“We have just crossed an important milestone, the 60th anniversary of our Movement. A milestone overflowing with the most precious gifts: during the first meeting of focolarine, on the 6th of December, the eve, warm and heartfelt words of encouragement on the part of His Excellency Stanislaw Rylko, who represents the Church for us, with luminous words on our charism. Also, he read to us a long paternal and affectionate message from the Holy Father. And then, on the 7th of December, the surprise of all surprises: an unexpected and most welcome telephone call in my focolare from the Pope himself, with grateful best wishes for our sixtieth year of life at the service of the Church and of humanity.
What does all this tell us?
I believe we need time to understand […], time to meditate above all on the words of the Holy Father’s message, in order to live them. For example, the new modern definition he gives to our vocation: “Apostles of dialogue”. We immediately sense its many implications. […]
Today we find ourselves before a new Work of God which did not exist sixty years ago, a Movement which has been blessed over and over again by representatives of God here on earth (especially from the recent Popes), who have seen it come to life, grow and develop all over the world.
We focolarini are well aware of the fact that the primary and principal
author of this ecclesial reality has been and is the Holy Spirit. We think of ourselves as his collaborators, albeit unworthy and imperfect, and paraphrasing the Song of Songs, we dare to repeat with joy and gratitude: “Our vineyard, really our vineyard, is before us. We can contemplate its branches spread over the earth and the fruit which continues to nourish a new people” (see Song 8:12).
Looking back today, we can understand what that 7th of December 1943, the year of the Movement’s birth decades ago, can tell us.
It tells us that a charism of the Holy Spirit, a new light came down on
earth during those days, a light which, in the mind of God, was destined to quench the burning thirst of this world with the water of Wisdom, to warm it with divine love and thus give life to a new people nourished by the Gospel.
This first and foremost. And because God acts concretely, he immediately provided the first brick for the building, for this Movement, which would serve his purpose.
He decided to call me, a girl like many others, and so my consecration to him, my “yes” to God, soon followed by the “yes” of many other young women and men.
That day speaks of light, then, and of our donation to God as instruments in his hands for the achievement of his goals.
Light and giving oneself to God, two realities which were extremely useful at that time when there was general confusion, reciprocal hatred, war. It was a time of darkness, when God seemed to be absent from the world with his love, his peace, his joy, his guidance, and it seemed that no one was interested in him.
Light and giving oneself to God, two words which heaven wants to repeat to us today too when many wars continue to rage on our planet and, even more frightening, terrorism has appeared.
Light means the Word, the Gospel, still too little known and, above all,
too little lived.
People who give themselves to God are more than ever necessary and opportune today considering that men and women who join the causes which trigger terrorism are ready to give their lives. What about us Christians,followers of a God who was crucified and forsaken in order to bring about a new world, for our salvation and for that Life which will never end?”
Chiara Lubich (Castel Gandolfo, December 11, 2003, published in: Chiara Lubich, In unità verso il Padre, Roma 2004, p. 130-132).