Culture of Giving

In the Economy of Communion, the producers – entrepreneurs, workers, and their business associates - are inspired by principles rooted in a culture different than what prevails in today's practice and theory of economics. We can define this "culture" as a "culture of giving" which really is the antithesis of a "culture of having".

Giving economic assistance can express a self-giving rooted in our very being. In other words, it can reveal an anthropological view that is neither individualistic nor collective but rather is communion.

2-tecnici.jpgA culture of giving is not some form of philanthropy or welfare - these are individualistic virtues.

In a deeper sense, the very essence of a person is to be in "communion."

Consequently, not every type of giving, not every act of giving creates a culture of giving.

For example, there is a "giving" which is contaminated by the desire to have power over another person and that seeks to dominate or oppress individuals and populations. This only appears to be "giving".

There is a "giving" that seeks satisfaction and self-gratification from the act of giving. In essence, this is an egoistic self-expression and usually is perceived by those who receive it as offensive and humiliating.

There is a "giving" that is self-interested, or utilitarian, found in some of the current neo-liberal tendencies that always seek their own advantage.

And finally, there is the "giving" that Christians find in the gospels.

In this giving, the giver opens up to the other person and remains respectful of his or her dignity. It generates an experience of the words in the gospel "give and it will be given to you" even for the managers of a business. These words from the gospel might manifest themselves to the businessperson in the form of a financial windfall, or in the unexpected discovery of an innovative technical solution, or as an idea for a new winning product.

The Inspiration

When the Focolare Movement began in 1943 in Trent Italy, the rediscovery of the gospel's new commandment, "love one another as I have loved you" (John 13: 34) inspired a communion of spiritual and material goods.

Since then, the communion of goods has become standard practice in the Focolare Movement following the example of the first Christian Communities.

This is a fact of enormous importance and rich in consequence. The communion of hearts and goods, a jewel of early Christian communities that echoed the teachings of Jesus, was the lifeblood of the Church for a long time.

Although it has since lost its strength, it has been preserved in monasteries, convents, and some lay community. Then, in that small community begun in Trent, Italy, the practice exploded again, bringing about a resurgence for the masses of Christian people with all the fruits and consequences that will eventually develop.

Chiara Lubich and her first companions were aware of its influence from the inception. Chiara said: "We were trying to live the communion of goods to the maximum extent possible to resolve the social problems of Trent.

I thought ‘there are two or three areas where the poor live... let's go there! We will take what we have and share it with them...' “ Our reasoning was very simple: We have more - they have less. We will raise their living standard to achieve some level of equality."


And it is from those beginnings that an "amazing" experience of gospel began. "'Give and it will be given to you.' In the midst of a full-blown war, food rations, clothing, and medicine arrived in uncommon abundance.”
We became convinced that putting the Gospel into practice holds the answer, in a nutshell, to every problem for individuals and society.

The Logic

Today´s economy is at a crossroads: the globalization process could offer many people new opportunities for well-being or transform the world into a giant supermarket where the only type of human relationship is business-based and where everything becomes an economic good.

The EOC is one of the answers that the Holy Spirit is bringing forth in order to overcome these challenges.

Through the course of history, charisms have responded to the many challenges presented during significant epocal transformations - for example, the Benedictan abbeys or the Franciscan´s Holy Mount during the Middle Ages.

negozio in croazia - foto by Carisma ProductionsWithin the present debate - for or against the market - the EOC is following it´s own particular trajectory, which puts life experience and not ideology in the first place, and which is in dialogue with all that is good in today´s world.

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Rapporto Edc 2017

Rapporto Edc 2017

L’economia del dare

L’economia del dare

Chiara Lubich

"A differenza dell' economia consumista, basata su una cultura dell'avere, l'economia di comunione è l'economia del dare..."

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