Friday, August 12, 2011

Focolare's Economy of Communion

During the last days of July over 3000 persons attended the city of Mary (Mariapolis) in Korea for 4 days. It is a 'temporary city' where everybody practices the teaching in Christ's prayer: "May they all be one." Those that attend forget their place in society, their age, occupation and religion, and become brothers and sisters to those present.  This year the theme was "Our Yes to God." These temporary cities have been set up in over 180  places in the world where the Focolare Movement has members.

An article in the Peace Weekly introduces us to the "Korean Mariapolis 2011," where time was set aside for meditation, workshops, faith-sharing sessions, Mass each day, and living as Jesus would like us to live.

During the 4 days they had the opportunity to see, among other things, a video of the life of Chiara Luce Badano, who died at 18, and was recently beatified. She was a Focolarista who lived an exemplary life. facing her death from sickness with great peace. There was also time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Economy of Communion, which was started in Brazil in 1991 by the founder of the Focolare Movement Chiara Lubich.

This movement is also active in over 60 countries, with about 750 businesses participating. As explained in an interview with Focalare's Economy of Communion, the focus of the movement is centered on: 

Helping people in need, creating new jobs and intervening to meet their immediate needs, beginning with those who share in the spirit that animates the Economy of Communion;

Spreading the "Culture of Giving and of Loving," indispensable and necessary values for an Economy of Communion;

Growing the business,  remaining efficient while remaining open to giving.

They quoted in the article the words of a few of the participants. One woman said, "My life is on the fast lane: eating quickly, driving fast, always in competition with a feeling of being  pursued. Here, when I am alone someone with a smile always comes along and starts a conversation. And at the table or at the bathroom there is always someone telling you to go first. This I have not found in my 50 years of life."

Another man who considered himself a good father and husband, fulfilling his duties faithfully, realized that this was not always the case because of the habits he acquired over the years. He resolved to be a better husband and father.

At the Mass on July 27th, during the sermon, the priest said, "We are well aware, theoretically, what it means to love but there  are all kind of obstacles to living this in daily life. It is in relationships that we are continually being tuned to allow God's light of love to enter in."

The Focolare Movement has its social and economic counterpart in the Economy of Communion, which now has about 750 businesses involved world-wide. It is an attempt to reverse in our economic pursuits the dominant emphasis on money instead of where it belongs, on the human person. Their recent meeting in Brazil, which drew 650 participants from 37 countries, was intended to provide alternative ways of looking at the economic systems that have controlled the world for so long, with the long term goals of offering more sustainable and humane methods for achieving economic progress.