ITALY, mda. Jesús Morán, Spanish philosopher and theologian, was elected co-president of the Focolare Movement in the General Assembly 2014, which was held last September. Together with the President of the Focolare Movement, Maria Voce, he took part in the audience of the Apostolic Schoenstatt Movement with Pope Francis. In an interview with Aurora Nicosia of the International Press Office of the Focolare Movement, he took a stand, also in view of the audience of the General Congregation of the Focolare Movement with Pope Francis, to the actual situation of the Movement – which in a manner of speaking is similar to that of the Schoenstatt Movement at the start of its second century – to the challenge of “creative loyalty”: “It is a question of verifying the extent to which this first generation has really understood the charismatic gift that God has given to the Church and humanity with Chiara Lubich. Because this determines the actual level of the incarnation of the charism. It is a moment of a strong and new self-awareness that must result in a radical life on a par with the early days of the movement, even though different. It is the time of “creative fidelity”.
Here the complete interview:
“I met the ideal of unity – he begins – when I had just finished my studies at high school and I was preparing to join the faculty of philosophy at the Autonomous University of Madrid. It was a time of great political and social unrest in Spain. The desire for change was very urgent. Society and in particular young people were demanding freedom and democracy. The reason I chose to study philosophy was because the religious at the high school where I had studied had inculcated in me a Christianity that was engaged in social transformation. The encounter with the spirituality of Chiara Lubich was like finding the figure of what I wanted to be. This spirituality, in addition to changing society, could change myself as well and this was what I basically wanted most. I found in the freedom to love the answer to all my needs.”
“Latin America gave me access to the meaning of organic thinking”
“I have lived in Latin America most of my life,” Jesús Morán continues, “When I arrived in Chile I was 23 years old and when I left Mexico I was 50. I made my first work experiences there and saw first hand the history of these age-old peoples with their contrasts, their immense cultural wealth and their identity dramas. From Latin America, I learned the immeasurable value of life, of nature and interpersonal relationships. It was like a school of sociality. That continent gave me the sense of organic thinking, of culture becoming daily practice and history, of a religiosity that touches the deepest fibres of the heart.”
The experience of recent years at the centre of the Movement, he confesses, has enriched him with a more universal vision, as well as being a period of intense human and spiritual maturation.
“In my life, there have been some particularly bright moments lived with Chiara Lubich in which I felt her motherhood towards me.”
Only a little over two months have passed since his election as co-president and he tells us that he is living “a very strong and at the same time simple experience of God. I’ve never before felt so deeply loved by so many people. Of this I am very grateful to God.”
A crucial moment
Asked if in his opinion something new has happened with Assembly 2014, he replied: “The Work of Mary is living a crucial moment for its future. It is a question of verifying the extent to which this first generation has really understood the charismatic gift that God has given to the Church and humanity with Chiara Lubich. Because this determines the actual level of the incarnation of the charism. It is a moment of a strong and new self-awareness that must result in a radical life on a par with the early days of the movement, even though different. It is the time of “creative fidelity”. The more faithful the more creative, and vice versa, the more creative the more faithful. Obviously, this means living out the charism on all fronts, a new apostolic outreach, and an expansion of the capacity for dialogue at 360 degrees. It seems to me that the Assembly, with its policy document and with the final touch of the message of Pope Francis, is oriented in this direction.”
A charism that doesn’t become a culture doesn’t have a future
As for his thoughts on possible conflicts between spiritual formation and cultural formation: “In Chiara there has never been any contrast between life and thought. She, in fact, would take up her books again immediately after a mystical experience. For me that is very significant. Chiara is the founder of the Abba School and the Sophia University Institute. Like all great founders, she was fully aware that a charism that does not become culture has no future.”
We ask, finally, what to ask for him and for the Movement: “A gift that I ask every day is that of discernment and docility to the Spirit, without fear.”