The Word waits for our personal and deliberate response.[more]
Chiara Lubich’s spirituality soon came to be known as a collective or communitarian spirituality, which focused on Jesus’s prayer to the Father that all might be one (see Jn 17:21). This spirituality has 12 main points that are interconnected:
- God’s Will
- The Word
- The Neighbour
- Mutual Love
- The Gift of Unity
- Jesus Forsaken
- The Church-Communion
- The Holy Spirit
- Jesus in the Midst
These points were not the result of theological reflection or planning and. Like most things in Chiara Lubich’s spirituality they invite a response, a decision that brings life. Throughout the history of the Church there have been saints, holy people and entire communities that have a primarily individualistic spirituality on their journey to God. In the spirituality of unity the individual’s experience of God certainly remains unique and unrepeatable, but the charism of unity which the Holy Spirit bestowed on Chiara Lubich has brought forth a spirituality that has given an equally indispensable communitarian dimension to the Christian life. It is not totally without precedent: the Gospel itself is eminently communitarian. Also, there have also been communitarian elements in past experiences and spiritualities that placed love at the basis of the spiritual life.
But Chiara Lubich brings a spirituality that is unique among communitarian approaches to God. Her charism invites us to be one in Christ according to Jesus’s words in John’s Gospel: “as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, that they may be one in us” (Jn 17:21). In Chiara Lubich these words of Jesus become a lifestyle.
A communitarian spirituality had already been foretold by contemporary theologians and was mentioned by the Second Vatican Council. Karl Rhaner talked about the spirituality of the future Church as being a fraternal communion in which the same basic experience of the Spriit is had by all. The Second Vatican Council described the Church as the Body of Christ, and the People of God assembled in the bond of love in the Holy Trinity.
Teresa of Avila, saint and doctor of the Church, describes an “interior castle.” The spirituality of unity helps to build up what Chiara Lubich describes as an “exterior castle” in which Christ dwells in the midst and illuminates its every part.
On 13th June 2016 Francesco was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a form of Motor Neurone Disease which attacks the neurons controlling voluntary muscles, progressively affecting his movement – but not, according to Francesco, his freedom to love.[more]
The World Meeting of Families is currently underway in Dublin, Ireland. The panel dealing with the topic of education will be presented by Gianni and Maria Salerno who are responsible for Focolare families around the world.[more]
What is the role of composers in the musical life of today’s Church? A group of biblicists, liturgists, educators, theologians and musicians tried to respond to this question at a convention in Rome, Italy (Sepemtember 13-15). A recount by Nancy Uelmen from the Gen Verde International Performing Arts Group[more]
On the threshold of the new millennium the founder of the Focolare Movement spoke about her hope-filled dream for the future. Although we are immersed in the dramatic events that trouble humanity today, we want to make this dream our own.[more]
This expression can easily be misinterpreted. A reflection by Klaus Hemmerle (1929 – 1994), once bishop of Aachen, Germany. Loving Jesus in a neighbour certainly does not mean “exploiting” a neighbour in order to be able to love God; rather, it acknowledges the true dignity of every human being.[more]