May 14, 1999, only a few days before dying in a car crash (on May 26th), Enzo Piccinini was invited by the Archbishop of Ferrara, Carlo Caffarra, to give the closing conference of a cycle of meetings proposed for the youth of the Emilian city. He was given the theme, “Living the Church: Culture, Charity, and Mission.” We offer here some ample excerpts from notes of that testimony, because the details are important for remembering him.
The Christian position is the human position in the true sense of the word; outside Christianity, the human is not fulfilled. The Christian experience is the human experience and the Church is the teacher of humanity. This is the theme of this evening, precisely through the usual things, those that seem relegated to the sacristies or to those who have a few extra religious problems.
What I’m talking about is for the life of all men, of every man, precisely because the human experience requires, in order to be itself, the Christian proposal. Christ is everything for the life of man. Everything. Nothing in a man’s life–if he loves to the core and with sincerity his own humanity–nothing can exempt him from the relationship with Christ, because it is the heart of the life of every man.
I wouldn’t remain in the Christian experience if it weren’t for this. I would rebel even at the thought that being Christian means being (as so many think) a bit less of a man than others, or with a few problems more. If I have chosen to remain in the Christian experience, it is because here I find all of myself, that which I have always sought.
Now, that Christ is everything for the life and the heart of man has to coincide with what the Lord said in Deuteronomy: “Man was made for happiness.” For this word, that marks the life of each of us–we wake up in the morning to be happy, we have done everything to be happy, we’ll continue to do so to our last breath–precisely for this happiness Christ sets Himself as the answer for man: for the happiness of each of us.