P. Giovanni Vicidomini:L’Eucaristia centro della spiritualità Alfonsiana

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La “Pratica di amar Gesù Cristo” pubblicata da S. Alfonso nel 1768, inizia con questa affermazione: “Tutta la santità e la perfezione di un’anima consiste nell’amare Gesù Cristo, nostro Dio, nostro sommo bene e nostro salvatore”. È una constatazione che esprime la profonda convinzione di un uomo che aveva trascorso 72 anni di vita in­seguendo un solo ideale, quello di spendere tutte le proprie energie per amare Gesù Cristo e aiutare il prossimo a farlo amare. È in real­tà un insegnamento che Alfonso aveva appreso fin da piccolo e che ora, da vescovo, ripensando a tutta la sua vita, propone ai suoi lettori.

Nato in una famiglia no­bile, laureato a 16 anni in giurisprudenza e divenuto ben presto rinomato avvo­cato nel tribunale di Napoli, scopre che la sua vita non ha alcun senso senza un profon­do amore verso Gesù Cristo. E allora si immerge nella meditazione e nella preghie­ra, frequentando le chiese, dove si esponeva il SS. Sa­cramento per le quarant’ore, e si dedica ai malati, particolarmente a quelli che non avevano parenti e si sentiva­no abbandonati nelle corsie degli ospedali dell’Annunziata e degli Incurabili. Fu proprio in questo ospedale, al termine di una visita ai suoi ammalati, che Alfonso, gio­vane avvocato, avvertì forte l’invi­to a lasciare il mondo per dedicarsi a Dio e al prossimo. Attraversava allora un momento difficile della sua vita, disgustato per il modo di amministrare la giustizia nel tri­bunale di Napoli. Decise allora di abbandonare l’attività di avvocato e cominciò il cammino verso il sa­cerdozio. Ordinato sacerdote nel 1726 si dedicò alla evangelizza­zione dei giovani, dei poveri, degli artigiani, realizzando per quattro anni un recupero socio-culturale e religioso di quella parte di Napoli che viveva ai margini della società e della chiesa. Da quella esperienza di evangelizzazione nelle “Cap­pelle serotine”, e dalla scoperta degli “abbandonati” disseminati nelle campagne e sulle colline del­la costiera amalfitana, è scaturita l’intuizione di dedicare la vita agli altri indicando la strada per giun­gere alla “santità” cioè al possesso di Dio. Una strada che, seguendo la sua teologia e spiritualità essen­zialmente cristocentrica, “consiste nell’amare Gesù Cristo”. Di qui le sue numerose meditazioni sulla Incarnazione, Passione e morte di Gesù, e sulla Eucaristia, che sono state composte e pubblicate per aiutare ad amare e ad esprimere il nostro amore per Gesù.

L’Eucaristia, considerata come sacrificio della messa e come comunione, diventa per Alfonso il centro della sua spiritualità, conquista il suo amore, stimola la sua riflessione. La celebrazione del sacrificio della messa oc­cupa uno spazio privilegiato nelle riflessioni di Alfonso che pubblica anche un tratta­to per spiegare l’importanza dell’Eucaristia nella vita di ogni cristiano. Nel trattato sull’Eucaristia (Cf Opere ascetiche, voi. IV) descri­ve con linguaggio semplice e comprensibile, la dottrina tradizionale della identità tra il sacrificio della croce e quello dell’altare, e si soffer­ma anche a spiegare i singoli momenti della celebrazione, dalla preparazione all’introito, dal Credo al Canone, dal Padre No­stro alla comunione e al ringraziamento. Raccomanda altresì ai fedeli di partecipare attivamente al sacrificio della messa evitando distrazioni e atteggiamento passi­vo, e ai sacerdoti di celebrare con impegno e con la dovuta prepara­zione. Ha anche il coraggio di denunziare, nel 1760, due anni prima della consacrazione episcopale, con un libretto, La Messa e l’offi­cio strapazzati, i sacerdoti distratti che celebrano in fretta e con poca devozione.

È soprattutto l’Eucaristia come comunione che affascina Alfonso e lo fa prostrare davanti a Gesù “che sta notte e giorno, tutto pieno di pietà e d’amore, aspettando, chiamando ed accogliendo” tutti quelli che vanno a visitarlo. Ge­nuflesso davanti a Gesù sacramen­tato Alfonso trascorre molte ore. È lì che riflette, che prega, che im­plora, che si ricarica di energie fi­siche e spirituali. Si mette in ascol­to e fa parlare il suo cuore pieno d’amore per il suo Signore. Da quei dialoghi nascono le Visite al SS. Sacramento e a Maria Santis­sima che pubblica per uso interno dei congregati e che si diffondono rapidamente per la bellezza delle riflessioni, preghiere, atti di adora­zione e ringraziamento.

Alle “Visite per ciascun giorno del mese” Alfonso unisce la reci­ta della comunione spirituale, che esprime adeguatamente il deside­rio che deve avere ogni cristiano di restare sempre unito al Signore. L’argomento della comunione fre­quente era molto dibattuto. Il Gian­senismo, affermando l’indegnità dell’uomo nell’accostarsi alla grandezza di Dio, si era arroccato su una posizione rigida sostenendo che l’uomo si potesse nutrire del Corpo di Cristo una volta al mese o al massimo ogni quindici giorni. Alfonso, spinto da una benignità pastorale e più comprensivo della debolezza dell’uomo, si oppone a questa tendenza rigida e sostiene, nel 1765, in una breve aggiunta alla Istruzione e pratica per i con­fessori, la necessità della Comu­nione frequente, fonte di energie spirituali e nutrimento delle nostre anime. Con questo libretto il san­to vescovo, opponendosi alle idee del Giansenismo, invitava tutti, sa­cerdoti, suore e fedeli, ad essere in continuo dialogo con Gesù nutren­dosi del suo corpo o manifestan­dogli il desiderio di riceverlo nel proprio cuore con la comunione spirituale. Si trattava in realtà di un invito a vivere continuamente in preghiera, meditazione e dialo­go alla presenza di Dio. Era un’esperienza che lui aveva vissuto da giovane avvocato, da sacerdote e da fondatore della Congregazio­ne, e di cui conservava un ottimo ricordo. Quando giunse a Pagani, nel 1752, scelse la sua stanza ac­canto alla cappella della comunità. Per vivere continuamente accanto a Gesù aprì una finestra fra la sua stanza e la cappella. In quella stan­za Alfonso visse dieci anni, fino alla consacrazione episcopale. Possiamo immaginare gli sguardi, le preghiere, i dialoghi che attra­verso quella finestra giungevano direttamente a Gesù nel SS. Sacra­mentato dell’altare. Sono le rifles­sioni, i sentimenti e le preghiere che egli ha trascritto nelle Visite al SS. Sacramento e che ci descri­vono adeguatamente in che modo l’Eucaristia sia stata al centro della spiritualità del nostro santo fonda­tore.

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