Communion and Liberation movement deepens faith through lived experience

NOEMY BANUELOS
STAFF WRITER

A group of students and community members who form a branch of an ecclesiastical movement in the Catholic Church met on Sept. 14 at 5:45 p.m. in the J.C. Williams Center for an exciting discussion. Communion and Liberation, commonly referred to as CL, promotes an ongoing education of the faith based on lived experiences.

After listening to the excerpt from the Rev. Luigi Guissani’s book, “The Religious Sense,” members of the group entered into personal reflection on the relevance of the text in each of their lives. This week’s discussion focused especially on abstract topics, such as the meanings of truth, goodness, beauty and love.

The event began with an atmosphere of joy, and a group of students gathered, scrambling to find chairs for one another with lively enthusiasm, and began in prayer. The facilitator, graduate theology student Emma Lindle, opened with a gathering song.

After the event, the group proceeded to dinner, where members discussed Pope St. John Paul II’s address to the founder of Communion and Liberation: “the movement wanted and wants to point out not a way, but the Way … the Way, as you have said so often, is Christ.”

Lindle’s passion for the movement emerges from the fact that “faith and life are one in CL. Never had I met people that were so engaged in life and believed that faith was relevant to that.”

Guissani founded the Communion and Liberation movement in Milan, Italy in 1954, and its influence has expanded over the years to as many as 80 countries. CL’s goal is to build up the faithful through ongoing educational faith formation in light of their own personal experiences. It fosters discussion among laity on topics ranging from questions of evil in the world to the reality of Christ’s presence in daily life.

Stephen Lewis, who holds a doctorate in English and is a CL member, said that “the idea is, Christ is the center, the radius.” He continued to explain that the faithful should be able to draw a line out “to anything that they are interested in” and ultimately connect it back to Christ. “This is a significant aspect of the movement,” he said. “We are trying to educate ourselves by getting together in a school community to accomplish that.”

After an evening of sincere discussion and insightful sharing, the members of the CL concluded with a synthesis of what had been discussed, followed by a Memorare.

Students who are interested in attending any future Communion and Liberation gatherings are welcome to come to the St. Margret room in the J.C. Williams Center every Friday at 5:45 p.m. To learn more, please contact Emma Lindle at lindleemma@gmail.com.

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