Concluding remarks of the conference

Bose, 11 September 2010
Bose, 11 September 2010
Silence and contemplation make room for the life of the Word in the community of brothers and sisters, in listening to one another. Then it is learned that solitude is an art, friend and teacher on the way of love
 Bose, 11 September 2010

XVIII International Ecumenical Conference
on Orthodox spirituality

Communion and solitude

Bose, 8-11 September 2010

Concluding remarks read by Br ADALBERTO MAINARDI
on behalf of the scientific committee

To permit a synthesis of what we have heard during these days — an operation that remains at the liberty of each one to make — we propose some elements to evaluate the fundamental ideas and what seem to be the outstanding results that have emerged from the work of these days, but also possible lacunae and shortcomings and perhaps other roads that can be explored. These concluding remarks, given also in the name of the scientific committee, do not pretend to give a complete picture, but are simply meant to serve a better understanding.

Three years ago, at the conclusion of the conference dedicated to the transfigured Christ in the Orthodox tradition, father Michel van Parys underlined the importance for these ecumenical meetings on Orthodox spirituality of coming together in a place of reciprocal listening and of friendship, a space of friendship needed to overcome prejudices and to undertake seriously getting to know each other.

The scope of this coming together has a precise ecumenical dimension, that of permitting a wide reception of a brother’s spiritual search in order to meet, all together, the Christ who comes. The scope, however, also includes a dimension of dialogue with contemporary mankind, its searching and its expectations. “Your face, o Lord, I seek” (Ps 26,8). This psalm verse well indicates the road undertaken o listen to the spiritual tradition of the Churches of the East in the multiform unity of its many traditions (Byzantine, Slavic, Romanian, Armenian, Syriac…).

To discern the face of Christ is in reality an art that is learned in a personal relation of spiritual paternity as initiation to communion, as we reflected at length on this at the conference two years ago. It is an art that requires a hard combat in order to attain to the truth about ourselves and to open the heart to receiving each other. This spiritual combat for the sake of agape was at the center of last year’s conference.