Chiara Lubich: “The Future lies in the Family”

In connection with the events at the little town of Loppiano from 10th-12th March, on the 9th anniversary of Chiara Lubich’s death and the 50th anniversary of the New Families Movement, we publish some extracts from a talk given in Lucerne (Switzerland) in 1999.

20170304-a(…) Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name,” (which means in my love), “there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:30). Becoming the dwelling place of God’s presence is a splendid possibility offered also to families.

A family that lives in this way is actively involved in all that happens around it. Simply by being what it is, it can witness, proclaim and therefore heal the social fabric around it, because life in itself speaks and works. I have seen from experience that this kind of family is able to open home and heart to the urgent needs and issues in society and to various forms of loneliness and alienation. They can even practice and organize solidarity in ever-widening circles, to the point of promoting effective actions to influence institutions, block wrongful laws and measures, and guide politicians.

Through the presence and activity of its members in the various sectors of society, the family is also able to enter into dialogue with institutions, channelling resources towards real needs, creating awareness and the necessary conditions for improved policies in favour of the family and fostering public opinion based on values.

I believe that nothing could be more beautiful than families like this. Because, let’s ask ourselves, what do people really want? They want happiness. Where do they seek happiness? In love, in beauty, and they are willing to do anything to obtain it. In these families, there is the fullness of human love and the beauty of supernatural love.

I have seen families like this, and they are truly wonderful. Everyone finds them fascinating. From the outside, they look like any other family, but they have a secret, a secret of love. “Suffering that is loved” unites them to Christ who dwells in their homes. He is attracted by the mutual love that unites them, and through these families, he is transforming the world.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you, which come from the depths of my heart and from the experience of many families. I would like to encourage all of us to greater practical engagement in doing everything possible for the true good of the family. In fact, the health of the first cell of society is of the utmost importance for the future of all humanity.

The great Catholic writer Igino Giordani wrote: “To save the family means to save society. The state is made up mostly of families. If families break down, society weakens.” He also said, “Married couples become God’s collaborators in giving life and love to humanity… Love extends outwards from the family to professional life, to the city, the nation and humanity. It is like a wave opening in ever-widening circles, onwards to infinity. For two thousand years there has been a restless longing, set in motion by the Gospel, it calls for love.”

Chiara Lubich

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