When the game of love for God and our neighbours becomes a daily exercise, in our hearts there is no longer any room for half measures.[more]
The Focolare Movement has a universal charism therefore it is committed to social action in every place and environment.
Back in 1940 Trent, during the Second World War, Chiara Lubich and her first companions helped heal both physical and moral wounds, gave goods to the poor, supported families resolving difficulties and welcomed those who were at the margins of society through talking and sharing with them.
In 1962 Chiara Lubich explained where the idea for that ‘social revolution’ came from: “The gospel says that whoever wants to follow Jesus must leave everything they have and give it to the poor… It’s the first step to take in order to follow Jesus”. They acted on this literally loving God through practical actions for those around them.
At the beginning of the Movement one of the first spiritual intuitions Chiara Lubich had was the understanding of God as Love. She recalls the experience when in 1979 she wrote: “You can only respond to Love with love, love for God, as a response to His Love for us and you do this by immediately doing something out of love for your neighbour. Whoever we met in our life was given our full attention, our care, our kindness.”
They were intense years during which the first focolarine dashed untiringly from one part of the city to another to bring help to whoever needed it. In those days their seating plan at the dinner table was “a poor person then a focolarina, a poor person and then a focolarina”.
The first target for help from these young girls were the poorest. They were sure that behind the sad and troubled faces of these people there hid the face of Jesus. As the community around them grew they were more able to give help to whoever needed it. They did this for several months. It was natural in this small and yet great revolution of social care to help not just the poor but all of humanity: “There were those who needed feeding, dressing, something to drink and also those who needed teaching, advising, supporting and those who needed prayers”. And so they became aware of the power that the charism of unity brought with it, seeing the effect it had in the world.
This life, made up of social action and contemplation, attracted people from all walks of life: among them was Igino Giordani, a very well known Italian journalist, politician and writer who is now considered a co-founder of the Movement.
Giordani was the first to intuit the impact the charism would have on the various sectors of society: he and many others since as well as thousands today have realised the possibility of putting evangelical love into practical actions in all social circumstance: homes, hospitals, schools, offices, factories, clubs, volunteering politics, economy and theatre.
The same strategy is used everywhere: to bring fraternal love is the aim and also the action mode; the method, fraternal love remains the doctrine used to value the skills and competence of each person so forming a network of sharing for the common good.
So a community, which is a “people of God” was born, and through Him immersed in everyone’s problems that wounds can be healed in every city.
A common bond has developed between people of goodwill who share a vision of a more just society enriched by diversity. Sharing together can lead to new practical solutions to problems, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
Twenty four years old and from the Province of Akland in the Philippines, Chiarela had always had only one desire: to become a doctor. With the support of the Focolare community and her own tenacity that dream was transformed into a reality.[more]
God’s ways are unforeseen, as we all know. And it could happen when one comes face to face with him in prison, when one reaches rock bottom. It’s the story of Pancho.[more]
In 1988 a group of young people of the Focolare, suddenly became bakers and sold bread on the road outside the Ginetta Mariapolis in Brazil. Thirty years later, the Golden Grain is a successful activity making good quality produce with love, human kindness and the will to share.[more]
An unacceptable match of words which triggers indignation. A group of members of the Focolare community in Mumbai, India, went all out in support of a nonprofit organisation, which works to gather leftovers from banquets and parties, to be distributed to the poor.[more]
The town of Gary in Indiana is one of the poorest in the USA. 100 teenagers from six States went there to help organise activities with the homeless, to serve at a soup kitchen/canteen and work on urban renewal. For many of them it was an unforgettable experience, which opened their eyes not only to the needs but also the beauty of the town, which is, before all else, a community.[more]