Getting to know Communion & Liberation
If you are not familiar with the ecclesial movement known in English as Communion & Liberation (CL), be sure to take a look at what John Allan had to say yesterday regarding the Movement's annual meeting in Rimini, which took place this past week. CL, founded by the recently-departed Fr. Luigi Giussani in Milan in 1954, "is an ecclesial movement whose purpose is the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life." Fr. Giussani himself described the essence of the charism of CL as three-fold: (1) the announcement that God became man (the wonder, the reasonableness, the enthusiasm 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.
"The aim of life in CL is to propose the presence of Christ as the only true response to the deepest needs of human life in every moment of history. In the person who encounters and adheres to the presence of Christ there is generated a movement of conversion and witness, which tends to leave its mark on the environment in which he or she lives (family, work, school, neighborhood, society, etc.). Born in the schools as a proposal to young people, CL today extends its call to everyone, irrespective of age, occupation, or social position." Excerpted from CL: A Reality in the Church.
As Allan points out, the Movement was popular with Pope John Paul II and the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In fact, members of Benedict's household include female members of Memores Domini, an association of celibate lay men and women consecrated to the charism of the Movement. In addition, Ratzinger, in the absence of an ailing John Paul II, was the homilist at Fr. Giussani's funeral earlier this year. The homily shows a deep respect and affection for CL and its founder. Though not as well-known in the United States, CL continues to grow here, as well. Get to know CL, as this movement and others like it will play an increasingly important role in the Church as we seek to understand ever more deeply the vocation of the laity to live their personal and professional lives in the service of Christ and the Gospel.
Veni Sancte Spiritus! Veni per Mariam!