Chiara Lubich: The family, mystery of love

 
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Focolare Movement’s section dedicated to the family. It is an ideal opportunity to take the time to appreciate the enduring value of this basic cell of society.

famiglie 1[…] When God created humankind, he formed a family. When the Word of God came on earth, he chose to be born in a family. Jesus began his public life during the celebration of a new family.

God had the family so much at heart; he considered it to be of such importance that he impressed on it his own image. In fact, the family reflects God’s very own life, the life of the Holy Trinity. […] So what was God’s plan for the family?

God who is love, thought of the family as an intertwining of relationships of love: nuptial love between the couple, maternal and paternal love towards the children, filial love toward the parents, the love of grandparents for their grandchildren, of the grandchildren for their grandparents, for their uncles and aunts and vice versa. The family is therefore a treasure chest, a jewel, a mystery of love.

This is how God thought of and created the family. Moreover, his Son, in redeeming the world, turned this natural love, which permeates the members of a family, into something sublime through the divine love he brought on earth, through the fire he wants to set alight everywhere. Through him, the family has become not only the primary cell of humanity created by God, but also the basic cell of the Church founded by his Son.

Because of the supernatural love that the members of the family have for one another ‑ through baptism and the other sacraments, particularly the sacrament of matrimony ‑ they are called individually and collectively to the sublime heights of making the family a small church, an “ecclesiola”. […]

Jesus wants the husband to see and love in his wife, not only the person with whom he shares his life, but to see and love Christ himself in her. In fact, Jesus considers done to him the way the husband treats his wife and vice versa. Furthermore, Jesus in the husband or wife must be loved in the measure that Jesus requires, as he expressed with the words, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). They must love one another to the point of being ready to give their lives for one another.

If parents keep this in mind throughout the day, whether they are praying, working or sharing a meal, whether they are resting or studying, laughing or playing with their children… every moment will be an opportunity for bearing witness to God.

Morer: The Family and Prayer

From Chiara Lubich’s talk to the international congress “Family and Society: The Family Centred on God is Open to all Humanity”, Castel Gandolfo, 8 April 1989.

 

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