November 2013


   Audio of the Word of Life


This agenda for life is concrete and the core of what matters. It would be enough on its own to create a different kind of society, one where people are more like brothers and sisters, more supportive. It was part of a broader project put before Christians in Asia Minor.

In these communities ‘peace’ had been reached between Jews and Gentiles, the two peoples representative of a humanity till then divided.

The unity given by Christ has to be constantly renewed and translated into practical social action wholly inspired by mutual love. This is the basis for suggesting how our relationships should be:

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Kindness: wanting the good of others. It means ‘making ourselves one’ with them, approaching them being completely empty of ourselves, of our own interests, our own ideas, of the many preconceptions that cloud our vision, to take on ourselves their burdens, their needs, their sufferings, and to share in their joys.

It means entering into the hearts of the people we meet in order to understand their mindset, their culture, their traditions, so as to make them, in a certain sense, our own, and really understand what they need and be able to discern those values God has planted in the heart of every person. In a word: kindness means to live for whoever is near us.

Tender-heartedness: welcoming others as they are, not as we would like them to be, with a different character, with our political views or our religious convictions, and without those faults and habits that annoy us so much. No, we need to expand our hearts and make them able to welcome everyone, with their differences, their shortcomings and troubles.

Forgiveness: always seeing the other person as new. Even where we find our most beautiful and most peaceful relationships, in the family, at school, at work, there are inevitably moments of friction, differences of opinion, clashes. People reach the point of not speaking to each other, of avoiding one another, to say nothing of when real and true hatred towards someone who thinks differently roots itself in the heart. We have to make a strong, rigorous and thorough commitment to try and see each brother or sister as though they were new, completely new, not remembering at all how they have hurt us, but covering everything with love, with a complete amnesty in our hearts, imitating God who forgives and forgets.

True peace and unity are attained when kindness, tender-heartedness and forgiveness are lived not only by people individually, but together, with one another mutually.

And just as the embers of a fire have to be stirred every now and then, so that they are not smothered by the ashes, so too from time to time it is necessary deliberately to revive the decision to love one another, to revive our relationships with everyone, so that they are not covered up by the ashes of indifference, apathy, selfishness.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

These attitudes demand to be translated into deeds, into practical action.

Jesus himself showed us what love is when he healed the sick, when he fed the crowds, when he brought the dead back to life, when he washed the feet of his disciples. Actions, deeds: this is what it means to love.

I remember the mother an African family whose daughter, Rosangela, lost an eye after an aggressive young boy poked her with a stick. He even continued making fun of her afterwards. Neither of the boy’s parents said that they were sorry. The silence, the lack of relationship with that family, made Rosangela’s mother feel bitter. ‘Don’t be upset,’ said Rosangela who had forgiven the boy, ‘I am lucky because I can see with my other eye!’

‘One morning,’ Rosangela’s mother said, ‘the boy’s mother sent someone to get me to go round to her house because she felt ill. My first reaction was: “Look, now she comes to me for help. With so many other neighbours she could have asked, she asks me, after all her boy has done to us!”

‘But suddenly I remembered that love has no limits. I hurried over to her house. She opened the door and fainted into my arms. I took her to the hospital and stayed with her until the doctors saw her. A week later she was discharged from the hospital and came to my house to thank me. I welcomed her with all my heart. I had managed to forgive her. Now we are in touch again. In fact, our relationship is totally new.’

Every one of our days, too, can be filled with real acts of service, humble and intelligent expressions of our love. We will then see fraternity and peace grow around us.

 

Chiara Lubich 

(First Published August 2006)

17 Comments

  • Este mes no a sido fácil aplicar esta palabra. Más cuando quien hiere tu corazón es alguien muy cercano. Solo el Amor me ayudo a psar el umbral y creer en la fuerza de Dios depositandome en él y perdonar.

  • È vero che quando benevolenza,misericordia e perdono vengono vissuti si raggiunge una vera pace ma a volte è difficile perché non si riesce a dimenticare!Dobbiamo impegnarci di più! Amare di più!

  • CIAO!Sono una gen3 e vorrei stampare la parola di vita Gen3 Junior ma il computer mi dice che attualmente non è disponibile. Aspetto ma intanto cerco di viverla già da subito.
    Approfitto di quest’occasione per dire che trovo molto carino il libretto TEENS! Crazie! Credo che in questo giornalino i miei compagni possano trovare delle risposte e dei ragazzi in gamba da poter imitare!!!
    Grazie ancora e buona giornata.
    Elisa Bianchi

  • I’ve just started with focolare.org at the suggestion of a friend. I feel a bit excited about the future of my journey with focolare.

    Forgiveness; I never really knew the meaning of forgiveness until our son, Joe was killed in Iraq seven years ago leaving a wife and three little children. I started with confusion, then to hate and eventually forgave whoever blew up our son. My hate wore heavily on my life and spirit until one day I said to myself I forgive whoever was involved.

  • Mi colpisce il fatto che Gesù è la Vita e la Vita è gioia, è amore, è relazione, è vivere come in cielo, così in terra. Questo chiedo a Dio, di essere capace di amare così per portare l’amore nel mondo.

  • Sembra scritta per me, oggi come ieri. Semplice, diretta, propone un vero progetto sociale, relazioni “sconvolgenti” che sono l’anima di una convivenza pacificata, solidale e fraterna.

  • It’s amazing how Roseangela who lost the eye was able to forgive easily her enemy and witness to her mom forgiveness which helped her do an act of love for her enemy. Love and forgiveness contaminates and heals.
    Marga(Texas)

  • It’s a gospel truth that it hurts to forgive but experience has shown me that it hurts more when we refuse to forgive the others. We die a bit anytime we see someone we have not forgiven.
    So, forgiving could pain at the spot but it cures a lot of our internal wounds.
    Alison (Nigeria)

  • salut à tous et toute, cette parole de vie me donne l’idée de quelque chose; en ce qui concerne le pardon, nous devons pardonné nos ennemies et prié beaucoup pour eux car ils sont l’instruments de Diable et ayez du bon coeur avec tout le monde et surtout nous le congolais et congolaise de la Rdc n’est pas le règlement de compte pour nos voisins le rwanda et l’ouganda aimons l’eux comme le Christ nous à aimer. Bonne méditation à tous et toute

  • Gostei muito ha muito tempo não lia a palavra de vida, Participava do movimento focolares mais ultimamente não participo de nada. gostaria de receber mensalmente.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *