Piero Coda’s “Magnificat”

Piero Coda’s “Magnificat”

From the Introduction by Sergio Zavoli



«This book by Piero Coda [link] had remained among those not yet read at the time, knowing that sooner or later I would change my mind.  It would not be an easy reading, I would say to myself, and I remember having pushed it off till questions piled upon questions, I can’t deny it, even huge ones.  I’m choosing randomly: Why did God create His Son’s human life using Mary’s stupendous maternity? Why was this human medium necessary?  If not, would the story of humanity have been different? Would we not have had Jesus, our Saviour? Why would God as an extreme proof of His “being for man,” entrust the birth of His son to the uninhabited womb of a woman? Why does He reveal his compromise with humanity through a creature to be hidden from the world as soon as she is born, later having to keep her from Herod’s fury, then marking her with the stigma of suffering, equal to that of all births? (…)


And behold how in this Magnificat, Piero Coda turns to Mary as though in a state of dreamy, tender devotion; it is, after all, the entrance of God in the reality revealed by Jesus, and he is a soul kneeling in front of that sign.
In these pages he knows he must measure himself with the instruments of a faith that will be a source of incomparable stupefaction: Jesus on the cross, the cry to the Father from whom He feels abandoned, the dazzling resurrection, the recomposing of all in the supreme paradigm of the Spirit, sanctified in the Three divine identities of those who witnessed that blinding testimony. Where the narration is lived with the language of a secular prayer, incarnated, if you will, in a soul that today, Piero justifies in your monologue; so much so as having to ask ourselves if this canticle were not already a distant, underlined interlocution with Mary. But it is not a simple commemoration, it is the return of a text become living matter; which from almost still waters, begins to run once again, pushed on by a voice that has become nature, meaning earthly and universal, asking to be listened to once again, the same as in the song of the past, today, finally concluded in its achieved sanctity.
Between the lines, expressive and significant, reappears the thought of Chiara Lubich, bent over the fragments of the indivisible, meaning man, to reduce the fractures of the shareable, meaning the community, be it big  or small; the highest gift, since it moves from the ability to put our life in relationship with that of the other, not being able to give itself a humanity of people and living existences  each just for its own sake. (...)


Piero Coda – rector of the  “University Institute Sophia” of Loppiano, centre of international studies , also ecumenical – is not satisfied by the graceful, even formal quality of these pages, brought back to their rightful place, meaning, within the home; It is almost as though time had smoothed a precious cameo where a delicately amorous psalmody was carved, due not only to the finesse of the known theologian, but  by the believer as well, who does not abandon himself to a merely effusive tonality; his spirit, in fact, expresses the confident need to draw at that most enveloping nature of a mystery which, those who live the enviable fullness of faith have the right to call “joyous”.  For others, it will remain the monologue of a conscience thanks to which even the most restless lay person may examine his fides infirma, with the freedom of assenting belief of Agustin of Ippona.
It is declared by this book, which inspires itself to faith in God with a “foundation” that is also human, similar to our uncertainties, trustful pauses in front of inexpressible certainties.»

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