Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Gratuitousness is a fundamental dimension of the life of the priest. To educate to it is even more necessary today, in an epoch in which, according to the current mentality, an untruthful position towards the truth is the only one possible. This is the consumer mentality the exact opposite to gratuitousness. Any reality external, ‘other’ to us, whether person or thing, is perceived by the dominant mentality - and therefore imposed on all - as something to be used, to burn in an immediate utility, instead of something to which we must open, welcome, listen, and help to flourish from within.
The position of the person in the face of being is a fundamental question for every man and woman, but it is of special importance for those of us called to be educators, called to live our life in relation with others whom we must lead to this position of truth. What can we say, what can we give to others unless we ourselves live this gratuitousness? How can we live with others unless we are able to accept others for what they are and not for what they give?
We are creatures made and created by God, our being is by nature dependence, openness, listening. Education to gratuitousness aims to rediscover this original position. Concretely how? By means of some time snatched from the week, systematically dedicated to relations with others, whoever they are, simply because they exist. This serves to restore in our heart and in our mind the perception of Absolute Gratuitousness which makes all things, mankind and the world, gratuitousness from whom we come and towards whom we are directed and in whom everything exists.
This time, short or long, regularly spent for this sort of self education, is education to a permanent dimension of life. It tends, if lived authentically, to influence the way in which we relate to people, just like our moments of silence, because in the end they are of the same nature: they are an act of prayer. (Agenzia Fides 21/7/2006 - righe 24, parole 347)