In this conference call, the phone call which from 1980 onwards linked up the family og the Focolare Movement world wide, there is an invitation to prepare for Christmas by going ahead together on the simple evangelical path of love.
We are continuing our journey to reach the goal which, if God helps us, will be crowned in holiness.
A good number of those who have undertaken this journey have already arrived, and as far as we can know, they have done so successfully. Every week we receive news about such arrivals and often we want to praise God [for their lives].
Most of us are still here on earth to inspire one another: this is the purpose of our conference call.
“Truth is pure mercy”. From one of Chiara Lubich’s writings before 1959.
We had said we wanted to see only Jesus in our neighbor, to deal with Jesus in our neighbor, to love Jesus in our neighbor, but now we recall that a neighbor has this or that defect, has this or that imperfection.
Our eye becomes complicated and our being is no longer lit up. As a consequence, erring, we break unity.
“Are you afraid of death?” Journalist Margaret Coen puts this demanding question to Chiara Lubich.
There are two things which I think are important for today's world. First, relationships, the problem of building relationships and secondly, the great taboo of death. What can you tell me about these two things?
Chiara: A lot is said these days about relationships. Everything is invested in relationships and how to build a good relationship.
I would say that if there is to be a good human relationship, a friendship, something which is to be envied, there must necessarily be a certain amount of sacrifice. Nothing is achieved without sacrifice. Everything we create in this world, even something purely human calls for effort, commitment and sacrifice.
In this message addressed to young people gathered at Loppiano for their annual meeting on 1st May 1999, the Founder of the Focolare Movement put before them a challenging goal, the one that inspired the first steps of the “Adventure of unity”.
It is the first of May and you, young people, have come together to share joys, concerns and ideals, to consider what can be of interest to you today, who are wholly oriented towards the new millennium which belongs especially to you. You have come to pool your youthful strengths and to contemplate a dream which can become a reality: a united world. And all this despite the very sad events we hear about every day in the media.
I imagine that in these moments, even in the midst of songs, music, and dances, while sharing various experiences,hearing testimonies and spending hours inthe peaceful and enthusiastic joy which is typical of your congresses, some questions can arise in your hearts. As a matter of fact, some gen have already asked me two questions on your behalf:
One is “Could you tell us how you got the idea of a united world? How did this adventure of unity begin?”And the other:“You were our age when you began… If you were in our place now, what would you do today?”
How did this adventure of unity begin?
Dear young people, it began not when I, but when Another, wanted it to begin.
You may know that certain gifts are given to the world from time to time: they are called charisms. They come from the One who guides history, who leads it toward a very precise goal: the common good, by channelling towards that goal even the sad things that we men and women do in the world.
It is God, God who is Love, in whom many of us firmly believe.
One day, many years ago, one of these charisms arrived here too. Through it, weunderstood that there was a wonderful design, a task, almost a mission entrusted to us, young people at the time: to work in our lives so that all may be one, by putting love into action, in our own hearts and in that of others.
On the occasion of the conferral of the honorary citizenship of Pompeii to Chiara Lubich, she gave an outline of Mary’s influence in Her Work (the Focolare Movement), showing Mary’s universal motherhood.
Chiara:Your Excellencies, Mr. Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you very much for the honour you have given me of being a “citizen of Pompeii”.
It is a heartfelt thank you, because being a citizen of Pompeii gives me the very sweet impression, which is a reality, of becoming part of the city of Mary.
For me, it is a great gift because, as stated in the motivations for this honour, Mary certainly has a central place in my life (and I add: in what I represent). Consequently, the Marian nature of this honorary citizenship is significant.
(From a talk given by Chiara Lubich to Focolare members on the Word of Life...)
If people were to ask: what is your 'uniform' like, without hesitating we would give just one answer arising from the charism that God gave Chiara: mutual love, without limits.
In that talk Chiara shared her own experience. She was in Switzerland when she encountered the beauty and visibility of different charisms in the life of the Church. She asked herself how the charism of unity could best be seen. It was only when she met her first companion, Natalia Dallapiccola, that she was able to reply: I understood, it is the mutual love of the Gospel: "By this all will know that you are my disciples"...
“As I was walking through the streets of Einsiedeln, in Switzerland, I saw many people from different religious Orders going by. It was lovely to see the different types of habit worn by the various groups of Sisters and priests, against the background of such a beautiful natural setting. I realised then that the founders of those Orders were really inspired in deciding on a particular way of clothing their followers.
This was a question a little girl asked Chiara during a congress. Chiara shares her ‘secret’ and the fruit of suffering that has been loved.
(…) “How do you spend your day, in sadness or in joy? In particular, what do you do when you are not happy?
Chiara: She asks me what I do when I am not happy. This is very important. … You need to learn it by heart. …
When we are not happy, we must go deep down into our hearts and say to Jesus, "Listen Jesus, I feel a suffering, but you felt suffering too. I am happy to be like you and I offer you this suffering." And then we must start to love the others right away, and the suffering will go away. Jesus takes it away. It is as if he puts it in a parcel and takes our suffering away.
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