Our society is fast becoming one of virtual reality. We see photographs that are not real but made up to present a more pleasant picture. We chat with persons on social media whom we have never met, and create artificial relationships. At home, we watch films on TV that present life stories which are imaginary and do not reflect the true life of ordinary human beings.
Yet, we all yearn for the real thing. We wish to build real relationships, have true friends on whom we can rely, and watch films that give us the true picture of life.
The Mariapoli/s is about the true life. When I first attended the Mariapoli, several years ago, this was my innermost feeling, I had found true friends. We were not perfect, but we were trying our best to live in an authentic way, to live for one another, to create unity which Jesus had prayed for: "that all may be one" (Jn. 17, 11).
The Mariapoli is an annual meeting organised by the Focolare Movement. It originated when Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement, went on holidays with her friends in the Dolomites, in Italy. They were followed by several people and together they lived this Christian reciprocal love, as a community.
Here in Malta, we too, live out a weekend break, where a varied community of people of all ages and backgrounds get together and make this experience of living for each other. The programme consists of reflections, workshops, festive moments aimed at achieving unity in diversity through reciprocal love.
If you yearn for something real, why not come and try this out?
The Mariapoli is being held from Friday evening, 3 November to Sunday afternoon, 5 November, at the Ramla Bay Resort Hotel, Marfa. Further information can be obtained from the Centres of the Focolare Movement: Stellaelise, Triq ilHuttaf, Kappara SGN 4333, tel. 2138 5801, email email@example.com; Vita Nuova, Triq Agius de Soldanis, Sta Venera SVR 1191, tel. 2148 6112, email firstname.lastname@example.org Anna Caruana Colombo