We have words in common
We have words in common
“…On this magnificent planet for which we are all responsible, there is a place for all, but there is no place for war or for those who kill other people.” With these words Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople concluded his address to the European Parliament last September 24. He spoke of the “need for dialogue among religions and culture to build a world of peace.” He courageously faced the theme of fundamentalism and of extremist nationalism, frequently ground for atrocity, which intercultural dialogue opposes as a root of the meaning of “being human.” When this dialogue is lacking, he said, the differences of the human family are reduced to “objectifying” the other person. For this reason sustained Bartholomew I, it is important to establish a profound understanding of interdependence among individuals.
During recent years the magisterial line of the Church, there Popes and other organizations, have offered many contributions and guidelines on the evangelical urgency of dialogue among different religions and professions of faith. Typical of this was the encounter at Assisi in 1987 presided by John Paul II with the participation of representatives of religions of the whole world. It was an encounter that gave origin to a “spirit” and that still continues in a “shared pilgrimage, carried out in respect to the differences, but with the desire of patiently converging toward friendship and reciprocal love.” The GCXXII Assembly has kept present the reality of inter-religious dialogue, considering it to be a sign of the times and had developed reflections in this regard in the provinces during the time of preparation. The summaries contained in the “Working Document” bring out that in many parts of the Institute there is being set in motion a systematic pastoral planning to educate to the recognition of interdependence among people, accepting the multi-cultural and multi-religious realities in which we live and arriving gradually at a dialogue of reciprocity with brothers and sisters of different faiths.
We have a mandate as Christians and as religious: not to fail in the task of proclaiming the Gospel, but at the same time to establish good communication with all and offer the witness of a coherent life. Our task is that of being women of communion, who know how to become a “neighbor” in the evangelical sense and have the “pentecostal” capacity of speaking the language of others. Spiritual solidarity is a great way toward dialogue, bringing before God our brother and sisters of other faiths, with their preoccupations, anguish, and aspirations. The certainty that encourages us is being aware that “there is more that unites us than that which divides us” and that we have many words in common
with every human being, son or daughter of God who is Father of all His creatures.