USA http://www.focolare.org/usa OFFICIAL USA WEBSITE Mon, 08 Sep 2014 21:25:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Children’s Word of Life | September 2014http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/09/08/childrens-word-of-life-september-2014/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/09/08/childrens-word-of-life-september-2014/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 21:25:56 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86283 2014-09-wol-children-featured

«Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ welcomed you, for the Glory of God.»

(Rom 15:7)

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Teens Word of Life | September 2014http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/09/02/teens-word-of-life-september-2014/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/09/02/teens-word-of-life-september-2014/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:19:51 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86276 2014-09-wol-teens-featured« WELCOME ONE ANOTHER, THEREFORE, JUST AS CHRIST WELCOMED YOU, FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.»

(ROM 15:7)

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September 2014 – Word of Lifehttp://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/31/september-2014-word-of-life/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/31/september-2014-word-of-life/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:43:53 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86272 “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Rom 15:7)]]> “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Rom 15:7)]]> http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/31/september-2014-word-of-life/feed/ 0 Focolare Word of Life – September 2014http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/30/focolare-word-of-life-september-2014/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/30/focolare-word-of-life-september-2014/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 05:01:30 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86192 These words are among the last recommendations Saint Paul made in his letter to the Christians in Rome. This community, like many others spread throughout the Focolare Word of Life LogoGreco-Roman world, included believers who came from both Gentile and Jewish backgrounds. Their mentality, cultural formation, and sensitivity to spirituality were quite diverse. This diversity produced attitudes of judging, of prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance toward each other that could not be reconciled with the attitude of reciprocal welcome that God would have wanted them to have.

To help them overcome these difficulties, the Apostle could find no more effective means than to make them reflect on the grace of their conversion. The fact that Jesus had called them to faith, giving them the gift of his Spirit, was tangible proof of his personal love for each one of them. In spite of their past life and the diversity of their backgrounds, Jesus had brought them together to form one body.

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

These words of Saint Paul remind us of one of the most touching aspects of Jesus’ love. It is the love with which Jesus, during his life on earth, always welcomed everyone, especially those who were outcasts, who were most in need, who were farthest away. It is the love with which Jesus offered his trust, his confidence, his friendship to everyone, knocking down, one by one, the barriers of pride and selfishness that had been erected in the society of his times.

Jesus was the visible sign of that perfect welcoming love that the heavenly Father has for each one of us, and of that love which, as a result, we must have for one another. It is the first will of God for us to live out. For this reason we could render no greater glory to God than to try to welcome each other in the same way that Jesus welcomed us.

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

How should we live this word of life? It draws our attention to one of the aspects of human selfishness that is most common and most difficult to uproot, that is, the tendency to isolate ourselves, to discriminate against and exclude others who are different and who could annoy us.

Let us try to put this word of life into practice first of all within our families, associations, communities and groups of coworkers by getting rid of our tendency to judge others, our discrimination, prejudice, resentment or intolerance toward this or that neighbor. These attitudes are common and easy to fall into, but they have a compromising and chilling effect on human relationships. They block our mutual love, just like rust corrodes.

Then, let us put these words into practice by bearing witness to the welcoming love of Jesus with every neighbor that the Lord puts next to us — particularly with those whom our collective social selfishness tends to exclude and to cast aside.

The act of welcoming others who are different from ourselves lies at the very basis of Christian love. It is the starting point, the first brick in building a civilization of love and fostering that culture of sharing that Jesus is calling us to especially today.

Chiara Lubich
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Each month a Scripture passage is offered as a guide and inspiration for daily living. This commentary, translated into 96 different languages and dialects, reaches several million people worldwide through print, radio, television and the Internet. Ever since the Focolare’s beginnings, founder Chiara Lubich (1920–2008) wrote her commentaries each month. This one was originally published in December 1992.

This monthly leaflet is a supplement to Living City, the Focolare magazine (livingcitymagazine.com). People’s life experiences as they put the monthly phrases into practice can be read in Living City or in books published by New City Press (newcitypress.com).

For information and to subscribe to this leaflet or to the magazine, write to: Living City, 202 Comforter Blvd, Hyde Park, New York 12538; tel: 845-229-0496; e-mail: livingcity@livingcitymagazine.com. Visit focolare.org (international); focolare.us (U.S.).

© 2014 by Living City of the Focolare Movement, Inc.

Read more on this topic:

  1. Lubich, Chiara. “Love everyone,” The Art of Loving, New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, 2005, pg. 29.
  2. Ess, Fr. Tom, OFM, et.al. “Love of neighbor,” Called to be community: a guide to living a spirituality of communion, Living City Magazine, Hyde Park, New York, 2014, p. 29.
  3. Lubich, Chiara. “What Future for a Multiethnic, Multicultural, Multifaith Society?” Essential Writings, New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, 2007, p. 337.

