«Giuseppe Maria Zanghì – Peppuccio – has been throughout the years, an example of faithfulness and creativity enlightened by the grace of Chiara Lubich’s charism which revealed to be the start of a new way of thinking: “Christ’s mentality” (1Cor 2,16) by transubstantiation in the logic of love. That mentality, together with all the seekers of truth and sincere workers of justice, has guided many in the unending work of transforming the world through the radical conversion of heart and mind, in light of the new commandment to love one another, beyond all frontiers, and in conformity with the spirit of the Trinity.
It is not easy to trace Peppuccio’s singular and fascinating intellectual profile, his openness to a wide-ranging horizon and his stringent and persevering unity in the pursuit of inspiration, aims, and orientation. His journey cannot but stir up a sincere feeling of wonder and admiration, because Peppuccio had discovered in the light of Jesus’ Gospel – re-presented in our time with the infinite originality of the charism of unity – the universe and guiding force of a mentality which is life, and life which is thought. And right to the very end, he also fulfilled the intellectual task that this implied, conscious of the fact that life and thought are one, at the roots and also as a mature fruit, when these convey love, – in other words – when these factors accomplish what they are meant to be: an expression and communication of love.
As to the strategic, intrinsic value of Peppuccio’s intellectual testimonial – I am certain that we shall fully realize its grandeur only with time. The fact is that his testimonials are prominent - though up to now, because of his interior need to voice his ideas in unity with Chiara’s charism – they have always been effective, sharp and particularly decisive especially within the circle of the scholars of the spirituality, and which he taught, with great impact especially on the youth, forging an infinite number of people. The fruits remain, however, as I said, and will increasingly appear to us as central, at least under two aspects.
First, because Peppuccio was able to grasp and illustrate his ideas – practically in all their facets: from philosophy to theology, art to literature, politics to the transdisciplinarity of knowledge – and also in the Gospel of Jesus actualized by the charism of unity which is not only a spiritual, religious and redemptive message but, specifically due to its inalienable mystical root, also a cultural, humanistic, and historical one. The event of Jesus Christ, diffused in the world as the light of the Trinitarian God and the truth and life intrinsic to man and creation, to his mind was the turning point of the history of Being which is Love and also the road in which all things merge and from where all the paths of encounter between God and his creature irradiates, and likewise also the numberless roads of encounter between creatures, their aspirations and vicissitudes in the construction of human civilisation. All is ever more decisively validated in an inedited kairòs of the universal history of Being which reveals and gives of itself as Love.
The second and likewise fundamental contribution is that he deciphered and offered to the cultural conscience of our time, those specific and decisive qualities and expressive forms of the charism of unity (first and foremost, Jesus Forsaken) as a free, abundant, resolute and concrete interpretation of Jesus’ Gospel. in reality a charism so full of light and life like that of Chiara, unfolds in the history of Being as a new universe which, in tracing Jesus’ life step by step, imbued it generously into the multiple weft of daily life experiences, enlightened by a new awareness of oneself in being able to think with the “intellect of love.” But this is possible only when we responsibly accept the irradiation of this light and reflect on it in a creative manner – and embrace the rays in which it unfolds. And in turn transmit its rays as seeds bursting with life and new mentalities.
The pages Peppuccio wrote contain his passionate life and unique words, and with his agile and fiery pen, he introduces us to a “place,” which – in the words of Elliot – the origin of which we will fully discover only when we reach our destination: exactly what he is now experiencing. It is a place he will no longer stop exploring, in the joy of an ever new discovery. That “place” is where, together, we shall be endowed to enter and abide in from now onwards, while waiting to fulfil our common destiny, listening to our sole Master. These pages of life and thought, these pages overflowing with love, should be “practiced” together rather than meditated, in a school where we can become what they are: indispensable and precious indicators of life – to help us effectively experiment that new mentality which is also a new way of life.
As Chiara explained, the Work of Mary is a school of life and thought, and will progressively be so in all its expressions. Peppuccio’s teachings invite and guide us to put into concrete practice this gift and commitment typical of the ideal of unity.
Even more so now that Chiara has completed her earthly mission, we have the task of making this extraordinary legacy flourish with generosity and open mindedness. A legacy of light and love for our present and future time, we should pursue with faith and hope this undertaking for the history of mankind, by heeding the voice of the Spirit with unending docility and creativity: so as to spread it, until Jesus’ incarnation in the life of creation totally becomes a reality in all things, on earth, as in Heaven.»
Text by: Piero Coda