Chiara Lubich’s ideal was to “bring the love of God everywhere, according to Jesus’ commandment to love one another.” Still today, this ideal continues to attract hundreds of people the world over. And on this seventh anniversary of the death of the founder of the Focolare Movement, and just a few days after the opening of the Cause for her Beatification and Canonisation, Palmira Frizzera, who in 1945 had decided to follow her, struck by the ideal of “universal brotherhood,” now gives us her testimonial:
“The concept of universal brotherhood is exactly what I found when I entered in the first focolare, almost 70 years ago: we were like sisters with Chiara, but we had a “Master,” a guide, and this was Jesus in our midst, Jesus who is present where two or three are united in His name.”
What was the goal that made you go ahead for so many years?
“In reality, we went on without thinking of anything… we had chosen God as the ideal of our lives, and we wanted to love Him, conscious that we could also die at any moment under the bombings. So we tried to make Jesus’ testament a reality, that mutual love that brought unity among us. What I felt when I met Chiara, and this was generally the same for all of her first companions – was that she had a light, a novelty – it was not called “charism” at that time – which generated a totally new life in all of us!”
So it was this evangelical love you lived, that became concrete, and which you conveyed to others that later generated the entire Movement?
“But Chiara never thought of founding anything! We now say that Chiara is the Founder of the Focolare Movement which has spread all over the world. But I never saw her as one who was founding something, but as a person who was giving life to something new. Chiara used to say: “But we do not want to found anything. We want to bring God to people, with love, and bring it everywhere.” It was precisely the message that Jesus had left us: “I give you a new commandment – love one another as I have loved you.” And this leads to universal brotherhood.
In January this year, Chiara was declared a Servant of God and the Cause for her Beatification and Canonisation has started. How do you feel about this?
“I feel that Chiara belongs not only to the Catholic Church; she also belongs to other christian denominations and other religions, and due to the path of dialogue that she embarked on right from the start, also to people who have no religious faith. In this regard, I am not keen on restricting her only to the Catholic Church. I regard this Beatification as an immense gift of God for the the Church and all of us.”
Are the new generations you meet and educate, even after such a long time, even those who have not met Chiara personally, attracted by her and her spirituality?
“Chiara has left us but her light, her charism has remained. And this what the youth seek; it is not people they feel attracted to. »
This 7th anniversary takes on the theme of politics, and of how the spirituality of Chiara can be lived in politics. In this field, what novelty can it bring?
“It can teach us the art of loving, understanding, listening. This is trait d’union with everyone, and if this is not lived, the only alternative is violence and war.”
Source: Vatican Radio