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I was in Rome with them for just one day, but it was everything. On the 16th of October Comunità Cenacolo received recognition of its charism from the supreme authority of the Church at the universal level. Cardinal Rylko, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, welcomed Mother Elvira and delivered the precious document of approval that the Church recognizes the Community.
For me this gesture was enough to make me see how great the wonders of the Lord are. Surprise and amazement, gratitude and commitment, generosity, service, love for the poor, generously donating oneself to Him who is Love: this is the life of Cenacolo. This is its music.
Born just 26 years ago, on the hill of Saluzzo, even its own founder never imagined it would develop and grow so much. Appropriately the Bishop of Saluzzo, Giuseppe Guerrini, commented on the event, citing Psalm 79 (80). Speaking of the troubled history of Israel and its rebirth, the author says, “You cleared the ground; it took root and filled the land…It sent out boughs as far as the sea, shoots as far as the river.” In fact, the life of Cenacolo extends its branches from Europe to the Americas, moving from the few youth who on the 16th of July in 1983 came knocking on the door of the old Villa of Orphans, asking for a piece of bread and some understanding, to today. It occupies number 130 on the list of the new organizations generated by the Spirit in the Church and that are recognized by the Church. This is also a sign of the fertility of the Church that, with its gifts from the Holy Spirit, its shoots reach out to the needy and to every form of poverty.
If you really want to understand Cenacolo, you need just one word that Mother Elvira, taken by emotion, repeated several times that Friday, October 16, just one truth: the love of Christ for wounded humanity. Only love can heal man. There is no analysis, technique, strategy, mechanism, organization, or institution that can answer the great question that is in the human heart. Man searches for love and is healed only where he can find it in an authentic and sincere way.
Friday afternoon was the great celebration at the Altar of the Confessions in the Basilica of Saint Peter. Presided over by Cardinal Comastri and prayed and sung by nearly eight hundred participants from Cenacolo, it reconfirmed the beauty of the experience of the Church, the certainty of Peter’s faith that continues throughout the centuries, and the miracle of an eternal Pentecost that is the true source of love.
I thought that as long as the truth, every truth, is only considered abstractly or intellectually it remains in doubt, uncertainty prevails, and it doesn’t become life for those who listen to it. In Cenacolo, however, the truth becomes flesh, it becomes an experience that is lived daily. Look at how you breathe the certainty of the faith with these young people, the joy of love is given and received, and the freshness and freedom of life that they see is renewed in themselves and in you. “This is the path that is true,” I told myself. This is everything that I wish for myself and for everyone else: that all that the Church has always taught us becomes the truth and experience that fills our lives, the determined and driving strength, the affection and the supreme reason behind every gesture and every choice.
I read many years ago the thoughts of the French philosopher Emmanuel Mounier: “We need to suffer so that the truth won’t crystallize in ideology, but that it might become flesh.” This is everything you touch with your hands in the Comunità Cenacolo. While in the ever present limits and weaknesses of our humanity, from which the Lord spares no one, here in Cenacolo the truth becomes flesh and generates life. An amazement and wonder that has only one reason, only one voice, only one passion: the love of Christ, begging for the human heart, and the love of man begging (even when it doesn’t realize it) for the Heart of Christ.