The Voices of the Days

The Voices of the Days

This section contains all of Luigino Bruni's editorials of the series entitled "The Voices of the Days" published in Avvenire from 28th February 2016

The Counter Melody of the Prophets

The Voices of the Days/15 - The ways of faithfulness to the word are mysterious and uncomfortable

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 19/06/2016

Fiore bianco ridBlessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! ... for so their fathers did to the prophets. ... Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets."

Luke 6,22;26

The natural condition of the prophet is the failure. The false prophets are the ones to be heard and followed, to respond fully to the expectations of their time. Being followed, achieving fame and honours has always been a sure sign of false prophecy - and continues to be so. True prophets, however, are always out of time, uncomfortable, obnoxious, annoying.

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The Shared Bread of Tomorrow

The Voices of the Days/14 - We have to learn again about leaven sharing and dough making

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 12/06/2016

Surfinia rid

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, (...) And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. (...) ...and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet (...).

Ezechiele 37,1-10

In order for our life together to be good and happy we must know how to hold together different realities that are opposing each other. Creating unlikely and unforeseen alliances between persons and dimensions that common sense would keep separate and distant. The words "charisma" and "institution" aren't simple; they say something of this dialectic and confrontational nature of good life.

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To give some spirit to the world

The Voices of the Days/13 - What really matters is to keep walking, until the very end

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 05/06/2016

Rosa ridOnce married you are punished by never feeling any kind of sweetness apart from what belongs to all.” (rough translation from the Italian original)

Davide Maria Turoldo, L’Uomo (Man)

The biggest challenge in all community experience is being able to create a "we" that does not end up devouring the "I" of the individuals who have created it. Collective nouns are good and on the side of life only if they are accompanied and preceded by names and personal pronouns. The "we" without the "I" is the origin of all community pathologies and illiberal regimes, even when they arise as a promise of liberation and are clothed with the robes of salvation.

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The Paradox of Faithfulness

The Voices of the Days/12 - The most faded life stops at its projects of youth

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 29/05/2016

Fiore Filippine rid rid“Save me, oh, Lord, from many words”

Saint Augustine, De Trinitate

The most relevant effects of our actions are the unintentional ones that we generate without thinking, or wanting exactly the opposite of what ends up happening. The root of this gap between intentions and results is the inability to control the processes we generate, which are more complex and free of our ability to control them. Our every act is a seed that blooms, grows and dies under laws which escape us. If the results of what we generate were all inscribed in our will and intelligence and if they were captured by these, the world would be such a sad and poor place to live and we would miss the biggest surprises "under the sun".

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The Double Miracle of Bread

The Voices of the Days/11 - Daily work is the leaven of any career or vocation

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 22/05/2016

Pane ridIndeed, the tension of existence and the spur that moves us from the deep to live it reside in the fact that every stage of life is new, and had never happened before, and is unique, and then goes for ever”. As soon as you no longer feel the spur to live life, a feeling of monotony comes that can even grow to despair "

Romano Guardini, Stages of Life

The spiritual dimension of life is real and concrete as much as the organic and psychic ones. We would never have started looking at the stars in amazement, writing a poem, honouring our dead, if in our flesh and bones we were not inhabited by an invisible breath that escapes us and loves us. Honour, sincerity, beauty and meekness and all the beatitudes are spiritual matters, since neither the blood nor the flesh can reveal them to us.

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The good pains of adult life

The Voices of the Days/10 - No roof is high enough if it does not touch the sky

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 15/05/2016

Margherita ridRipeness is all.”

W. Shakespeare, King Lear

Becoming adults is a wonderful experience. It is an entirely spiritual and moral fact which generates a joy that can compensate and sometimes exceed the natural sadness that accompanies the end of youth and its typical beauty. The forms and times of maturity are many and various, inscribed in the flesh and history of each one of us.

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The Beauty in Front of Us

The Voices of the Days/9 - The temptation to "conform" and the antidote of "haecceity"

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 08/05/2016

Cardo Fucsia ridWhat needs to be there in the heart, in education is that love of life should never fail our children. ... And what is a human being's vocation but the highest expression of his love of life?

Natalia GinzburgThe Little Virtues

Every vocation is a radical experience of beauty; it is first and foremost a wonderful encounter. Those who have got to know this beauty continue to long for it for life. It is a meeting that happens only once, but it is so strong and radical that it changes us forever. At that time the person makes the most sublime human experience: they understand who they really are, which is something beautiful and great. They feel a tabernacle for the infinite, tiny but immense.

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The Risk of Generating Freedom

The Voices of the Days/8 - Those who give birth for real are generously vulnerable

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 24/04/2016

Tronchi sulla battigia rid(There is a kind of) human worth that is inseparable from vulnerability, an excellence that is in its nature other-related and social, a rationality whose nature it is not to attempt to seize, hold, trap, and control, in whose values openness, receptivity and wonder play an important part.

