Miserando atque eligendo is the motto chosen by Jorge Mario Bergoglio for his episcopal crest, and he has kept it as pope. It refers not only to the mercy of God but also to the fact that God chooses Bergoglio – just as each one of us – in a singular, personalized and personalizing way.
It is the merciful love of the Father with which God loves his Son – in the terminology of Romano Guardini – as “the concrete-living person,” and God loves each and every one of us individually in Christ as “concrete-living persons” in our own unrepeatable uniqueness. We recall that Bergoglio had chosen as the core of his doctoral dissertation in theology the work of Guardini titled “Der Gegensatz: Versuche zu einer Philosophie des Lebendig-Konkreten” (The Opposite: Toward a Philosophy of the Concrete-Living Person), thinking, in the first place, of Christ, but also of each and every human person as singular and unique.
Guardini’s “concrete-living person” corresponds to the “concrete universal” of Maurice Blondel (very different from the Hegelian one) or to that which the Argentine philosopher Mario Casalla calls the “situated universal,” whose universality is true and not abstract. It is concrete, living, situated and analogical according to the historical times, cultural spaces and personal singularities.