POPE FRANCIS TO THE FOCOLARE MOVEMENT •
This morning Pope Francis received in private audience the 362 participants of the General Assembly of the Focolare Movement, a representation of whom were present in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican and with the majority connected via internet. Welcoming them, he extended his greetings to all members of the Focolare Movement. He encouraged them to remain faithful to the original source of their charism while remaining in dialogue with new social and cultural situations. He invited them to beware of any self-absorption, to see every crisis as an opportunity to grow, to be witnesses of fraternal love that overcomes all barriers and to increasingly promote synodality. He concluded with an invitation to remain, in imitation of the foundress Chiara Lubich, attentive to the cry of abandonment of Christ on the cross, the heart of Christianity and of the charism of Focolare. —
A deep, impactful speech ans applicable to any movement ans “totally applicable to us”, as a young Schoenstatt Father said when we shared it with the schoenstatt.org team.
As a “starting point” to encourage a deeper reading and debate in our groups or here, in this organic, free and independent platform that seeks to open a free space for free exchange, which is the purpose of free or unofficial or officialist platforms.
1 The post-founder period
As we know, this requires a dynamic fidelity, capable of interpreting the signs and needs of the times and responding to the new demands of humanity. Every charism is creative, it is not a statue in a museum, no, it is creative. It is a question of remaining faithful to the original source, striving to rethink it and express it in dialogue with the new social and cultural situations. It is firmly rooted, but the tree grows in dialogue with reality.
This avoidance of all self-absorption, which never comes from the good spirit, is our hope for the whole Church: to beware of self-centredness, which always leads to defending the institution to the detriment of individuals, and which can also lead to justifying or covering up forms of abuse.
Self-absorption prevents us from seeing mistakes and shortcomings, it hampers progress, and it prevents an open review of institutional procedures and styles of governance.
Self-celebration does no good service to the charism. No. Rather, it is a matter of welcoming each day with wonder – don’t forget wonder always indicates the presence of God – the freely-given gift you have received by meeting your ideal of life and, with God’s help, trying to correspond to it with faith, humility and courage, like the Virgin Mary after the Annunciation.
2 The importance of crises
El conflicto es feo, puede volverse feo, puede dividir, pero la crisis es una oportunidad de crecimiento.
Toda crisis es una llamada a una nueva madurez; es un tiempo del Espíritu, que suscita la necesidad de actualizarse, sin desanimarse ante la complejidad humana y sus contradicciones.
Hoy en día se insiste mucho en la importancia de la resiliencia frente a las dificultades, es decir, la capacidad de afrontarlas positivamente, sacando oportunidades de ellas. Cada crisis es una oportunidad de crecimiento.
Es tarea de quienes ocupan cargos de gobierno, a todos los niveles, esforzarse por afrontar, en el mejor modo, el más constructivo, las crisis comunitarias y organizativas.
3 Living spirituality with consistency and realism
With regard to your effort within the Movement, I urge you increasingly to promote synodality, so that all members, as depositaries of the same charism, may be co-responsible for and participate in the life of the Work of Mary and its specific goals. Those who are responsible for governance are called to foster and implement transparent consultation not only within the governing bodies, but at all levels, by virtue of that logic of communion according to which all can place their gifts and opinions at the service of others, in truth and with freedom.
Pope Francis, to the participants in the General Assambly of the Focolare Movement