While earthquakes continue to strike Central Italy, with the snow and cold worsening the situation, we relay the testimonial of a young boy who was buried under the debris, and the commitment of those who are working for the reconstruction.[more]
During the summer of 1949, Giordani went to visit Chiara who had gone away for a period of rest in the valley of Primiero, in Tondaico, in the mountains of Trentino. They were intensely living the Gospel passage concerning Jesus’ abandonment. On the 12th of July Chiara wrote: “Jesus Forsaken! The important thing is that when he passes by we are attentive to hear what he wants to say to us, because he always has something new to tell us. Jesus forsaken wants us perfect: He is the only Teacher, Jesus, and he wants to take advantage of all circumstances to mold us, to round off the sharp edges of our personalities, to make us holy. The only thing we must do is to take in all these voices that arise from the circumstances as his voice. All that happens around me happens for me, it’s all a choral rendition of the love of God for me.”
When summer ended, it was time to leave the Primiero valley and return to the city. On a piece of paper with the letterhead of the Italian Senate Chamber, which had been lent to her by Giordani, Chiara jotted down a text which is now famous and begins with the line: “I have only one spouse on earth, Jesus forsaken. . .” Her descent from that “little Tabor” marked the announcement that the Abandoned One is the way to unity. “I’ll go through the world searching for him in every instant of my life,” she wrote on that paper. And so Jesus forsaken is the “secret” to unity.
In 2000 Chiara wrote: “Right from the start we understood that fullness had another side to it, the tree had its roots. The Gospel covers you in love, but demands everything from you. “If the grain of wheat doesn’t fall to the earth and die – we read in the Gospel of John – it remains just a grain of wheat, but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). And the personification of this is Jesus Crucified, whose fruit was the redemption of humankind. Jesus Crucified! One episode from those early months in 1944, gave us a new understanding of him. Through a particular circumstance, we came to know that the greatest suffering of Jesus and, therefore, his greatest act of love, was when on the cross he experienced the abandonment by the Father: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” This touched us to the depths. And our young age, our enthusiasm, but especially the grace of God, urged us to choose only him in his abandonment, as the means to realize our ideal of love.
“From that moment on, we seemed to discover his countenance everywhere. He had experienced within himself people’s separation from God and from each other, and he had felt the Father far from him. We saw him not only in all our personal sufferings, which were never lacking, but in those of our neighbor, often alone, abandoned, forgotten, in the separation between generations, between rich and poor, within the very Church at times, and, later, between churches, then between religions and between persons of different convictions.
But these wounds didn’t frighten us. On the contrary, because of our love for him in his abandonment, they attracted us. He had shown us how to face them, how to live them, how to cooperate in overcoming them when, after the abandonment, he placed his spirit in his Father’s hands: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” giving to humankind the possibility of being restored to itself and to God, and he showed us the way. And so he manifested himself to be the key to unity, the remedy for every disunity. He was the one who recomposed unity between us each time it cracked. In him we recognized and loved the great and tragic divisions of humankind and of the Church. He became our only Spouse. And our life with such a Spouse was so rich and so fruitful that it compelled me to write a book, a love letter, like a song, a hymn of joy and of gratitude to him.”
While Caritas Internationalis has launched a great awareness campaign personally supported by Pope Francis, also 230 Focolare members convened in Al Btar, Syria, to live the Mariapolis experience, after five years. An oasis of peace to start anew. #PeacePossible4Syria[more]
It might be hard to admit, but there is war in Europe. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true, even though it’s talked about that much or even at all.” This is the testimony of Elena Vladova and Martin Uher from the Focolare Movement in Slovakia and Ukraine.[more]
The story of May Han. During the Saffron Revolution her husband who was active in defending human rights, was arrested and died in prison. In the darkness of her pain the light of God’s love brings forgiveness.[more]
Extracts from a message from the Focolare President to the 1,100 Gen from all over the world who met at Castel Gandolfo near Rome from 17th-20th November, on the 50th anniversary of the Gen Movement.[more]
More than a thousand Gen from the second generation of the Focolare meet at Castel Gandolfo, Italy. They are seriously committed to peace and the unity of the human family.[more]