Fr. Moran shares, “With the term ‘spirituality’ I mean a way of concretely living the Christian faith.” He narrates a personal experience: “I met Chiara Lubich and the Focolare Movement in 1974. As a Spaniard from a Catholic environment, the Gospel was only meditated upon in Church. But these new friends proposed putting it into practice. I had wanted to change society, and my first surprise was how the Gospel changed me.”
In those years Chiara Lubich first came into contact with the leaders of various Churches, among whom were the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras I, and the Archbishop Robert Runcie of the Church of England. “This charism aroused great interest in them, and once again in those who were not Catholics.”
He recalled the words of the Focolare founder when addressing before an audience of 7,000 priests and religious men and women in 1982 in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, “The Work of Mary does not only belong to the Catholic world. We are a sole reality together, although with the limits which the divisions still existing imply”.
Fr. Moran explained: “The charism God had gifted Chiara has its roots in an ecclesial dimension that can be shared by all the (Christian) confessions, because it draws inspiration from the heart of the Gospel. This can be related to the nature of the spirituality which arose from this charism: a spirituality that sets a ‘dialogue of life’ as the pre-condition to ecumenical dialogue.
It is an ecumenism of ‘love,’ of ‘truth,’ and ‘of the heart,’ terms which also recur today to highlight a reciprocity of love that does not replace theological dialogue, but gives the opportunity for the dialogue partners to grow closer together, in a profound ‘exchange of gifts’ that enrich one and the other.”
“Unity and reconciliation start in the heart, in the encounter between people in a warm reception,” Fr. Morán underlined. But “the unity we live or seek,” he clarified “is not uniformity, it is the Holy Spirit himself who generates diversity.”
Therefore, this is not a theoretical approach, but a dynamic experience of evangelical love, an ecumenical laboratory which, in the experience of the Focolare, now binds together Christians belonging to over 300 Churches, and which has spread, to numerous ecclesial settings. “Dialogue of life is fruitful” – he added – “also in and among the parishes of various Churches: a twinning that helps parishioners to know one another and find new forms of collaboration for social and cultural projects. The youths belonging to various Churches are also committed on the front lines to support primary emergency actions or aid to the neediest.”
What are some repercussions on the theological level? “Some experts were called to take part in the official theological dialogues. Also on regional and especially diocesan levels, many have personally undertaken on a commitment. An example, among many, are the theological symposiums established between the professors of the Rumanian-Orthodox Faculty of Cluj-Naponica (Romania) and the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano (Italy), where last December 14, an ecumenical chair was established, dedicated to Patriarch Athenagoras and Chiara Lubich. Silently but tenaciously, God is tracing an irreversible path
to reach universal brotherhood – his design on humanity.”
Fr. Morán ended his reflection with the words of the “Ottmaring Declaration” with which the Focolare Movement inaugurated the celebrations for the fifth centenary of the Reformation:
“With all our hearts we want to support the Churches in the commitment to reach a full and visible communion. We shall do all that is possible to promote our activities and initiatives with this open and fraternal attitude among Christians.”