Experiences of Mutuality and Solidarity and the "Economy of Communion"

Part of the Convention Organized by the University of Trent "Chiara Lubich: from Trent to the World"

Experiences of Mutuality and Solidarity and the "Economy of Communion"

Presentation of Andrea Leonardi, University of Studies of Trent

Trent, 25 February 2010

altIn her June 8, 2001 discourse in front of the Municipal Council of Trent, Chiara Lubich did not hide her love for her birth city, which she said was "always in her heart." And in introducing her reflection on the topic of fraternity in the city, she recalled - as she usually did every time she had to analyze a certain happening or situations - the Evangelical basis and theological contents of this basic principal and how it is view in the world. In facing the political dimension of the concept of fraternity, as it is concretely envisioned by the movement she founded, Lubich underlined that alongside Igino Giordani, the figure of the Trenten statemen Alcide De Gasperi was also important to the maturation of this thought. Thanks to his contribution - she said on that occasion - "our spirituality has reinforce the vocation to unity."
This deals with two simple notes, of unquestionable diversity, capable however of giving witness to the deep link between the Focolare foundress and her land of origin. Evidently, although having left Trent 30 years earlier, returning only for sporadic visits, the city´s various cultural expressions, it´s important figures and their way of relating to others, directly or indirectly, had been sculpted into her very being during her childhood years spent there.


It is difficult to hypothesize that the rest of the doctrine which she breathed in her home environment and in the society in which she grew, and in which her ideal was able to germinate, had not had in some measure contributed to the maturation of her character and to the forging of her ideas, which would later emerge during her long mission as builder of the message of love and unity.

Widely-renowned in her own autobiographical writings, other than in numerous studies on the genesis of the Focolare Movement, is the relief put on the sad events that characterized the daily life of Trent during the second world war on causing the outburst of those first few drops from that source that would then nourish a world-wide ecclesial movement. Instead, it does not seem - at least explicitly - that the link between the social culture of Chiara Lubich´s native land and the origins of the Economy of Communion in Freedom, begun by her on May 29, 1991, have been similarly traced out.

In front of the scarcity of disclosed references it still seems possible to individualize a series of implicit elements that can connect the important and innovative proposal that the Focolare foundress launched in the economic field with the culture she breathed during her childhood, first of all, in her family but parallelly  in the various social contexts of Trent; urban to small mountain town where she worked as a teacher, and where she could come into contact with concrete experiences of solidarity matured on robust mutualistic foundations.


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