Chiara Lubich, 1973. Today the Movement is thirty years old

(Video in Italian)

“I was asked to recall today, December 7, 1973, the day of Dec. 7, 1943, which we always consider as the official date of the beginning of the Movement. It is the date of my consecration to God. The young people here or those newer to the Movement will, I think, appreciate if I describe that simple day. I shall try to do it not looking at myself but at the fact that it is the work of God.

Imagine a young girl in love, in love with a love which is the first love, the purest one, a love which is still undeclared, but which begins to enflame her heart. But there’s one difference. Here on earth, a young girl, who is in love in this way, has the image of her beloved in front of her; instead this girl doesn’t see him, doesn’t hear him, doesn’t touch him or sense his fragrance with the senses of the body, but rather with the senses of her soul, through which Love entered in and invaded all herbeing. Because of this she feels a joy which is so special, difficult to experience again in a lifetime, ajoy which is secret, serene, jubilant.

A few days before December 7, I was told to make a vigil the night before, beside a crucifix, in order to prepare myself the best way I could for my marriage with God, a marriage which was to take place in the most secret manner (the only ones to know of it were God, myself, and the priest).

That evening I tried to make this vigil, kneeling beside my bed before a metal crucifix which my mother has now. I think I prayed for about two hours. But being young and not too convinced of certain practices which I later understood were not according to my vocation, I fell asleep, noticing later on that the crucifix was all covered with drops of moisture from my breath due to my praying.

This fact seemed like a symbol to me: the crucifix which I was to follow would not be so much the crucifix of physical suffering, which many spiritualities have emphasized, but rather that of spiritual suffering (at that time I did not know Jesus Forsaken yet), the spiritual suffering which Jesus experienced”. (more)


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