Tag Archives: Communion and Liberation

Communion and Liberation’s School of Community


Luigi Giussani.jpgCommunion and Liberation (CL), an ecclesial lay movement founded in Italy in 1954 by Msgr. Luigi Giussani, is currently present in 80 countries throughout the world and 100 cities in the United States. The name of the movement, Communion and Liberation, expresses the certainty that communion with Christ brings liberation of the human person. 

 

The essence of the CL charism is twofold: 1) the proclamation that God became Man and the affirmation that this man, Jesus of Nazareth, who died and rose again, is a present reality whose visible sign is communion – that is to say, the unity of a people led by the vicar of Christ – and 2) the awareness that it is only in Jesus Christ that the deepest needs of the human heart are fulfilled.  CL’s mission is thus the education of its members toward Christian maturity and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all spheres of contemporary life.

 

Besides the invitation to prayer and regular practice of the sacraments, Communion and Liberation invites everyone to a weekly catechetical gesture called “School of Community.”  School of Community aims at being a true school which, through the reading and discussion of texts, shapes in

IsItPossible.jpgits participants a clearer understanding of the nature of the Christian fact.  The assigned texts come from the teachings of the Church or Msgr. Giussani’s writings.  We are currently studying Is it Possible to Live this Way?: Faith by Msgr. Luigi Giussani in School of Community and we are studying Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi as part of our personal work.

 

There is more to the School of Community?

 

Presence that Moves: The constitutive factors of the School of Community

 

The beginning of an experience is the encounter with a human reality that is different. A School of Community that is detached from this would be an ideology or an abstraction.

 

In the School of Community, certainly we must talk about life, but in the light of the new experience that we have encountered. Otherwise we talk of life as we conceive it, how we feel about it, how it makes us react in natural terms, and in any case following a criterion that is not belonging. The School of Community is the main instrument of the new life, of the new way of pursuing the aim of the new “I”(i.e., a new understanding of who I am as God sees me).

 

The Leader

 

Everything depends on the one who leads the School of Community. If the one who leads is a presence, then intelligence and affectivity are moved in a different way. It’s the novelty that leads. If he gives a lesson, then he is not a presence, he doesn’t move. At best what he moves is a dialectic, a discussion, a series of thoughts. The following morning all of that line of thoughts is irrelevant to life.

 

The sign that the School of Community is led is that you come away from it changed.

 

The School of Community must be a development of the encounter. In it the whole life of the Movement is continually taken up again and surpassed.

Without existentiality (the link between the word and the reality of life) there is no School of Community. Only with this link is it the expression of an experience. If it doesn’t bring you to notice something that must change and, therefore, to desire to bring about this change, it is not School of Community.

 

How is the School of Community Done?

 

As prayer. Since the School of Community must reassume the phenomenon of the Movement in its development, remember that there is no search for the truth about Destiny without prayer. So the meeting must begin with prayer.

 

We need to pray during the meeting, as an attitude of the mind in the one asks questions and in the one who answers-an attitude of humility, happy and sure of what it brings. Prayer becomes the discovery of the need for the sacraments, in which the initial event once again becomes a presence.

 

How is the School of Community Organized?

 

Ø  First of all it is a school-a place and a method in which you learn.

Ø  Learning means increasing your awareness of reality.

Ø  Learning implies understanding the text and what it means, that is to say in its relationship to reality and in the reasons that it gives for making us understand how it is linked with reality.

 

Inevitably in order to understand you need to repeat (ripetere = petere ad = tending toward) to increase your attention. Repeating with attention is the same thing as seeing. When is it that you understand? In so far as you feel that the words you read and hear correspond with what you live.

 

In this way, reality, in so far as you face up to it, becomes an epiphany, a revelation of your awareness of belonging.

 


a gaze.jpgFour Points To Work On

 

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

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

The Communicative Result

 

The School of Community conceived and lived in this way gives rise to an affective impulse to communicate that has three aspects:

 

  • Witness and mission;
  • Attention to people’s needs, charity that expresses itself in an organic consistency of works;
  • Culture: the affective impulse to communicate inspires creativity, progress in judgment, logical discoveries, with all the necessary instruments that spring from these.

 

See more at www.clonline.us

What is Communion and Liberation?

I am frequently asked what is Communion & Liberation. Well, an answer is the following:

 

“A charism,” Fr. Giussani has written, “can be defined as a gift of the Spirit, given to a person in a specific historical context, so that this person can initiate an experience of faith that might in some way be useful to the life of the Church. I emphasize the existential nature of charism: it makes the Christian message handed down by the apostolic tradition more convincing, more persuasive, more ‘approachable.’ A charism is an ultimate terminal of the Incarnation, that is, it is a particular way in which the Fact of Jesus Christ Man and God reaches me, and through me can reach others.”

