General Assembly Diary 4, 27 January 2021

On the third and final day of spiritual retreat of the General Assembly, the icon of the Holy Trinity was at the centre of the meditations, reflections and communion. It was presented as a model of a "collective holiness" (Maria Voce) and relationships of love that bring out the "plan of God" on each person (Claudio Guerrieri).

Christians from two Orthodox Churches

It seemed appropriate that the ecumenical prayer at the beginning of the day was prepared by Christians from two Orthodox Churches, whose traditions include a huge treasure of reflections and contemplation of the Blessed Trinity.

Maria Voce

In her meditation, Maria Voce, close to leaving her office as President of the Focolare, drew attention once again to the general purpose of the Movement: “the perfection of charity”, as Chiara Lubich wrote. In other words, full personal fulfillment through giving to others, which could be defined as holiness. But a holiness – underlines Maria Voce – typical of the Focolare: a “collective holiness”.

To explain this concept, Maria Voce traced the origins of the Movement in which we see Chiara with her first friends living the Gospel radically, a life “for God and for others – as Chiara explains – totally oblivious to everything that could make us retreat into ourselves”.  A way to new holiness was born, “radical and light, a holiness that could be open to all, pursued in the family, in the midst of the world, together”, a holiness in company. A holiness that always requires the individual to listen to what God wants, but they do so knowing they are on the way with others, looking at the other and the presence of God in them.

Claudio Guerrieri

The philosopher, Claudio Guerrieri , a member of the Focolare study centre, Abbà School , continued these reflections by focusing on one of the effects of “collective holiness”: the true personality of each one emerges, God’s plan for each person. This aspect is evident in the mystical writings of Chiara Lubich of the years 1949/1950 which offer a model of communion and unity “which is not uniform, but which includes a plurality of voices in which each expresses the whole as a part”. This is reflected by the existence, in addition to Chiara Lubich, of two other co-founders, Igino Giordani and Pasquale Foresi. With their “design”, they opened and embodied Chiara’s charism.

These three thought-provoking days of profound retreat have come to an end, leaving the participants inspired to face the choices ahead. “They were – explains one of the young people in the final communion – an opportunity to listen to each other and try to understand in which direction the Holy Spirit is calling the Focolare in the next period and to whom to entrust the tasks of leading this Work in the challenges and opportunities of the next six years”.