Chiara Lubich wrote “Jesus was the manifestation of the Heavenly Father’s fully welcoming love for each one of us and of the love that, consequently, we should have for one another. (…) The welcoming of the other, of the one different from us, is the basis of Christian love. It is the starting point, the first step in the construction of that civilization of love, of that culture of communion, to which Jesus calls us especially today” .
I was working on a research project for which there was a deadline, when my neighbor knocked: she asked me to keep her sick husband company while she went shopping. I knew their situation and I couldn’t say no to her. He started talking to me about his past, about his years of teaching… While I was listening, from time to time I was distracted thinking of the work I had interrupted. Then I remembered the advice of a friend: being able to listen to a neighbour out of love is an art that demands emptiness. I tried to do this by being entirely present to the man. At a certain point he, in turn, took an interest in me in turn, asking me about my work. Knowing what I was dealing with, he suggested that I look in the library for a notebook in wihch he had taken notes at a conference on the very subject I was dealing with. I found it and we started discussing the subject. In short, I acquired new elements to see more clearly how to conclude my research. And to think that I was afraid of wasting time!
(Z. I. – France)
Prepare to live…
When the doctor announced to me that there was nothing more to be done, it was as if every source of light switched off and I was left in the dark. On the way home, I took the road to the church. There I paused in silence, while my thoughts swirled in my head. Then, like a voice, a thought formed in my mind: “You must not prepare for death, but for life!”. From that moment on I tried to do everything well, to be kind to everyone, without being distracted by my pain but ready to welcome others. My days became filled with life. I don’t know how much time I have left, but the announcement of death was like waking from a sleep. And I’m living with unexpected serenity.
(J.P. – Slovakia)
I’m a nurse. I happened to know of a patient who was seriously ill. In order to try to save her, we needed blood of a certain group that had been unavailable for several days. I tried to find a donor among my friends and acquaintances and then I continued my research at work. There was nothing to do. I was about to give up when I decided to ask Jesus: “You know I’ve tried to do my part, but if you want, you can do anything.” After my shift , the doctor I was assisting had just left when a young woman arrived for a consultatio. I couldn’t let her leave, who knows how far she had travelled. I rushed to call the doctor, who unlike on other occasions was willing to return to the clinic. I started to write the prescription and, asked for an identification document. The lady handed me a card from the Association of Volunteer Blood Donors. With bated breath, I asked myself: what if she has that blood type? What if she’s willing to donate blood? She agreed, and a few hours later, the woman was at the patient’s bedside for a direct transfusion.
(A. – Italy)
by Stefania Tanesini
(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Citta Nuova, year VI, n.3, May-June 2020)
 cf C . Lubich , Word of Life December 1992