We'll periodically publish "excerpts" from Chiara Lubich's archive
  offering the possibility to be in contact with this extraordinary woman even today.

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The Family and Mary

21 April 1984

The family: a lofty and recurring topic in the thought and life of Chiara Lubich. This writing of 1984 places the family in its design, in its being a domestic church in God’s plan, “a welcoming dwelling place for all the lost children.” Therefore let’s look at Mary, so as to live with her help and example “the luminous and fascinating plan of God on the family in all its expressions.” 

On the occasion of the Holy Year of Jubilee for the families, John Paul II consecrated and entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was also the day of the Annunciation. The coincidence of events is certainly not by chance. In fact, there are deep relationships between Mary and the family, at least for the fact that both are great experts in love.

Mary got to know the family in her heart, already simply on the natural level, in her various aspects as daughter, fiancée, wife, mother though always a virgin, and widow. The family is the kingdom of love. Filial, matrimonial, maternal, paternal and fraternal love is born, grows and develops in the family. 

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The Penance That Heaven Asks of Us

Mollens, 25 August 1988

A new charism in the Church like the one God generously gave to Chiara Lubich does not overrule the previous Christian practices, but rereads them in the light of God’s gift, of its own evangelical perspective. 

I had an opportunity to do some reading on great saints the Church honours, and also to watch some films about them.

One of the strongest impressions I took away was the harsh, very harsh life of penance that some of them lived; they often wore the most uncomfortable hairshirts, practiced continual fasts, painful vigils, interminable silences, sleeping on the bare ground or on boards. It was also on the strength of these penances that these saints became what they were. 

Naturally I asked myself: What about us? What do we do? Don’t we too want to become saints?

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That Word

Rocca di Papa, 20 November 1979

The Word of life for the month of March 2015 that is proposed for the whole Focolare Movement says: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mk 8:34). This is a phrase that Chiara Lubich recalled throughout her life and it was a source of light for her and for many others in the world. This writing is how she explained it to the young people in 1979.

Dearest Gen,

Perhaps you would like just the right word; a word that says everything, that sums up the truth, that gives you the recipe for a real life.

This is what I am meditating on too in these days.

Alright, gen, I have convinced myself that there is no safer way to reach the perfect life than the way of suffering embraced out of love. 

This is the way all Saints thought of it, throughout the centuries. 

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Wisdom

Castel Gandolfo, 5 December 2001

(From a conversation of Chiara Lubich to the women focolarine)

Here we offer proof of Chiara’s love for Wisdom (Sophia): with passion she quotes the words of Fr. Raimondo Spiazzi, a well-known theologian, that witness the uniqueness and preciousness of the sapiential penetration of reality. 

We quote the following section from a book of 1964 that we liked very much. It was written by the theologian Father Raimondo Spiazzi: “The gift of wisdom puts the soul in contact with eternal realities. ... It scrutinizes the depths of God and discerns his radiant beauty. The soul beholds that which it cannot repeat, and without ever being quenched it drinks from this exhaustible source with an ever-growing desire, as a deer longs for streams of water.

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Speech at the Ceremony of the Conferral of the “European Human Rights Prize 1998”

Strasbourg, 22 September 1998

On occasion of the UN World Day of Social Justice, we offer an excerpt of Chiara’s talk to the Council of Europe. 

Mrs. Leni Fischer, President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Giorgos Papandreou, Director of the Committee of Ministers, Mr. Daniel Tarschys, Secretary General, Your Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, Friends,

I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to the Council of Europe for conferring the prestigious 1998 European Human Rights Prize also to me.

The Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers, with a joint decision, wished to give this recognition to me in order to award, I believe, the Focolare Movement, whose foundress I am, and whose ideal has inspired the action of millions of women and men of every age, language, profession, nation and race, members of various religions and the most diverse convictions, thus acknowledging the Movement’s concrete contribution “towards the promotion and defense of human rights.”

In fact, the first article of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (this year marks its 50th anniversary), affirms: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They ... should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” 

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There is no part of life that is not worthy of being lived

Florence, 17 May 1986

An important talk in which Chiara does not speak with competence but from her experience that in accepting suffering one draws closer to God. This is a strong message for those who personally live an illness or for those who are alongside ill or elderly people.

If at the basis of laws or social projects we place a mentality lacking in respect for the suffering, the disabled and the elderly, then little by little we create a false society. We give importance only to a few values like physical well-being, strength, exaggerated productivity and power, while we distort the purpose for which a nation lives; that is, for the good of the human person and society.
Health, as we know, is a precious gift which should be protected.
Thus we should do all we can so that our bodies and everyone else's, too, receive nourishment and rest, and are not exposed to sicknesses, accidents or an exaggerated amount of sports.
The body is also important for a Christian.

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Holiness as a gift

From Chiara Lubich's diary
Rocca di Papa, 10 may 1991

An extraordinary communicator, Chiara Lubich never kept for herself the spiritual enlightenments, the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, the ever new confirmation of the relevance of the Word of God. Her life was an open book that everyone can read.
With regard to holiness, Chiara did not keep to herself her inner experiences, efforts and intentions but she communicated them, as if to form a “system of spiritual pulleys that will hold up the world.” In her journey towards holiness she aimed at what is essential, what is in full accordance with the New Testament (“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” Mt 5:48. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification,” 1 Thess 4:3) and anticipating what the Second Vatican Council will define as the universal call to holiness (cf. LG 39-42).
Her charism places emphasis on love as the way of perfection, a love that is gift. It’s this aspect of gift and “gift for others” that stands out from the very personal Diary notes written in 1991 that we offer here, chosen among many others.

I’m leaving for Brazil and the idea that dominates within me is: “I must become holy.”  
Yes, because I have a few things to work out before the “Departure” and the “Encounter,” that however will come about when God wants: the Statutes, which are practically done already; the regulations, which I’m about to conclude; the special graces of Paradise 1949 that we are working on.
But I must leave one more thing to the focolarini: my holiness. It’s necessary so that they may have a model that is worth much more than many writings.

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