They are a means of vocational discernment; it is a way of becoming aware of what our profession is, of repossessing who we are. We, as lawyers, are nowadays being treated very badly by society, we are considered as thieves; we have a very bad reputation. Let’s find out who we really are. Who is the lawyer? The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete is the lawyer.
We share the name with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit. They are called ‘Lawyer’, and we have that very name. What do we share with Jesus? what have we taken from the Holy Spirit when we sponsor some cases? When we tramp on other people’s rights in order to obtain the release from prison of our client? The Ambassador reminded us how he came to have the idea of bringing Christ to his workplace: through the reading of the Scriptures, through the encounters between him and a friend with whom he used to pray; he also told us that when people gather in the name of God, you see God’s power in action. So, if we do not realize this, then we are like those Pharisees, those Father Scicolone was talking about earlier on, those who go to church on Sundays but have understood nothing about life. Maybe they belong to a masonry but have understood nothing about life.
Maybe they give donations to the poor but they are rotten inside their hearts. So, who are we? When Jesus entered the temple he was disgusted, he said, ‘You have made this temple a thieves’ den!’ Justice, God is justice. God’s prototype, God’s attribute is justice. We administer justice on this earth; we should always worship and thank God for this ministry, for this charisma that He has given to every single one of us. But how do we administer justice within tribunals? Tribunals are that temple of God, they are that temple where you can go and pray, because it is in the temple that justice must live; so, what would Jesus do, should he enter nowadays our Courtrooms?
Wouldn’t He do like that day, wouldn’t He throw everything to the floor and say: ‘What have you done to my Father’s temple? You have transformed it into a thieves’ den!’
This morning, during the meditation on psalm 118 I was impressed by this sentence :
“I run the way of your commandments because you have enlarged my heart”.
This is the personal experience I made, this is the kind of experience I want to wish everyone of you makes; I wish you run the way of the commandments, you run for justice, for Truth, because today the Lord has enlarged your heart. I wholeheartedly wish you this, to really start a new life, a new conversion today: the Wisdom of the Lord may be on every one of you, may the Spirit of Life enter everyone of you, so that when we see justice being trampled on, may we be the heralds of justice, the heralds of the Gospel.
I beg your pardon, I always say that I should just say a couple of words and then I get carried away. So, I really want to thank you and invite you to join our prayer groups from September onwards so that more unity and a spirit of brotherhood may be born among us, so that when we meet in tribunals, we do not simply exchange a warm greeting, but we can truly share each other’s burdens, pains, sufferings and professional problems. In this way the path to holiness may be less difficult for each one of us. Thank you.