From Venezuela to Cuba and Puerto Rico, countries facing the Caribbean Sea are tested by a strong social crisis, as well as the catastrophic effects of Hurricaine Maria. In the midst of this difficult situation there are many examples of courage and solidarity. News from the Focolare community.[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.
The Word of Life of December (Luke 1.38) invites us to place ourselves generously at the service of those in need, and respond immediately with the promptness of Mary of Nazareth.[more]
The situation has remained critical throughout the island after Hurricane Maria. Reconstruction comes through small, but concrete gestures of solidarity. The testimony of the Focolare community.[more]
To mark International Dance Day, an annual UNESCO initiative which will take place on 29th April, we have interviewed Antonella Lombardo. Antonella is an Italian ballerina, choreographer and director of an international festival entitled “In the words of Chiara Lubich, harmony is the highest expression of unity.”[more]
Missiles and bombs still obstruct peace in the world. A heartfelt appeal by the Founder of Focolare, taken from an editorial in Citta’ Nuova magazine in February 1991, affirms that God is Love. God alone can be the “spiritual bomb” in people’s lives.[more]
As part of a series of celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Jesús Morán, Focolare Co-President addressed a Conference “WCC, Chiara Lubich and the Focolare” held in Geneva, Switzerland on 18th April. His talk examined cultural, anthropological and ecclesial aspects of dialogue. In summary:[more]