United Around a Gift
The Holy Spirit dwells in believers and accompanies the whole Church, fostering communion: communion with Christ and communion of the faithful with one another. The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to this action of the Spirit as the “soul” of the Church. This unity is compatible with the variety of God’s gifts and the multiplicity of the persons who receive them. Fostering this unity in diversity is a task to which every baptized person is invited. The Apostle’s exhortation to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3) challenges everyone.
During the six months corresponding to this issue of Romana, an Extraordinary General Congress was held (Rome, April 12-16, 2023) to propose, as requested by the Holy Father Francis in his motu proprio Ad charisma tuendum, some modifications to the Statutes of the Prelature of Opus Dei. The Congress was preceded by a study of this matter in which all the faithful of Opus Dei who wished to participate – priests and laity, women and men from the various continents – could do so. The Congress itself and the previous period of preparation and listening were guided by the search for the gift of the Spirit that is unity.
These were months of special unity with the Holy Father, with the Holy See and with all the Church’s shepherds, who, in their role of government, have a special responsibility to ensure that “all the diverse and complementary charisms work together for the common good” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 801). It was a time of spiritual unity around the gift received by St. Josemaría, on which the faithful of Opus Dei have reflected with the desire to contribute in the best possible way to the Pope’s request.
“These days of the congress,” the Prelate of Opus Dei said in his April 17 message, which is reproduced in these pages, “have been marked by an atmosphere of serenity and also good humor, and by the active participation of everyone. Each has been able to express themselves with complete freedom, both in the working groups and in the plenary sessions. In addition, I want to emphasize that, when studying the suggestions, a great harmony has been noticed among many people from very diverse backgrounds, and with a varied formation and culture. It has been an eloquent manifestation of unity in the ‘gift of the Spirit received by Saint Josemaría’ (Ad charisma tuendum, preamble).”
Romana, n. 76, January-June 2023, p. 11.