Martha Nussbaum, The Fragility of Goodness

A particularly important phenomenon is the so-called "mission shift" which occurs when the organizations, movements and associations become something different during their development and move away from the purpose that had generated them, because some activities that were born to serve the mission at the beginning end up becoming the order instead of the means.

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The illness of light is deadly

The Voices of the Days/7 - The seductive, crossless gospels of the false reformers

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 17/04/2016

Margherita gialla rid"Serious and terrible mistake it was, the invention of the crosses.

The Gospel of Thomas

The processes of change in ideal-driven organizations and charismatic communities are particularly complex and delicate because, unlike in many economic or bureaucratic organizations where change is planned and guided towards the objectives set by the owners, in ideal based organisations reform is actually a march into the unknown.

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When there's light again

The Voices of the Days/6 - To see even in darkness, beyond fake brightness

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 10/04/2016

Fiore Fragola rid"There are qualities or instances of excellence that the I cannot attribute to itself alone: ​​purity, charm, modesty, humour, all the perfections that disappear if only we touch them, even if for just a moment, because they cannot exist except as unaware of themselves. In other words, it is never the same subject to be it and to say it."

Vladimir JankélévitchThe Pure and the Impure

The decisive experiences of life are not easy to recognize and call by name, because if we could understand their blissful nature their injury would leave no mark (or sign) on us, they would not mean (signify) or teach anything to us.

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No armour is the way to rise again

The Voices of the Days/5 - The work of a reformer is a humble and miraculous craft

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 03/04/2016

Logo Voci dei giorni rid"A community is never founded once and for all. The first founder cannot be the one and only point of reference. Society's needs change; communities evolve; their members grow. They need to be constantly 're-founded'. The founding myth remains but the form in which it is embodied is called to change. It is here that the presence of wise 're-formers' is required. They are capable of advancing, maintaining and deepening the founding myth, pruning and reshaping what seemed essential in the early years but was not really."

Jean Vanier, The Founding Myth

The stories of communities, organizations and movements that have been able to live beyond the era of the founders tend to present some constant features: they usually have had reformers and have been able to tell new stories alongside those of the founding era.

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Leaving the House to Attain Wealth

The Voices of the Days/4 - Once out of the "houses", taking up different angles, you can see and grow

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 20/03/2016

Acquasantiera S Anastasia VR 01 ridMaster, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest’.

(Matthew 13,27-30)

A friend of mine after returning from a holiday abroad exclaimed in surprise: »There, there are many more blind people than here«. I replied, »There aren't more blind: only they come out more from their house, because there are fewer barriers, more infrastructure dedicated to them and a culture that encourages the blind to have a public life.«”

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Betraying the Ideal

The Voices of the Days/3 - Charismas are the founding force of vulnerable but re-generable communities

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 13/03/2016

Logo Voci dei giorni ridThe philosopher is marked by the distinguishing trait that he possesses inseparably the taste for evidence and the sense of ambiguity. When he limits himself to accepting ambiguity, it is called equivocation. But among the great it becomes a theme; it contributes to establishing certainties rather than menacing them." 

M. Merleau-Ponty, In Praise of Philosophy

Much more than interest, ideals are the force that pushes the world forward. Sometimes we are the ones that generate them in the brightest part of our soul. At other times we are 'called' by the ideals of others: one day we find out that they were already living inside us, just waiting to be lit up.

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In the Era of the Spider Web

The Voices of the Days/2 - The miracle of the tree and the scion: defying death

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 06/03/2016

Logo Voci dei giorni ridBlessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked …He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”

Psalm 1

The intelligence of human beings is not the only intelligence of the planet. Next to ours there is also that of the different animals, insects, and even that of the different plants. Botany and other sciences show us that vegetables and plants feel, learn, see, suffer and remember, they decide, help and collaborate with each other, and they are much more similar to us than we would think.

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Happiness Is Not Enough

The Voices of the Days/1 - Some know it and can say no to it, without announcing it

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 28/02/2016

Girasole Maika ridIt is the law of the universe that we cannot be happy without making others happy.

Antonio Genovesi, Letters

Un giorno ti dirò, che ho rinunciato alla mia felicità, per te (One day I'll tell you that I have given up my happiness for you)’. The first words of the song of "Stadio", winner of the last Sanremo Festival, offers us a good opportunity to reflect on our happiness and on that of others. Our civilization has placed the pursuit of individual happiness at the centre of its humanism, gradually relegating other values ​​and the happiness of others in the background - unless they are a means to increase our own happiness.

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The Dawn of Midnight

Logo Geremia Crop 150The series of comments by Luigino Bruni on Jeremiah's book comes out every Sunday on Avvenire

Go to the complete series

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