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Synodal Spirituality – Synod June 2024

June 15, 2024

One of the most significant aspects of Synod 2023 is the recognition that it is inspired and shaped by a spirituality . Cultivating a “spirituality for synodality” helps us to integrate our theological reflection and broaden our experience of the Church as we engage more deeply in the synodal process.

Indeed, as aspects of a synodal spirituality are presented to us, we can come to discover in it the ways in which the Holy Spirit illumines the life of the Church, drawing each one to a deeper love for Christ and moving us to desire ever greater communion, participation and mission . The purpose of this document is not to offer a detailed analysis of the spirituality for synodality and its theological foundations. This important work needs to be done, but requires more extensive treatment than is possible in this paper.

In a sense, it is hoped that the foundations, nature and meaning of a spirituality for synodality can be developed in the light of the synodal process itself, drawing on the experience of the whole Church . However, at this stage it may be helpful to offer an overview of the main features of a synodal spirituality in the hope that it can inform and assist the synodal process. In addition, it is hoped that the outline of some central features and dispositions of a synodal spirituality will provide a resource for those who wish to reflect more deeply on the synodal dimensions of our ecclesial life.

Many may wonder why it is important to present a spirituality for synodality. Synodality is not a new element in the life and self-understanding of the Church. It is a fundamental element of it and has been present in many forms since its origins. Synodality is a way of expressing who we are as Christians and what we are becoming as a Church through the work of the Holy Spirit.

This is especially significant since the Second Vatican Council, which instituted the Synod of Bishops and the practice of consultative assemblies at the level of the local churches . One of the important features that emerges for our present understanding is that the meaning of synodality is not only a theology but a spiritual practice.

Thus, we are invited to explore what a spirituality for synodality might mean and why it provides a profound resource for ecclesial life, understanding and theological reflection. To be a Christian is to have a “synodal vocation” and this grows through the spiritual life.

In our world marked by immediacy and haste, in order to resolve even the most complex situations, we need to live spirituality, together with all the other dimensions of the person, it is not just another appendix, it is a firm foundation that gives us meaning, orientation, towards deeper ends of the human person.

As we go through this synodal process and prepare for the next Assembly, we can exercise ourselves in this spiritual experience, which does not cancel out, but on the contrary gives more fullness to other aspects of our human life in today’s society.

Living spirituality, for example, while we are in the digital world, – it is not optional – the question is how we are, what we say, what messages we exchange. Spirituality does not isolate us from society; on the contrary, it draws us deeper into it to give everything a sense of depth that allows us to go beyond appearances to the depths of human experience.

Let us not tire of the synodal journey. We do it together without leaving anyone out. Accompanying as many rhythms as necessary.

María Luisa Berzosa, FI

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