Next month:

October 2014

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (Jn 6:35).

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Chicago Post Mariapolis Gatheringhttp://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/27/chicago-post-mariapolis-gathering-3/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/27/chicago-post-mariapolis-gathering-3/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:06:26 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86261 Post Mariapolis]]> Post Mariapolis]]> http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/27/chicago-post-mariapolis-gathering-3/feed/ 0 An appeal for peace – through dialoguehttp://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/12/an-appeal-for-peace-through-dialogue/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/12/an-appeal-for-peace-through-dialogue/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 03:18:14 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86256 Dialogue_to_unlockThe youth of the Focolare Movement are mobilizing their contacts around the world to work for peace through the launch of an appeal  which affirms the need to practice dialogue as a way to find a solution for conflicts, and it encourages each person to start practicing this on a personal level while proclaiming the message to governments and policy makers.

The initiative, which starts on August 15, aims at involving people from all over the world who would like to adhere to this idea, wherever they are, through a page on Facebook where they can sign their membership by posting messages, clips and photos wearing something white.

This initiative fits in the various peace campaigns that are being held in individual countries during this time. “Dialogue to unlock” will continue during the coming months while it collaborates with other peace initiatives.

UWP group“We appeal to governments on all sides of the conflict to end the use of violent means,” the young people write. They intend to take action locally by inviting everyone to be “promoters of dialogue in everyday life”.

A current account has been opened for contributions towards the many emergency situations caused by the current conflicts. Its details are the following:
C/bank account no. 120434, payable to:
Associazione “Azione per un Mondo Unito – Onlus”
Via Frascati, 342 – 00040 Rocca di Papa (Rome, Italy)
Banca Popolare Etica – Filiale di Roma
IBAN: IT16 G050 1803 2000 0000 0120 434 – SWIFT/BIC CCRTIT2184D
Description: Emergency Middle East

Tax deduction is possible for European donors.

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Children’s Word of Life | August 2014http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/05/childrens-word-of-life-august-2014/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/05/childrens-word-of-life-august-2014/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:27:20 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86230 2014-08-wol-children-featured

«Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.»

(Sir 28:2)

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Focolare Word of Life – August 2014http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/01/focolare-word-of-life-august-2014/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/08/01/focolare-word-of-life-august-2014/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:01:52 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86187 This Word of Life is taken from one of the books of the Hebrew Testament written between 180 and 170 B.C. by Ben Sira (Sirach in Greek), a sage, scribe and teacher in Jerusalem.Focolare Word of Life Logo

He taught a subject that was dear to the whole tradition of biblical wisdom: God is merciful toward sinners and we should imitate his way of acting. The Lord forgives all our faults because “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love” (Ps 103:8). He overlooks our sins (see Wis 11:23), he forgets them, casting them behind his back (see Is 38:17).
In fact, Ben Sira goes on to say that, aware of how small and weak we are, he “increases his forgiveness.” God forgives because, like a good father or mother, he loves his children, and so he always and untiringly excuses them, covers their mistakes, instills confidence and encourages them.

Because God is mother and father, he is not satisfied with just loving and forgiving his sons and daughters. He ardently desires that they treat one another as brothers and sisters, that they get along with one another, that they love one another. This is God’s great plan for humanity: universal brotherhood. Such a brotherhood is stronger than the inevitable divisions, tensions, and hard feelings that so easily creep into relationships due to misunderstandings and mistakes.

Families often break up because people don’t know how to forgive. Past hatreds are handed down only to perpetuate divisions between relatives, social groups, peoples. Some people even teach others not to forget the wrongs suffered, to cultivate sentiments of revenge … Such deep resentment can only poison the soul and corrupt the heart.

Someone might think that forgiveness is a sign of weakness. No, it’s an expression of great courage; it’s authentic love, the most genuine, because it’s the most selfless.

“If you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” says Jesus (Mt. 5:46). Everyone knows how to do that. Jesus asks for more: “Love your enemies” (Mt 5:44).

We are asked to learn from him and to have the love of a father, of a mother, a merciful love toward all those who come our way, especially those who do something wrong.

Moreover, for those who are called to live a spirituality of communion, that is, the Christian spirituality, the New Testament asks for something more: “Bear with one another … forgive” (Col 3:13). We could almost say that mutual love requires that we make a pact with one another: to be ready to forgive one another always. This is the only way we can contribute to universal brotherhood.

“Forgive your neighbor the wrong done to you, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.”

These words not only invite us to forgive, but they remind us that forgiving others is the necessary condition for receiving forgiveness. God listens to us and forgives us in the measure in which we forgive others. Jesus himself warns us: “The measure you give will be the measure you get” (Mt 7:2). “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Mt 5:7). Actually, a heart hardened by hatred is not even capable of recognizing and accepting the merciful love of God.

