Three years ago Jeanne and Augustin, Congolese, moved to Gabon to serve the Focolare community, in an environment where development was hindered due to the demands of rapidly changing socio-cultural aspects.[more]
The spirituality expressed by Chiara Lubich soon became defined as a ‘collective’ or better still, a ‘communitarian’ spirituality, always in view of ‘ut omnes unum sint’ (jn 17,21). This spirituality unfolds into 12 cardinal points, leading from one to another:
- God is Love
- The Will of God
- The Word
- The Neighbour
- Mutual Love
- Jesus in the Eucharist
- Jesus Forsaken
- The Church
- The Holy Spirit
- Jesus in the Midst
In Chiara Lubich the points of the spirituality of unity were not developed through thought out plans, reflections or some theological points. Rather, this is a spirituality demanding an immediate adhesion, decisive and practical, something that brings life. In the splendid history of the Church, from its individual members, its saints and communities there has always been a clear line and result: it’s the individual that goes to God. This remains the case within the spirituality of unity, in the sense that the individual’s experience of God is unique and will never be repeated. However, the spirituality is drawn from the charism of unity, entrusted by the Holy Spirit to Chiara, and as well as this indispensible personal spiritual experience there is also a deep emphasis on the communitarian dimension of Christian life. It is not a complete novelty, the Gospel is eminently communitarian. There have been experiences in the past which have underlined the collective aspect of the journey towards God, above all in the spiritualities rising from those who had love at the base of their spiritual life. This can be seen in the example of St Basil and his community.
Chiara Lubich brings her own spirituality, which is an original communitarian way of going to God: being one in Christ, according to the Gospel of John: “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so may they be in us.” (Jn 17,21). In Chiara this became a style of life.
A “communitarian spirituality” was foretold for our epoch by contemporary theologians and is also mentioned by the Second Vatican Council. Karl Rahner, for example, speaking of the spirituality of the Church of the future, saw it as a “fraternal communion in which it is possible to make the same basic experience of the Spirit”. Vatican II, directed attention to the Church as the body of Christ and people assembled in the bond of love of the Trinity.
If St Teresa of Avila, doctor of the Church, spoke of “an interior castle”, the spirituality of unity helps to build an “exterior castle”, where Christ will be present and illuminate every part of it.
From diversity of opinions to disappointments, from mistakes to forgiveness, there are so many occasions where we can experience the beauty of mutual acceptance. Some flashes from life, which bring us back to February’s Word of Life: “Welcome one another.”[more]
It took place in Akum, in English-speaking Cameroon bordering with Nigeria. In the heart of Africa, an entire village is discovering that the Gospel really keeps its promises.[more]
A comment on this month’s Word of Life that invites us to God’s mercy. Chiara’s proposal: “like God” always take the initiative by being the first to love.[more]
In the month dedicated to Mary, Tommaso Sorgi, former member of the Italian Parliament and first director of the Igino Giordani Centre, helps us to deepen our understanding of Giordani’s rapport with the Mother of Jesus.[more]
A ten-day worldwide initiative aims at creating awareness about the daily effort to build peace. Some flash from the Holy Land, Syria, Congo, Argentina, Hong Kong, Macau, Germany, Slovakia and Portugal.[more]