Tag Archives: Bose

Ecumenism is really a thirst for God

The document Unitatis Redintegratio (21 Nov. 1964) of the Second Vatican Council stresses spiritual ecumenism. Sometimes we overlook this aspect. But we can’t but focus on what is the soul of the ecumenical movement; theologians and church leaders have a lot of work to do on this point; I recall that  the saints have kept their eyes on this method, and so we as members of the Body of Christ have to keep focused on daily conversion, a daily turn toward the Lord.

With two noteworthy ecumenical monastic communities this week, Taize and Bose, the Pope spoke of three conditions at the center for Christian unity:

1. there’s no unity without conversion of heart, which includes forgiving and asking for forgiveness.

2. there is no unity without prayer and therefore men and women religious who pray for unity are like ‘an invisible monastery’ bringing together Christians of different denominations from different countries around the world.

3.  there is no unity without holiness of daily life. so the more we put our search for unity into practise in our relations with others, the more we will be modelling our lives on the message of the Gospel.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which concludes today (the feast of the Conversion of St Paul) meditated on the theme, “Give me a drink,” from the narrative of the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus.

In his talk with the monastic communities whose primary work is Christian Unity, His Holiness spoke of the fact that we see in the Savior a “desire for unity” among the disciples, and that same thirst continues today especially with the divisions of the Christian community. The thirst of the Samaritan woman –and therefore each one of us– is a “thirst not only material for water, but above all our thirst for a full life, free from the slavery of evil and death.”

Francis calls us to pray about this fact: “Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises because it is he who gives to the Holy Spirit, the ‘living water’ that quenches our restless hearts, hungry for life, love, freedom, peace: thirsty for God.”

Ecclesial Movements impact Synod of Bishops on Evangelization

By now you ought to see a significant theme in the work of Communio, both on this blog and as a way of being in the Church: it is as Dom Luigi Gioia, OSB Oliv., has said about this theological point, “To describe the whole Church, as well as each Christian community, as a communio before speaking of ‘body,’ or ‘society,’ or ‘institution,’ -terms which have of course their share of truth- is knowingly to make charity the essential element of a Christian community, the condition sine qua non of its existence, its raison d’être.” Charity has as its essential element of extroversion the living and sharing of the truth of the faith received by us from the Trinitarian life of God. Faith is a lens by which we live, it is not a pious statement of what we supposedly believe about God. The sharing of faith, this sharing of charity and faith in a communio, is the heart of evangelization.

 Categories being what they are, are helpful in seeing the division of labor and thinking. This is no less is the true for the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 7 to 28 October, discussing “The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith.”
The leaders from the various ecclesial movements are worth noting because the vital presence they and the movements they represent have in the life of the Church:
  • Br. Enzo Bianchi, prior of the Monastero of Bose (Italy)
  • Maria Voce (Italy), president of the Focolari Movement
  • Marco Impagliazzo (Italy), president of the Sant’Egidio Community
  • Lydia Jimenez Gonzalez (Spain), director general of the “Cruzadas de Santa Maria” Secular Institute
  • Francisco Jose Gomez Arguello Wirtz (Spain), co-founder of the Neo-Catechumenal Way
  • Chiara Amirante, founder and president of the New Horizons Community (Italy)
  • Florence De Leyritz, member of the Alpha France Association (France)
  • Marc De Leyritz, president of the Alpha France Association (France)
  • *Father Julián Carrón, the President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation might be counted here, too, but he actually is listed by the Holy See among the bishops.

“Ecumenism Is To Be Revived and Promoted” says Mansueto Bianchi

Luca Rolandi ppublished an article on the Vatican Insider “Ecumenism Is To Be Revived and Promomoted” taking his cue from the Italian bishop and president of the CEI commission on Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue who spoke at a recent ecumenical event on Spirituality at the Monastery of Bose.

The Bishop of Pistoia said that “In the Italian church there is a wealth of initiatives, aggregates, experiences who action is not flashy but is of great value… a sensitivity to be revived and promoted.” 
Bishop Manseuto Bianchi noted that the Monastery of Bose, founded by Brother Enzo Bianchi, a charismatic man who is not related to the bishop but shares the surname, is setting the pace of what it means to do the necessary and hard work of ecumenism. The programs of Bose affect and effect a “greater coordination and a renewed promotion in parishes, particularly among young people.” 
Why is this important? Because the unity of the Church is a stake. Christian unity is not an option, it is not ideology of the liberals: the unity of Christians is what and who Christians are by Baptism, and it is what we ought to work harder at. Pope Benedict is called by some “the Pope of Christian Unity.” Can you say the same of yourself, your pastor, your bishop?
We are a month away from Pope Benedict’s meeting in Assisi with delegates from the world’s religions; the Assisi path is not just for the Pope, it is a journey that all of us have to walk.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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