After concerts and workshops with the international group Gen Verde, a teacher and student write their conclusions – a chance outside the concert hall to discuss important themes.[more]
Marilen Holzhauser, one of the first focolarine explained: “For us every object we have has to have a reason or purpose”. From the start Chiara Lubich and the first followers in her adventure have had their own style in living, dressing and home furnishing which was simple and moderate. They understood that beauty revealed in the mystery of a flower that consumes only what it needs and in this way its real beauty. Beauty becomes the splendour of truth. Harmony of simplicity makes us discover ‘the beauty which will save the world’ and that world will save beauty.
In the Letter to Diogneto, referring to the first Christians we read: ‘Living in the Greek and Barbarian cities, as we each have, and adapting ourselves in each place to the customs of dressing, eating and so on, we give witness to an admirable and undoubtedly paradoxical way of living.’
All this is reflected in the lives of those who adhere to the ‘spirit of unity’ today. Even in the buildings and their environs belonging to the Movement there is that simple beauty which helps relationships to be built and restores the integrity of the person: such as in the ‘Mariapolis Centres’, where congresses and formation courses are held, and the Focolare little towns of which there are 22 in the world. There are many expressions within the Movement of beauty and harmony, such as the products from the Centro Ave and Centro Azur workshops in Loppiano, and the expositions from the “Arts” group: works of art by painters, musicians, pianists, dancers… each an expression of the ongoing newness of God, source of beauty and harmony.
Chiara Lubich wrote: ‘The true artist is a great person. Everyone says it though few are art critics, but everyone admires and is fascinated by ‘beauty’. The artist in a certain way is like the Creator. True artists possess their skill almost unconsciously and use colours, musical notes or stone as easily as we use our legs to walk. Their point of concentration is in the soul, where they contemplate an impression, an idea they wish to express outside of themselves. Hence, within the infinite limits of their human smallness before God, and thus within the infinite difference between two ‘created’ things (if I may speak like that), artists are in some sense those who recreate, create anew: and a true ‘recreation’ for some could be provided by the artistic masterpieces produced by others. Unfortunately, for lack of true artists, people find recreation for the most part through empty fantasies in the cinema, drama, shows where art has little place.
‘With his or her masterpieces, playthings in comparison to nature, God’s masterpiece, the true artist gives us in some way a sense of who God is and makes us discern in nature the Trinitarian traces of the Creator: matter, the law that informs it (what we might call a gospel of nature), life (what we might call a result of the first two. The totality then is something that continuing to ‘live’ presents an image of the unity of God, of the God of the living. The works of great artists do not die and that is a measure of their greatness, because the artist’s idea, expressed in some way perfectly on canvas or in stone, composes something that lives’.
The full text can be found in: CHIARA LUBICH, Essential Writings, New City London 200, p.306
Johnstone is 22 years old and yet he’s respected and listened to by the village elders. This is due to his incessant work for reconciliation through education and sport which helped him succeed in resolving age-old tribal conflicts.[more]
Micheline Mwendike, a Congolese student, is an active member of a youth movement that aims to overcome cultural and ideological differences that have triggered many conflicts and caused so much bloodshed in her country.[more]
HabitAndando is a workshop that has been taking Colombian students and professors from the Colombia University of Architecture in Colombia, to Italy. This year it took Colombian students and their professors to the Italian University of Annunzio di Pescara.[more]
Two months of touring up and down the Iberian Peninsula meeting thousandsof mostly young people. A trip that widened the horizons of fraternity and hope. Dreams to fulfill today.[more]
In view of the upcoming “Second World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation”, we publish some excerpts from a writing by the founder of the Focolare, dated 22 January 1987, regarding a new understanding of God and creation.[more]