Hungary, Cradle of the Volunteers of God

 
As we present the life of the Focolare Movement in the land of the Magyars, we also offer some excerpts from an historical letter of Chiara Lubich that marked the birth of the Volunteers of God.

‘God! God! God! Ring out this ineffable name, source of all rights, justice and freedom, in Parliaments, in town squares, in houses and in offices!’

Wishing to answer this heartfelt plea contained in Pius XII’s radio message on 10 September 1956, which had been provoked by the repression in Hungary, Chiara Lubich wrote a letter that was to become the ‘founding charter’ for a new vocation in the Focolare Movement: the ‘volunteers of God’. Men and women, committed to bringing God, with their own lives, into society, into all the places where they are active.

There has come to be,’ Chiara wrote on 15 January 1957, ‘a society capable of excluding the name of God… taking the love of God from human hearts. There must be a society capable of putting Him back in His place.

(…) ‘May there be those who hallow Him with all their strength and who gather together with those who feel the very same call to form a bloc under the orders of that Eternal Word which no one can ever cancel from the earth.

‘There need to be people who follow Jesus exactly as he wants to be followed: denying themselves and taking up their cross. People who believe in this weapon: the cross, more powerful than the most powerful of bombs because the cross is a breach in the soul by which God can enter into hearts …

 Creating a bloc of people of every age or condition, linked by the strongest bond that exists: that mutual love left to us by the dying God become human as his last will and testament …

Mutual love that forges Christians into a divine unity … which alone can oppose the unity that comes from selfish interests, from reasons of this earth, from hatred.

‘Mutual love which means: practical action, giving all our love to our brothers and sisters out of love for God. ‘In summary, there need to be disciples of Jesus, genuine disciples in the world not just in the religious houses. Disciples who voluntarily follow Him, motivated only by an illuminated love towards Him, in this hour of darkness…

An army of volunteers, because love is free….‘There needs to be … the building of a new society, renewed by the Good News, where justice and virtue shine out with love….(…)‘A society that bears witness to a single name: God.’

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