How can we live these words of life? First of all, by immediately forgiving anyone with whom we have not yet been reconciled. But this is not enough. We need to search the innermost recesses of our heart and eliminate even a feeling of indifference, a lack of kindness, an attitude of superiority, of neglect toward anyone we meet.

Furthermore, we need to take some precautionary measures. So every morning I look at the people around me, at home, at school, at work, in the store, ready to overlook anything that I don’t like about their way of doing things, not judging them, but trusting them, always hoping, always believing. I approach every person with this total amnesty in my heart, with this universal pardon. I do not remember their faults at all, I cover everything with love.

And throughout the day I try to make up for having been unkind, for a fit of impatience, by apologizing or by some gesture of friendship. I replace an instinctive rejection toward someone with an attitude of total openness, of boundless mercy, of complete forgiveness, of sharing, of being attentive to his or her needs.

Then when I pray to the Father, especially when I ask him to forgive my mistakes, I am confident that my prayer will be granted. I’ll be able to say with total trust: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us (see Mt 6:12).

Chiara Lubich
_______________________________________________

Each month a Scripture passage is offered as a guide and inspiration for daily living. This commentary, translated into 96 different languages and dialects, reaches several million people worldwide through print, radio, television and the Internet. Ever since the Focolare’s beginnings, founder Chiara Lubich (1920–2008) wrote her commentaries each month. This one was originally published in September 2002.

This monthly leaflet is a supplement to Living City, the Focolare magazine (livingcitymagazine.com). People’s life experiences as they put the monthly phrases into practice can be read in Living City or in books published by New City Press (newcitypress.com).

For information and to subscribe to this leaflet or to the magazine, write to: Living City, 202 Comforter Blvd, Hyde Park, New York 12538; tel: 845-229-0496; e-mail: livingcity@livingcitymagazine.com. Visit focolare.org (international); focolare.us (U.S.).

© 2014 by Living City of the Focolare Movement, Inc.

Read more on this topic:

1. Lubich, Chiara. “Even your enemies,” The Art of Loving, New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, 2010, p.41.

2. Back, Joan P. “Spirituality of Reconciliation,” New Humanity Review (14) 2009.

3. Lubich, Chiara. “Love generates communion,” Essential Writings, New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, 2007, p 100

4. Lubich, Chiara. “Love your enemies,” The Art of Loving, CITE

5. New Humanity review on forgiveness…

6. Something about the pact of mercy in “Called to be community”…

Next month:

September 2014

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Rom 15:7)

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A cry from Gaza: “Pray for us”http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/07/31/a-cry-from-gaza-pray-for-us/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/07/31/a-cry-from-gaza-pray-for-us/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:22:17 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86217 Jerusalem, July 30, 2014. “The situation in Gaza is dramatically deteriorating. Following the total destruction of the electrical plant, which was only partially operating, the people are now completely without electricity.
Gaza1
Yesterday, G., a Christian woman, informed us that water has also become scarce. Two hours ago she telephoned saying that shortly there would be no telephone line, but she wanted to inform us that everyone was still alive. Three families are staying with her, because their homes have been completely or partially destroyed. They say that the love among them strongly unites them, and they wish to stay together even if it means dying together.

The home of H., which was already seriously damaged a week earlier, was completely blown up last night by four missiles. In their last telephone call they begged: “Pray for us not a little, but a lot!”
Gaza2
The apartment of  N., was bombed five days ago. They are now living on the stairs, which is the most protected place they can find. They tried but were unable to restore the generator so that they could have a few hours of electricity. Nadia says it’s like living in an ongoing earthquake, and she is suffering very much. But when she telephoned she was very grateful because, at 15:00 a four-hour ceasefire was declared.

Within Gaza there are some 50 people who live the spirituality of unity. They count on the prayers of the worldwide Focolare family.

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem we have visited the fifteen wounded who were taken from Gaza and placed in a hospital in the city. Among them was a small child of four years, who lost her family. There was also five-year-old Yazan, thirteen-year-old Abdul Karim and twenty-year-old Musleh. One of them lost a kidney, another lost an arm and a leg. . . We wanted to kneel down in front of each one of them and ask for forgiveness.

We continue praying that the hatred, mistrust and fear may melt and that peace return.”

Corres Kwak and Claudio Maina – Focolare Movement in the Holy Land

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Teens Word of Life | August 2014http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/07/25/teens-word-of-life-august-2014/ http://www.focolare.org/usa/en/news/2014/07/25/teens-word-of-life-august-2014/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:43:30 +0000 http://www.focolare.org/usa/?p=86208 G3WL Aug 2014 teens« FORGIVE YOUR NEIGHBOR THE WRONG DONE TO YOU, THEN YOUR SINS WILL BE PARDONED WHEN YOU PRAY.»

(SIR 28:2)

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