During the Berlin meeting, Brother Alois explained the meaning of the three years of journeying “towards a new solidarity.”
With the Letter for 2012, I would like to encourage all those who read it to become more aware of human solidarity and to put it into practice to a greater degree:When we experience solidarity with others nearby or far away—the experience of belonging to each other, of depending on one another—our life becomes meaningful.At a time when many are wondering “what is the true meaning of my life?” we, the brothers of our community, would like to say it clearly: it is found in solidarity with others, lived out through concrete acts. Such solidarity allows us to glimpse that there is a love that is beyond us; it leads us to believe in God’s love for every human being.Solidarity and trust in God: these two values we began to reflect upon these days are so important that we are going to take three years to go more deeply into them. Why three years? Because we cannot build anything unless we do it over time. Because these questions require perseverance. They can then become a real life-project.In August 2015, we will hold a gathering for solidarity in Taizé, to bring together what we have discovered and gain new momentum.It is not so much a question of undertaking spectacular actions. In world history, sometimes just a few women and men, by their faithfulness and their humble perseverance, have influenced events in a lasting manner.Living in solidarity is first of all an inner attitude. For some of you, moments of silence and prayer may become more essential.
Why a “new solidarity”?
The “new solidarity” is not the opposite of an “old solidarity” which would now be out-of-date. It corresponds rather to a renewal, to a “dynamic of the provisional” that leads believers forward, towards new horizons.
Already in the book of Isaiah, we read: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing something new! It is already springing up” (Isaiah 43:18-19). In a Christian perspective, this finds particular resonance in the mystery of the Incarnation. By sending Christ to earth, God showed his total solidarity with the whole of creation. Today, we are thus called to share with others, in a way which is always new, what we receive from God through Christ.
“By his cross and resurrection Christ has established a new solidarity between all human beings. In him the fragmentation of humanity into opposing groups is already overcome; in him all form one family.” (Letter 2012). In the light of the resurrection, Jesus’ entire life, culminating in his death on the cross, appears as a huge act of solidarity towards humanity, which finds its origin in God.
The “new solidarity,” in its turn, wants to invite Christians of all ages and all backgrounds to take care of one another and to express concretely mutual love and solidarity. In this search, a universal outlook and specific actions are not opposed, but instead are complementary. As Brother Alois said one evening to the young people gathered together in the Church of Reconciliation:
How can we hold firm in the tension between the conviction that there is only one human family and the divisions that we see, sometimes even quite close to us?We can think of the countless people who give themselves with generosity, without counting the cost. Tonight we can pray for those we know, or those we do not know, and who, often very humbly, give their lives for others. They are like the soul of our societies; they keep the flame of hope burning; they witness to the fact that human goodness is stronger than evil.