The presence of Jesus, the Risen Lord, in the midst of two or more people gathered in his name, is one of the cornerstones of Focolare spirituality. The movement, in fact, feels called to “generate” this presence in all areas of human life. But what can you do when you find yourself alone? Chiara Lubich suggests spiritual training.
In today’s world we often come across people who are honest and good but who don’t feel the need for a religious belief. Some of them would even like to have faith but being immersed in a world that should be Christian and often isn’t, they don’t find the strength to go further. They wait and categorize themselves as people who are searching.
Perhaps, without realizing it, they are waiting to meet Jesus one day.
And here … we note the absolute timeliness, relevance and urgency of our spirituality and the point of the spirituality that we sum up in the words: Jesus in our midst. …
Jesus himself shows that he does not belong only to the past. Being faithful to his promise, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”, his presence is living, shining and loving here today among his brothers and sisters. It is our duty to bring with us this presence of his. We can do so by keeping his commands that are summed up in the new commandment and by living it according to our model, Jesus forsaken.
However, keeping his commands – and he told us this – means bearing a yoke that is easy and light. But can it always be like this? Generally speaking, yes. But there must be two or more people united in his Name.
But what about when we are alone? Or when our love for others is not reciprocated?
We know that by embracing Jesus forsaken in such moments we can stand firm, in peace and even joyfully, and we can continue to work, pray, study and live with fullness in our hearts.
Yet there can be times in which it seems difficult to describe the Lord’s yoke as being easy and light. There are periods in life, for example, when our health breaks down and this has an influence on our soul too, closing us in on ourselves and making it almost impossible for us to relate to our brothers and sisters. … There might be sudden deaths or accidents that leave us aghast, when we feel that no one can understand us. We might be diagnosed with an illness which we think might be fatal … and so on.
These are all painful circumstances that God allows in order to work on us by means of the cross, which is indispensable in the Christian faith and which Jesus himself experienced.
What should we do in these situations?
We should try to be glad, at least with our will, that we are a little bit like him forsaken, and cast all our anxiety into the heart of the Father.
We should keep on offering up our suffering, supported by the grace of the moment, which will not be lacking, until God brings our troubled soul back to the fullness of peace.
Let’s keep in mind, however, that we must always love our brothers and sisters, just as much as we can of course. We can also confide in them, at least in general terms, saying, for example: “I’m going through a difficult time”. You can say this out of love, to maintain the communion-fellowship amongst you. Moreover, communicating is always the best remedy in any situation.
In this way, Jesus in our midst will keep us afloat at those times too and he will show us that always, and whatever happens, his yoke can be easy and light.