Tag Archives: Luigi Giussani

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.”

2008 Elections: What we hold most dear

As the Holy Father taught in Deus Caritas Est, “The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society is proper to the lay faithful” (no. 29). This duty is more critical than ever in today’s political environment, where Catholics may feel politically disenfranchised, sensing that no party and too few candidates fully share the Church’s comprehensive commitment to the life and dignity of every human being from conception to natural death. Yet this is not a time for retreat or discouragement; rather, it is a time for renewed engagement.
 
(Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

 


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WHAT WE HOLD MOST DEAR

As lay Catholics struggling to be faithful to the call of our bishops, we have arrived at the following judgments.

Fr. Giussani taught us that in front of life’s real problems and challenges, what we hold most dear surfaces. Thus, within the privacy of the voting booth we will see “whether faith is really in the foreground, whether faith truly comes first, whether we really expect everything from the fact of Christ or whether we expect what we decide to expect from the fact of Christ.”

We welcome the opportunity to vote as an educational one that will allow us to witness to what we hold most dear. We do not hope for salvation from politics or politicians. Yet we understand the critically important role that politics plays in our common American life.

For this reason two concerns matter most to us and we will vote according to which candidates and parties demonstrate an authentic care for these concerns.

First: Freedom of Religion. Political power must recognize faith’s undeniable contribution to the defense and broadening of human reason and its promotion of authentic human progress. This is a guarantee of freedom for everyone, not only for Christians. And this freedom must include the freedom to speak, convince, act, and build in the public square; religious freedom relegated to one’s private life is not religious freedom at all.

Second: The Common Good. Those who hold political power must do so as a service to the common good of the entire nation.

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We consider the recognition and defense of three self-evident truths regarding human beings the minimum commitment to the common good: the right to life from conception to natural death; the irreplaceable value of the family, founded on the marriage between a man and woman; and freedom of education.

For the common good, we further seek politicians and political parties that value subsidiarity, a partnership between the public and private sectors facilitated by a robust non-profit sector. At the same time, we seek persons engaged in politics who recognize that subsidiarity can never annul the solidarity we owe to all our brothers and sisters living in this nation. There is no care for the common good that ignores basic human needs of millions in our nation.

These judgments will determine our support for particular candidates and political initiatives in the upcoming elections.

September 2008
Communion and Liberation – USA


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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