On 3rd October, during the CH Link up – the bimonthly video conference that connects the Focolare communities around the world – Maria Voce made an appeal to everyone, asking for a significant new commitment: to live relationships on the model of “Trinitarian” ones, where each person brings out the other, finding in this way “his or her deepest identity” and thus laying the foundations for a fraternal society.
The video call took place a few hours after the signing in Assisi of “Fratelli tutti”, Pope Francis’ latest encyclical. It was therefore impossible not to feel called personally. Below is a summary of the Focolare president’s speech.
Question: Today, Pope Francis has been to Assisi and signed the new Encyclical with this beautiful title: “Fratelli tutti”. In a tweet he wrote: “The effort to build a more just society implies the capacity of fraternity, a spirit of human communion”. Were you surprised by the Pope’s choice of this topic?
Maria Voce: Not at all! Because this is the greatest need of humanity today. The Pope was able to make it resound and with this encyclical he wants to bring us all together to seek the answer, to find an answer to this need of humanity. So it seemed to me that he became the voice of this bewildered world, that he has been able to take up this pain of humanity and present it to us.
So we naturally ask ourselves: “What can we do?
At this point, I would like to speak in particular to all those who feel called by God to do something, to respond, and to do it by giving themselves completely, giving themselves without measure, without fear, without interruption, giving themselves completely. All those who feel they have found in the charism of unity, in Chiara’s charism, something that helped them see that it is possible, that made them have a concrete, true, and deep experience of unity on this earth. I would like to say to them all: let’s do it together, let’s do it together!
Yes, we have received a gift that has allowed us to experience it. But this calling to fraternity, which for us is the call to “That they may all be one”, (Jn 17:21) is the call to unity. This calling would want people to live on earth as in heaven, as – allow me to say this – in the Trinity, where unity and distinction coexist, where each person respects the other, each person makes room for the other, each person tries to bring out the other, each tries in a certain way to lose their own self completely so that the others can express themselves completely. In doing this they do not cancel themselves out; on the contrary they manifest their true and deepest identity.
A unity as great as that has only one example: Jesus who was able to completely lose his being God in order to become man and to share on the cross – in the moment of his forsakenness – all forsakenness, all pain, all anguish, all suffering, all the extremisms, all the victimizations, the wounds that people of all times, and in all circumstances, have experienced and still experience. Jesus made them his own with this love that was so great that he managed to remake, to rebuild the unity that had been broken between God and humankind, among all people and also with all creation.
If we manage to have such a great love, we can witness to the world that this unity exists, that this unity is possible, and that this unity has already begun.
I would like, with all those who are listening to me now, that all of us together be a first response to the Pope, one that has already begun and that we could console him and give him hope, because something has already begun.
That all together, we could, we who are just a small group inspired by the charism received from Chiara Lubich, be a start, a tiny but effective particle of that leaven that can spread through humanity and can transform it into a new world.
I would like to make this commitment together with all of you. I’m for it; I want to give it my all, and I invite everyone to do the same, all those who want to!