Mark Tecilla, Trentine and one of the first focolarini, tells us about the first steps of the community of Trent. Gathered around the rediscovered spirit of the Gospel, people were even ready to put their possessions at the disposition of others in order to alleviate the sufferings of the post-war period.[more]
Chiara and her first companions asked themselves how they could show God that he was truly the centre of their lives. They wondered how how they could put into practice their newly found ideal: God-Love. It soon appeared obvious to them that they should return God’s love for them. Their life would no longer have any sense if it were not “a small flame of this infinite brazier burning with the flame of divine Love: love responding to Love”.
And it seemed such a great and sublime gift to be able to love God that they often said: “We shouldn’t say “we must love God” but “Oh, to be able to love you, Lord! To be able to love you with this tiny heart!” They recalled a sentence from the Gospel seemed to leave no escape for anyone who wanted to live a Christian life: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 17:21). Therefore, doing the will of God was their grand opportunity to love God. And God and his will coincided.
Chiara wrote: “God was like the sun. And a ray of this sun was reaching out to each one of us, the divine will for me, for my friends, for everyone. There is a single sun, different rays, but always ‘rays of sun’. A single will of God different for each person, but always will of God. Our task was to walk within our ray without ever departing from it. And we had to follow along this ray in the time that was allotted us. No wandering into the past or fantasizing about a future. It was better to abandon the past to the mercy of God, since it was no longer in our possession; and the future would only be lived once it became present.
“Only the present was in our hands. And this was where we had to concentrate our mind, heart, and strength in doing the divine will, so that God would reign in our life. Just as someone travelling by train would never go walking through the aisles in order to reach his destination sooner, but remain seated, so we should remain in the present. The train of time moves forwards on its own. And it wasn’t very difficult to know what God would want from us. He expresses his desires through superiors, the Holy Scripture, the duties of one’s state in life, through circumstances and inspirations. Minute by minute, illuminated and assisted by actual grace, we would be building our holiness; or better, by doing the will of an Other – of God – he would be edifying himself within us.
“Doing God’s will doesn’t mean, as is often suggested, something that we must be resigned to. Rather, it is the greatest divine adventure that could happen to a person; following not your own tiny will, not your own limited goals but rather those of God, fulfilling that design of God that he has for each one of his sons and daughters, a divine plan, unimaginable and so rich. Loving God by doing his will became the second cardinal point of our spirituality of unity.”
Trying to live the Gospel, small things can be transformed into occasions of “profound and unforgettable union with God”. this is what happened to Elena from Naples, Italy.[more]
An experience from everyday life- Patrick went beyond individualism and discovered that, through giving, we find brothers and are filled with joy.[more]
One of the first focolarini, Enzo was very involved in interrreligious dialogue and in the spiritual growth of the members of the Focolare Movement. We remember him on his anniversary.[more]
In honour of the canonisations of Karol Wojtila and Angelo Roncalli we offer these excerpts from the 1980 diary of Chiara Lubich where she describes her new understanding about living the will of God, after she read a text by John XXIII.[more]
The experience of Rahmé confirms that in the name of brotherhood, any barrier can be torn down, even at the cost of serious risks.[more]