What drives a group of young people aged 18 to 34 years, from the three linguistic regions of Switzerland, to spend some days in the mountains together with eight focolare men and women, a couple of married focolarini and a priest? “The scope of “Behind the Scenes of the Focolare”, a weekend held in the splendid background of the Valais Alps, was not only to enjoy nature, but also to ask oneself, immersed in an ideal environment, a series of essential questions on the life one has lived so far and the years lying ahead. And among such queries was: What path shall I take? This question is often not easy to answer, especially when there are extraordinary and often unrepeatable possibilities from which one can choose. To consciously undertake one – the organizers thought – that it would be helpful to turn down the volume of daily vicissitudes and find a place where it is easier to listen to a suggestion, often whispered to one’s heart. “This is how we got the idea of spending a weekend together, where one can express oneself freely and sincerely, and where Jesus can speak out in the intimacy of one’s heart. A mix of deep reflection and community life, consisting of walks, games, clearing, coking, prayer, to express at best the beauty and also the “normality” of following His call, also today.”
“Behind the scenes” of focolare life lies a personal call of God to achieve a community of laity, virgins and married people (each according to their status), fully immersed in the world, but imbued with the spiritual presence of Jesus among them, fruit of mutual love. It is a “presence” that wishes to bring to the world, with the objective and perspective of unity among people and societies, a more fraternal and united world that respects diversity.
Some of the youths present had never investigated this possibility. Others had already decided to form a family, while others still had not posed the issue. But all had the desire to deepen a personal rapport with God and know more about this particular way of coexistence based on the model of the family of Nazareth, born from the charism of Chiara Lubich. “You live in the midst of society, and you don’t have a convent that protects you, how do you manage?” “Great, but isn’t it too difficult?” “What does it mean to follow Jesus today?” Many questions came up spontaneously and many answers were given, starting from personal experiences and the group meditations on the articles on the evangelical spirituality of unity.
Kati and Istvan, a married couple, shared their own joys, difficulties and fundamental choices of their family. “I was deeply struck by the depth of the themes discussed even if I did not know you,” said one of the boys. “I came with a lot of questions and found many answers,” a girl said upon returning home. Peter, a priest remarked; “This was an unexpected weekend. Some of the boys expressed the desire to continue such sessions. This, to my mind, was the most important message of the two days spent together; we live for you and with you, in the uncertainty of the choice to make in life, but in the certainty of no longer being alone in this quest.”