Today, the 22nd January, the Focolare Movement recalls Chiara Lubich’s birth on this day in 1920. As usual, the date falls within the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the Focolare founder’s passion for unity. Below is the text of an “ecumenical prayer” for unity read by Chiara Lubich in Augsburg, Germany in 1998.
If we Christians take a fresh look at our 2,000 year history, and in particular at the history of the second millennium, we cannot help but be saddened to see that there has often been a series of conflicts, of quarrels and of mutual incomprehension. Certainly it was because of circumstances: historical, cultural, political, geographical, social circumstances. But it was also because among Christians there was a lack of what should be one of their specific unifying features: love.
(…) But, if God loves us, we cannot remain inactive before such divine goodness. As true children we must return his love also as Churches. With the passing of time each Church has, to a degree, become set in its ways, because of waves of indifference, lack of understanding and even of mutual hatred. What is needed in each Church is a supplement of love. So we need love for the other Churches, and mutual love between Churches. The love that leads each Church to be a gift for the others, so that we can foresee in the Church of the future that there will be just one truth, but that it will be expressed in different ways, seen from different angles, made more beautiful by the variety of interpretations. Mutual love, however, is truly evangelical, and therefore valid, only if it is practiced in the measure wanted by Jesus: He said: “Love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13)
(…) I know, also from experience, that if we all live in this way, there will be exceptional fruits. There will be one effect above all. By living together these different aspects of our Christianity, we will realize that we form, so to speak, one Christian people that can be a leaven to help bring full communion among the Churches. It will be the living out of another dialogue, in addition to the dialogues of charity, of prayer and the theological one. It will be the dialogue of life, the dialogue of the people of God. It is a dialogue that is more than ever urgent and necessary given that, as history shows, little can be achieved in the ecumenical field without the involvement of the people. It is a dialogue which will enable us to discover more clearly, and more effectively, the rich heritage already shared by Christians, including Baptism, Sacred Scripture, the first Councils, the Fathers of the Church. We are eager to see this people and already, here and there, we can see glimpses of it, and we are confident that it will be seen here too. (Chiara Lubich, Augsburg-Germnay, 29 November 1998)
Fonte: Centro Chiara Lubich