Loppiano, the virus, and mutual love

12 Mar 2020 | Life

The commitment to reduce the risks of contagion in the current epidemic has, of course, also changed Loppiano’s life. Here are all the events postponed and… a reflection of hope.

In Theotokos and San Vitodaily masses are no longer celebrated, there are no visitors, the companies that employ the members of the various schools are in difficulty. The exchanges between us inhabitants, which are generally very frequent, are reduced to a minimum, and many scheduled events have been canceled or moved to other dates, including a visit of Maria Emmaus Voce and Jesús Moran, president and co-president of the Focolare Movement, scheduled for early April.

For the sake of clarity, before continuing with our story, we would like to give you a list of the events scheduled in the Loppiano calendar or in direct relation to the city, which have been cancelled or moved to another date:

– Renata’s 30th anniversary postponed to November 8,2020;

– Visit of Emmaus and Jesús postponed to a date to be determined;

– “Philosophiamo” postponed to a date to be determined;

– Chiara Lubich, Woman of Dialogue and Unity” in Palazzo Vecchio (FI) postponed until October 25, 2020;

–  May 1st event of Loppiano 2020 entitled “Now”, moved to May 1st 2021 ;

– Global Compact on Education moved to October 15, 2020;

– “InPatto Educativo. To open paths in a shared present” at Sophia, moved to May 14-15, 2020

In other words, it seems that all aspects of our lives have suffered a setback. But Loppiano’s life, the essential one, which flows under and within all these aspects, has not stopped and must not stop, it cannot stop. We have always said that Loppiano is a city that makes sense because it tells the world that a society based on mutual love is possible. The new situation in which we find ourselves today, therefore, is a stimulus to find a thousand ways to keep this essential reality – mutual love – alive.

And perhaps it is not by chance that this year we want to deepen that extraordinary newness that Chiara Lubich has made us discover throughout the Movement: the presence of Jesus in our midst.

We have received a text from 1978, taken from an interview with the journalist Claudio Sorge, for the column “Ottavo Giorno” (Rai Uno). Chiara answers among other things the following

“The love which the Christian brings – and here is the abysmal mystery and hidden power which, when made fruitful, can work miracles – is different from any other love in the world, no matter how noble and beautiful it may be. It is a love of divine origin, the same love of God shared in man, who, by grafting himself onto him, makes him a child of God. And this is the premise and cause of an incomparable reality: human fraternity on a higher plane, the supernatural fraternity.

Now, in this fraternity, a fact reminds us of Christmas: Christ flourishes among men, like Emmanuel, the God with us. In this fraternity, Christians are united in the name of Christ, who said: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst”. It is about that fraternity which can make Christ present among men, even where the Church is hindered in her ministry. Present spiritually, of course, but present. It is that fraternity which can bring Christ into the midst of the people, in homes, schools, hospitals, factories, offices, in every community or meeting. The Council and the Pope repeatedly emphasize this: the community, as a family united in the name of the Lord, enjoys his presence. […] It was not enough for Him to come back to us every time we meet solemnly for the Eucharistic celebration, or to be particularly present in other ways such as in the Hierarchy or in His word… He wants to be always with us. And he needs only two or three Christians… and not even saints already! Two or more men of goodwill who believe in Him and above all in His love are enough.

If we do this, a host of living cells will take place in the Church that in time will be able to animate the society that surrounds them, until they penetrate the masses. Then the Church, infused by the Spirit of Christ, will be able to better fulfill God’s plan for the world and give a decisive impetus to a social revolution that is peaceful but unstoppable, with consequences that we would never have dared to hope for.

If the historical Christ has healed and fed souls and bodies, Christ mystically present among his own can do the same. If the historical Christ asked the Father, before dying, for unity among his disciples, Christ mystically present among Christians knows how to implement it.

If we have men united in the name of Christ, tomorrow we can see peoples united. […]”.

Well, we’re going through a painful, strange, new situation. This is our proposal.  Let us take stock of all this and let us take advantage of it to discover how to have the most essential thing shine in our daily life. We are certain that we will come out of it strengthened, purified, and more united. One idea could be to use the means of communication, which allow us to build relationships while avoiding physical contact, to exchange positive experiences, to encourage us to move forward together. Are you with us?

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