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 Holy Spirit and Charisms

This text shows Chiara’s passion for the Church and implicit in it is the reality of the “Marian Profile” and the “Petrine Profile” which Pope John Paul II spoke to Chiara about in 1997.

Sometimes people think, and this has often happened down through the centuries, that there is opposition between a hierarchical church, governed by the Pope and the Bishops, and a charismatic Church animated by special gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In reality this is not the case. The Church seen as hierarchy and the Church which is admired for its particular charisms are complementary aspects of the one Church.

In fact, Christ founded his Church on the Apostles and Prophets (cf Eph2:20) and a Church that is only hierarchical is not the one He had in mind, and the same applies to the so-called charismatic church. Hierarchy and charisms, in reality, are the workof the same Spirit, of the one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, put there so as to give life to the one Church.

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Don’t Let the Time Go By Without Love

29 November (probably 1945)

This is a letter addressed to Anna Melchiori to whom Chiara gave the name “Giovanna”,  from the name of the “disciple whom Jesus loved”. The various subjects touched upon in these few lines includemercy and the works of mercy.

Dearest Giovanna,

Saint Clare! On this feast day of All Franciscan Saints, may she give to  you all of her Seraphic Flame and burning love for our Abandoned Christ!

Keep Him ever before you as the example of extreme love.

He is Everything. He is the giver of unity.

Giovanna, pray more (which means to pray well, very well).

Let Jesus pray when, alive, he lives in your heart after Holy Communion.

Let Him once again pray his final prayer to the Father that you maybe made worthy to work for the Greatest Ideal: God.

Always get up and walk again.

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Who is Mary for the Focolare Movement?

Castel Gandolfo, December 8, 1996

 (Extract from a talk given by Chiara Lubich on the collective spirituality)

To believe in the extraordinary grace of being able to imitate Mary. Chiara shares here the experience of light that the Holy Spirit gave her, conveying this conviction to us and suggesting we can honour her in this way.

As we briefly look over the history of the Focolare Movement with regard to Mary, we can see more clearly who Mary is for us, and how she can be considered as a cornerstone of our spirituality.

From the earliest days of the Focolare, although during that period of time it seemed that she was letting the Spirit highlight almost exclusively Jesus and his gospel, Mary appeared, although discreetly, in order to reveal to us at once her relationship with unity.

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To Take the Initiative

Rocca di Papa, 3rd January 1985

The following reflection by Chiara Lubich, given during a world wide conference call, can help us live the Word of Life for May. Her words on “mercy”, “loving without limits” and not being afraid to “go out towards others” are very relevant today.

The New Year begins with a splendid Word of Life: "But God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ" (Eph. 2:4-5).

The commentary on this Word of Life, which you may have already read, underlines two characteristics of God’s love. One is that God in His love took the initiative to love us even though we were anything but lovable ("dead through our sins"). The second is that God's love did not only reach the point of forgiving our sins, but since His love is infinite, He brought us to share in His own life ("he brought us to life in Christ”).

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What You Are Searching For Exists!

A letter from June 1944

My little sister in the immense Love of God!

Listen, I beg you, listen to the voice of this little heart!
You have been blinded with me by the luminous blaze of an Ideal that is greater than all and sums up all: the infinite Love of God!

O, my little sister! He is the one, He is my God, your God, who has bound us together with a bond stronger than death, because it will never decay, one like the spirit, immense, infinite, delicate, strong, immortal like the Love of God!

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To Love and To Be Loved

Castel Gandolfo, 9 December 1995

(From a talk to the focolarine)

The charism of unity has its root in the One and Triune God and in the mystery of the Word made flesh who, in the Passion, lives the abandonment. Chiara explains how we should enter the dynamism of Trinitarian love.

… The will of God is God, and God is love. His will, therefore, is love, and he wants us to love too. He wants us to love him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind, and to love every neighbor as ourselves (cf. Mt 22:37–39).

We, too, had to be love in life: little suns beside the Sun.

At that time, the word “love” usually indicated either the natural sentiment that links a man and a woman or eroticism. It was not normally used in religious terminology, where the preferred term was “charity,” but often with the limited meaning of almsgiving. The singular manifestation of God-Love that we had received, and our direct contact with the Word of God, re-focused our attention on the Christian meaning of love.

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To the weak I became weak.

Rocca di Papa, February 1982

Chiara is really fond of these words of Paul because of her affinity with the expression “making ourselves one” that the Spirit suggested to her right at the beginning of her spiritual adventure. Here we have a comment she gave about it in February 1982.

Commentary of the Word of Life:

"To the weak I became weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some" (1 Cor. 9:22).

In carrying out his extraordinary mission, the Apostle Paul conducted his life in a particular way: he strove to become all things to all people. In fact, he tried to understand everyone, enter into the mentality of each person: to be a Jew with the Jews, and with the non-Jews - those without a law revealed by God - to be as one without the law.

Paul followed the Jewish customs whenever this served to remove barriers or to reconcile souls; but when he worked in the Gre¬ek-Roman world, he adopted the culture and way of life of that world. He wrote: 

"To the weak I became weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some" (1 Cor. 9:22).

He saw before him the unlimited horizon of freedom from sin, from death, from the law, from the reign of Satan, from the barriers imposed by nationality, class and sex, from every form of domination by others, from the taboos of food and customs, and so on.

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