Chiara Lubich: love is practical

A new year’s resolution that Chiara Lubich suggested in a global conference call on 22nd December 1988, was to gather up all the extra things that have piled up in our homes and give them to those in need.

20180113-bIf we want to keep love burning, the love that the Holy Spirit has poured into our hearts, it has to be expressed in practical action. In the next two weeks, we should examine ourselves precisely on this aspect of love, on its concreteness, and work at making it authentic. How?

We know how easy it is, living in the world, to gradually accumulate objects that are more or less useful, or are superfluous to our needs, and keep them in our houses. It could be an extra pen, a book, some clothing, a tool, a picture, or a carpet. It could be linen or furniture, big things or little things, a sum of money perhaps. […]

Why not collect all these goods and make them available to people in our community who don’t have these things, or to the poor, or to help the “daily Jesus forsaken” as we call the disasters whereby people suddenly find themselves in pain or anguish, in the cold or in danger?

When we get up in the morning, we always wash our face. Don’t you think it might be necessary, at the start of every year, to check out what is surplus to our needs and give it away as an obligation of charity?

Every now and then, in the Focolare, we do what we call “making the bundle”, which means putting together all the things that are extra to our needs and distributing them. Couldn’t all of us do this? […] By collecting our surplus and giving it away, our charity towards our neighbour will be real; that way, we shall preserve the living presence in us of the Risen Lord.

My experience has been that to put this into practice one needs a little time. You have to think carefully about each object. Of course, we can only consider the things we can call our own, and define this one as superfluous and that one as not. Moreover, be generous, realizing that it is better to do without something useful than to have more than you need.

[…] In addition, let’s flee from any attachments and from the greater or lesser influence of consumerism that, perhaps involuntarily, have become part of our lives. We will feel freer and lighter, better suited to making this year a very fruitful one.




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