 

The essence of the charism given to Communion and Liberation

can be signaled by three factors:

 

1.       The announcement that God became man (the wonder, the reasonableness, the

Incarnation.jpgenthusiasm for this): “The Word was made flesh and dwells among us.”

 

2.       The affirmation that this man – Jesus of Nazareth dead and risen – is a present event in a “sign” of “communion,” i.e., of unity of a people guided, as a guarantee, by a living person, ultimately the Bishop of Rome;

 

3.       Only in God made man, man, therefore only in His presence and, thus only through – in some way – the experienceable form of His presence (therefore, ultimately only within the life of the Church) can man be truer and mankind be truly more human. St Gregory Nazianzen writes, “If I were not Yours, my Christ, I would feel like a finished creature”. It is thus from His presence that both morality and the passion for the salvation of man (which is mission) spring up.

 


Gius3.jpg“From the first hour of class at the Berchet high school in Milan,” Fr. Giussani recalls, “I tried to show the students what moved me: not the wish to convince them that I was right, but the desire to show them the reasonableness of faith; that is, that their free adhesion to the Christian proclamation was demanded by their discovery of the correspondence of what I was saying with the needs of their hearts, as implied by the definition of reasonableness. Only this dynamic of recognition makes whoever adheres to our movement creative and a protagonist, and not simply one who repeats formulas and things they have heard. For this reason, it seems to me, a charism generates a social phenomenon not as something planned, but as a movement of persons who have been changed by an encounter, who tentatively make the world, the environment, and the circumstances that they encounter more human. The memory of Christ when it is lived tends inevitably to generate a presence in society, above and beyond any planned result.”

Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples: CL & Rimini


fascia_1.jpgCommunion and Liberation,
Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples

The attention of many this summer will be the Olympic games, or the political party Conventions in the United States. There are two events of the summer that will not receive as much publicity in the media in the United States: World Youth Day, held in July in Sydney, Australia, AND the Communion and Liberation Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples in Rimini, Italy, a large cultural gathering in Rimini, Italy, held this week that will require 2,400 volunteers to help with the 700,000 participants who will show up.

This year’s meeting, happening right now so get to Italy fast, is built around the theme of “Either Protagonists or nobodies,” seeking to reflect on the concept of the person.

In the past leaders of science, the arts, politics, economics, and the Church have gathered, including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the founder of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, Kiko Arguello; Nobel winning scientists, leaders in economics, heads of state, and last year United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Pope John Paul II described the Meeting of Rimini as “explicit and conscious echo of the great mystery that the whole Church is reliving during the Jubilee year: the incarnation of the Son of God.”

A defender of human reason, Father Luigi Giussani had a deep knowledge of literature and of music, and accorded great value to art as a road that leads to the Mystery. Followed by those belonging to the Movement he founded, now spread in many countries of the world, listened to with respect by many people a various faiths and various professional responsibilities, I like to remember him as a master of humanity and defender of the religiosity inscribed in the heart of the human being (Pope John Paul II).

Retreat for Priests in 2009

Each year, just after Easter, Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete and Communion and Liberation
Thumbnail image for l_albacete.jpgleads a retreat for priests. This year’s theme is
“Priests of the New Evangelization.” In 2009, the retreat for priests is being held at The Malvern Retreat House (Malvern, PA) from 13-17 April 2009.

Yes, it is very early to think about events in 2009. But sit too long on making plans for your retreat in 2009 and you’ll miss a great opportunity to meet the Lord and to be guided by Msgr. Albacete. Act now!!!!

The notes from the 2008 retreat are now available. Visit the CL webpage.

What is Communion and Liberation? In short, CL is a group of friends seeking the face of Jesus and working out their salvation, as St. Paul says, together. It is an ecclesial movement founded by Monsignor Luigi Giussani in 1954 and officially approved by Pope John Paul II in 1982; it is made up of laity, priests and sisters.

 

img_vita21.jpgThe essence of the charism given to Communion and Liberation can be signaled by three factors.

 

·         first of all, the announcement that God became man (the wonder, the reasonableness, the enthusiasm for this): “The Word was made flesh and dwells among us.”

 

·         secondly, the affirmation that this man – Jesus of Nazareth dead and risen – is a present event in a “sign” of “communion,” i.e., of unity of a people guided, as a guarantee, by a living person, ultimately the Bishop of Rome;

 

·         thirdly: only in God made man, man, therefore only in His presence and, thus only through – in some way – the experienceable form of His presence (therefore, ultimately only within the life of the Church) can man be truer and mankind be truly more human. St Gregory Nazianzen writes, “If I were not Yours, my Christ, I would feel like a finished creature”. It is thus from His presence that both morality and the passion for the salvation of man (which is mission) spring up.

 

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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