Thursday, November 6, 2008

A charism for the Church and for the world

Today I received, via e-mail, a letter from Fr. Carrón to members of Communion and Liberation, which is also posted on-line. The letter was about his experience participating in the recently concluded Synod of Bishops, which took as its theme: The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. Along with several other celini, I posted his intervention at the synod.

What I want to pick-up on from the letter is the takeaway, which arises from a three-part consideration of the history of our charism, given by the Spirit to Fr. Giussani, which is a "charism for the Church and for the world":
"Today we are called to become more aware of the aim for which the Spirit gave a charism to Fr. Giussani: to contribute along with all the baptized to the building up and renewal of the Church for the good of the world. Following His usual method, God gives grace to one person so that through him it may reach everyone. We shall be unfaithful to the nature of our charism if the gift we have received is not shared with everyone, inside and outside the Church. So each one of us must find out in his own circumstances how best he can contribute to the good of the Church. There are many ambits in which many of us are making Christ present with astonishing freedom and boldness. This presence of ours in real places where man's life goes on must not fall short. At the same time, though, we are asked at times to collaborate inside the Church, too. Many of you have been giving this contribution for some time—as catechists in the parish, by charity work and other forms of collaboration— and we must be found more and more available where our presence is asked for and welcomed. This contribution cannot but be in accordance with the nature of our charism, which finds its complete expression in witness."

I also want to write a little about School of Community and what it is. School of Community has been described as "a weekly catechetical gesture". The school lasts an hour, but there is often fellowship before and/or afterwards. Through the reading and discussion of texts in light of our experiences, School of Community aims to give participants "a clearer understanding of the nature of the Christian fact". The texts are by Msgr. Luigi Giussani or from the teachings of the church. Presently we are just beginning to read Is it Possible to Live this Way?: An Unusual Approach to Christian Existence, vol 2, Hope, by Giussani.

Fr. Carrón tells us that we only require three things for School of Community:

1. Our heart
2. the books of Father Giussani (ie, the method) and
3. Christ.

It doesn't depend on anything or anyone else, so we have our freedom, and no one can limit us or our freedom to do it because I have all I need and you have all you need.

Four Points To Work On in School of Community

An intelligent reading of the text, attentive to the way it relates to things, to the judgments it generates, to the reasons it gives.

Communication of your experience (everything can be brought in), in comparison with the text.

A culture that develops. Your motivations and criteria must spring up from within the nature of the experience and not from outside. The more you penetrate into the event that has made us grow, and the more you follow, the more intelligent you become.

The synthesis made by the leader. He communicates how his experience has developed during the event that is the School of Community.

(Thanks to Paul over on Communio from whom I borrowed heavily for my description of SofC and the CL US website, particularly the School of Community page)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Deacon. We need so much help in the area of communion and community. I think we began to really loose this gift when women left the home and kids left the backyard! We have to discover again how to share our life, hopes, love for Christ... how to comfort and to forgive... I am so thankful for the gift of the ecclesial movements. I think that God is helping us to build authentic friendships through them.

    In Christ Mary Herboth
    Broken Alabaster
    (You are invited to come and visit us!)