The synodal process that we are following is entering its second stage. In this stage, the goal is the same: “to synod.” That is to say, “to walk together.”
“It’s not about gathering opinions, nor holding a parliament,” Francis explains in his Pope Video for this month, brought to you by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, but rather “listening to each other in our diversity and opening doors to those who are outside the Church.”
And by listening to “the protagonist, the Holy Spirit,” which requires prayer, the Synod can become an “opportunity to be a Church of closeness, which is God’s style.” What does it mean “to synod”?
It means walking together: syn-od. This is what it means in Greek: “to walk together” and to walk on the same road. And this is what God expects of the Church of the third millennium –that it regain its awareness of being a people on the road and of having to travel together.
A Church with this synodal style is a Church that listens, that knows that listening is more than just hearing. It means listening to each other in our diversity and opening doors to those outside the Church. It’s not about gathering opinions, nor holding a parliament.
The synod isn’t a survey; it’s about listening to the protagonist, the Holy Spirit. It’s about praying. Without prayer, there will be no Synod. Let us take advantage of this opportunity to be a Church of closeness, which is God’s style –closeness.
And let us give thanks to all the people of God who, with their attentive listening, are walking the synodal way. Let us pray that the Church, ever faithful to the Gospel and courageous in preaching it, may live in an increasing atmosphere of synodality and be a community of solidarity, fraternity, and welcome.