Castel Gandolfo, 4 April 1997
An ecumenism of the people originated by mutual love ...
Veronica: I’m an Anglican focolarina from Great Britain.
Dearest Chiara, ... could you speak to us of the contribution that we can give to the full unification of the Churches?
Chiara: She asks about our specific contribution to the unification of the Churches. Our contribution should be seen in the framework of the whole field of ecumenism.
We know that there is the dialogue of charity, which is very important, which probably goes back to the times of Athenagoras, when Pope Paul went to Athenagoras and Athenagoras went to Pope Paul.
The dialogue of charity helps us to feel that we are brothers and sisters and that we help one another.
Then we pray together, which is a dialogue with God, a dialogue that passes through God, and this too is very important especially in January when we have the week of prayer for Christian unity.
In addition, you all know that there is the theological dialogue which is carried out by experts; that too is going ahead despite the fact that some people say that ecumenism is not going ahead. Instead, it is going ahead.
We bring a new kind of dialogue. This new dialogue that we bring, about which our authorities have been informed, is the dialogue of the people.
How did this dialogue of the people come forth? It came forth because of the spirituality that we live in all the various Churches - there are 300 Churches whose faithful are in the Movement - and this dialogue sprang forth. It was generated by our spirituality because our spirituality is communitarian, it binds us to one another, it brings us close to one another, it brings us together.
If I must love Veronica and Veronica must love me, what is established between her and me? Jesus in the midst. But then Jesus unites us. As Paul says: “What will separate me from the love of Christ?” Likewise, we say: “What will separate me from Veronica? From the love of...?”
Charity unites us, Christ Himself unites us. Therefore, no one can separate us if we go ahead with our spirituality.
Therefore, by living this spirituality in the various Churches - Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and so on - without even thinking about it, a people was born. It blossomed from this spirituality which generates a people, necessarily, because it’s communitarian; and this is our people.
What happened? What happened is that in living the spirituality together, in getting to know one another, in loving one another, in growing in our mutual love, this Movement we have in common, we discovered that we are not indifferent to one another, that we have things in common, that we are already one family, that we are already a Christian people. We already are this Christian people.
I have baptism, and so does Veronica, and so do you. I have the Old Testament, and you do too. I have the New Testament, but in the Old Testament there are also the commandments, and I have them and you have them too. And then we have the Councils in common and we have all kinds of things in common which I will not list now.
If we have all this in common, why are we indifferent to one another, why don’t we come together into one family and into one people? This is the characteristic that we bring.
… Therefore, the contribution we bring is essential, it’s essential. On the other hand, we are not the ones who bring it. It’s a charism from heaven for our times, which is that of ecumenism, and which is really the charism of unity. Therefore, it has much, much, very much to do with ecumenism.
This is what I wanted to tell you.
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