©Centro S. Chiara Audiovisivi Soc. Coop. a.r.l. All rights reserved
The wide embrace of Bernini’s colonnade is not able to contain the crowd of people who belong to as many as 56 new communities and ecclesial movements; a tiny representation of the approximately 80,000,000 Catholics, for the most part lay people, who make up this immense people.
It’s the first time that they are meeting all together with the Pope.
An enormous multicolored garden: this is the way someone described St. Peter’s Square on that sunny afternoon of May 30. The presence of members of the various movements, who with their specific charisms contribute towards making the Church beautiful, alive, and credible, constituted a surprising and remarkable display of unity in diversity.
A reality witnessed to by founders of four of the most widespread movements: Chiara Lubich, Kiko Arguello, Jean Vanier, Luigi Giussani. Their charisms draw life from the same Spirit; it is a unity in diversity, demonstrating Christian life as a reflection of the Trinitarian mystery.
« …numerous charisms are always born in the most important moments of the life of the Church. I’m thinking of the Council of Trent. … Today then, I would say that the Holy Spirit …, blowing in the same direction, puts the accent on different notes, because the life of the Church is like a symphony, a great concert; many instruments are needed, the greatest number of voices are needed». (Msgr. Piero Coda)
Therefore, a wide variety of charisms are at the basis of the many new ecclesial movements, supported and encouraged by the Pope as the providential answer of the Holy Spirit to the challenges at the end of this millennium.
In his address Pope John Paul II does not hesitate to affirm that what happened in the Upper Room in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, is being renewed this evening in St. Peter’s Square.
«With the Second Vatican Council, the Comforter recently gave the Church … a renewed Pentecost, instilling a new and unforeseen dynamism. … You, present here, are the tangible proof of this “outpouring” of the Spirit». (Pope John Paul II)
In speaking of the journey taken so far by the movements, Pope John Paul II sees them now on their way toward a new stage of ecclesial maturity in which their strong common announcement is a valid alternative to the secularized culture which encourages and promotes models of life without God.
«It constitutes a precious capital for the entire mission of the Church. Its founder did not say in vain that the witness of unity is “so that the world may believe.” The missionary fecundity of the movements will be potentiated if this witness of unity in diversity shines forth so that the world may believe».(Gusmán Carriquiri)
«It’s important that we create among ourselves opportunities for dialogue, as we do with people of other Christian confessions or with people of other religions. We all belong to something much greater than the individual movements. Each one must simply find his place and know how to stay with the others». (Jean Vanier)
«If each one of us understands that from the contribution of each one, a contribution that springs also, I hope, I think, from a journey that we are taking towards precise goals, like many rivers which then flow together into a sea, we will surely be able to permeate many more areas of culture, many more areas of science, many more areas of human promotion which we have too often delegated to those who might not have convincing proposals to offer people … and to bring them to Christ Jesus». (Salvatore Martinez)
«… the Movements must grow in friendship. They should get to know one another, have esteem and love for one another. Of course, all this cannot be accomplished… with politics, through agreements …. My hope is that the understanding among Movements will grow, and it will grow in the measure that the various charisms become increasingly more involved in evangelization. Because it’s not a question of coordination, but of a spirit, of a spirit that must mature, that must penetrate, of a spirit that is grafted onto different stories, persons and Movements.» (Andrea Riccardi)
This really seems to be the best attitude for responding to the expectations of the Church and for effectively adhering to the Pope’s invitation at the conclusion of the historical meeting of May 30.
« Today, from this Square, Christ says to each of you: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk. 16:15). He is counting on each and every one of you!» ( Pope John Paul II)
Excerpt from the documentary “ON THE WINGS OF THE SPIRIT. Ecclesial Movements: Springtime of the Church” produced on the occasion of Pentecost 1998 ©Centro S. Chiara Audiovisivi Soc. Coop. a.r.l.. All rights reserved.