Focolare Movement

Living prayer

Entering into prayer helps us connect deeply with the presence of God in our lives. Chiara Lubich, Rev. Pasquale Foresti and Igino Giordani outline a spirituality for everyone, in daily life in towns and cities all over the world.   I realized, that modern times require a rather special kind of prayer. … In the past, people thought that the world and the universe were fixed, immovable. People had to find God through the stars, through flowers, through contemplation, peace, they found union with God through moments of recollection and prayer in the church, in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  Instead, nowadays, people see that the world is in evolution – it’s constantly changing. Everything is changing and human beings also find themselves in this constant movement, they too are in race towards perfection. So, people can no longer stand still and contemplate, they have to … participate with God in this evolution, in this continuing creation.  So, everything you do in your job – at school, in the office, in the factory – is all part of building up the world together with God the Creator, of making the world develop. However, we have to take it ahead with the idea that we are participating in the creative work of God. Seen this way, our work is sacred. We are like the arms of God the Creator who keeps building up the world.

(Chiara Lubich, Castel Gandolfo, 25 February 1989 in “Il Respiro di Dio” [The Breath of God] edited by Fabio Ciardi, Città Nuova, 2022, p.122-123).

  A very important form of prayer can be experienced in work. I am thinking especially of people working in manufacturing, of all those people who during the day are overwhelmed by a workload that almost takes away their very ability to think and so, in a certain sense, also makes it almost impossible for them to pray.  If each morning, with a simple intention, we offer our daily life to God, then we will live deeply in relationship with God throughout the day.  And I think that when in the evening, these people who have worked so hard, are able to recollect themselves with God, even if only for a few moments despite their tiredness, they will find unity with him: they will find it because they have worked all day in relationship with him. And this is truly the most important thing: to be in a right relationship with him. And this, after all, is what humanity wants to hear today, that the whole universe and all that happens in it, can be understood in religious terms and can be transformed into one great prayer that rises up to God from the world.

Rev. Pasquale Foresi (in “Dio ci chiama. Conversazioni sulla vita cristiana” [God calls. Talks on Christian life] Città Nuova, 2003, p.116).

  This morning I felt as if I had come closer to God. I don’t think I had ever felt him so close to me. My joy was, and is, great. I feel that I have found access to Him, freely; and my intention is never to stray away from him again. By the grace of God, I have overcome the obstacles that kept me clinging to the earth. Now I am on earth, and I dwell in heaven (my ambition is huge, but His mercy is even greater.  I love God so much). I am no longer hindered by the impulses of vanity, of preferences in friendships. I go directly to God, discarding these wretched things. People may betray me, slander me, even kill me: but I have God; and I love these people, without being dependent on them.   I belong to God. I do not need anything else.

Igino Giordani (in “Diario di Fuoco” [Diary of Fire], Città Nuova, 1992, p.196).

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