In a few days the General Assembly of the Focolare Movement will begin. In the following text Chiara Lubich underlines the main virtue to which those who feel part of this Movement are called.
St Paul … invites us to not be cowardly in serving God, but to be strong, full of love and self-control. Now what should we focus on in order to acquire and develop these and all the other virtues we need? It’s simple … on letting Jesus live in us instead of our own ego.
But how can Jesus live in us? By being love as God is Love. (cf. 1 Jn 4:16). This means going out of ourselves in order to love others.
We always speak of love and it could seem superfluous to emphasize it again this time. But in fact it isn’t. Our “old self” (cf. Ef 4:22) — the absence of love — is always ready to take over in us, perhaps hidden behind a heap of excuses. The New Year that is starting must see our “new self” (cf. Ef 4:24) shine out decisively in each of us. Then we will do everything well wherever we are; we build up and take ahead the Movement, and through it the Church.
So let’s go back to the alpha of our spirituality, which is love. Besides, this is what our charism is. This is what the world needs most today.
Let’s look around us. Where can we find the love that Jesus brought on earth?
When we read the newspapers, the headlines are almost always about sad things that have happened, or violence. Human love still keeps many families and friendships together, but it is difficult to find Christian love. We can discover it in various oases of Christian life like communities of dedicated Christians or among people who are consecrated to God. In general, however, it is not found in today’s world.
Yet we have been called and chosen by God, together with others, precisely in order to bring this love. It is the gift, the great gift that we must give to humanity. … Love is the lifestyle of the [Movement].
So let’s go out of ourselves, and love! … Let’s rekindle love in our hearts. So that the world may soon find true love everywhere, let’s set out to love everyone!
1) “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7).
(Taken from a telephone conference call, Rocca di Papa, 9th October 1986)
 “The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather one that makes us strong, loving and wise” (2 Tim 1:7).