One of the things that the pandemic has drawn to our attention is the importance of the bonds that form the social fabric in which each of us is located, the quality of the relationships that unite us with one another. They are an antidote to loneliness, poverty and discouragement. The following writing by Chiara Lubich is an invitation to strengthen these bonds.
There is a page of the gospel which resonates with us in a special way. Jesus says, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love. … This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”. (Jn 15:10 and 12).
Therefore, everything depends on mutual love.
… Just as you have to poke the fire in a fireplace occasionally so that it doesn’t get smothered in ashes, so too, in the great brazier of our Movement, it is necessary from time to time to deliberately revive mutual love among us, to revive our relationships, lest they become smothered with the ashes of indifference, apathy and selfishness.
In this way we will truly love God and be the living Ideal. We will be able to hope that charity lived like this will generate solid virtues in us which, almost without noticing it and with God’s grace, will reach the point of heroism. In that way we will become saints.
Taken from a telephone conference call, Rocca di Papa, Rome, 26th May 1988