«I met Chiara Lubich immediately after the end of the war. I went to Trent to those girls who they said “were living the Gospel like the first Christians”. The words of Chiara sent me into a crisis. I came from a Christian family and I belonged to the Catholic Action, but I realized that my religiosity had very little to do with Christianity, because I practically was not living the Gospel.
With our group we often went to Trent and Chiara too would go to Rovereto, our town, to visit us. She spoke to us of the Gospel and she made us fall in love with Jesus. A community was immediately formed in Rovereto which included the manager of the Telephone Company, the mathematics professor, the shoemaker, the watch repairman, a father and a mother, young boys and girls, we were many and we really loved each other. Every time that we met as a community we tried to make a new committment to live the Gospel, to change our lives and to take care of the needy around us.
One day a friend introduced us to a young man who was wounded during the war: a bomb exploded in his face and he became blind. Every time he attended our meetings he would sah: “What a shower of light!”
We strived to share our discovery with everyone we met: “God loves us immensely”. And many felt the call to follow God.
The Ideal of unity spread and the community was making itself known. There were those who welcomed us and those who criticized us, saying that we were exaggerated. I remember that once Chiara spoke in a theater and there were many people present. Some accepted what she asid and others criticized her. Igino Giordani wrote in one of the newspapers of Trent an article entitled “The firemen”. He said that the firemen are those who put out the fire, and that even if they see a fire that is just a little bit lit up, in the hearts of people, they are ready to come with their hoses to extinguish it. They are like an army of people marching, or moving but not going forward. But Chiara explained, that we cannot know the plans of God on every person, we cannot judge just by appearances, but we must always love, love, love, and to be always available for the others.
I remember another occasion when Chiara said, that often we feel like we are nothing, just poor Christians. But Jesus gave his life, he died for each one of us: “It is as if someone came and brought us a very precious gift – she said – and we just put it aside to gather dust, without ever taking it into consideration, and we continue to feel like poor people”. She encouraged us, to aim at mercy and the love of God for each one of us.
And so gradually, Chiara put the love for Jesus within our hearts and we shared this to many others».
(Experience shared during the meeting of the representatives if the local communities of the Focolare in the world – Castelgandolfo, 29 may/1° june 2014)