I have spent the past few days at the annual Rimini meeting for friendship among peoples. Each year the meeting attracts people of all faiths from around the world, united by a knowledge that there is more to life than what the world offers.
Last year 800.000 people attended the event and the crowds this year indicate that the gathering continues to propose an adequate response to life’s questions.
Each day thousands gather to hear people reflect on their own encounter with the mystery of God. The days are filled with exhibitions, lectures, food and drink, woven together with inspiring conversations with friends and strangers who quickly become friends.
This year highlights for me included exhibitions on Pope Francis focussing on the events and experiences of his life, Romano Guardini , and a very popular exhibition on the Old Testament book of Job examining the meaning of suffering in human existence. A lecture introducing this Job exhibition is available at this link.
Another inspiration was a lecture given by Cardinal Scola, – on Youtube at this link.
But the greatest inspiration of the Rimini Meeting is not the lectures and exhibitions but the conversations with others over food and drink. It is evident that this friendship, the fruit of a common hunger for abundant life, is the most transforming factor in history.