Setting the needle of our compass

The choice to love Jesus in his abandonment on the cross and to prefer him to every other love had become like a compass for Chiara Lubich that gave direction to her life and freed her from many worries.

[…] We had noticed that the calling to follow Jesus Forsaken in a radical way did not happen only once, that is, only at the beginning of the Movement.

In fact, from time to time, during these past years, the Lord has underlined that calling with episodes or special considerations.

This hap­pened to me in 1954. […] For the first time, a focolarino was becoming a priest, and I was going to Trent because the Archbishop there was ordaining Father Foresi. I wasn’t too well and it seemed to be wise to travel part of the way by plane. As soon as I stepped on board, a very kind flight attendant, wanting to make the trip easier for me, invited me into the cockpit. From there I was deeply struck by the beautiful panorama that could be observed, completely open in front of me because of the large windows.

It was not the panorama, however, which struck me the most, but rather the brief explanation that the pilot gave me as to what is important in flying an airplane. He told me that if you want to have a good trip, you need, first of all, to set the needle of your compass in the direction of the point of arrival. Then all along the way, you must keep an eye on it to make sure that the plane does not go off course.

As I was listening to this explanation, I made a comparison between an airplane trip in this world and the journey of our lives, which today I would call the Holy Journey. I had the impression of understanding that also in this instance it was necessary to decide our course at the moment of departure, that is, the pathway of our soul which is Jesus Forsaken. Then all along the journey, we need to do only one thing: to remain faithful to Him. Yes, the way to which God calls us all is this: to love Jesus Forsaken always.

This means embracing all the sufferings of our lives; this means to live love by adher­ing always to His Will, doing away with ours. […] To love Jesus Forsaken always means to live all the virtues, which he lived very clearly in that moment in a heroic way. […]

I think I can say that if we have set the needle of the compass of our souls – to use the same image – in the direction of Jesus Forsaken, we have done the best that we could do to continue and finish our Holy Journey and to do so with a certain ease.

On that trip, I noticed that the pilot was very free in his movements because he had no reins, as you would need with a horse, nor steering wheel as you would need in a car. If we set the needle of our spiritual compass in the direction of Jesus Forsaken, we too will not need anything else in order to reach the goal safely.

On an airplane trip, curves do not take you by surprise because the flight is in a straight line, neither do you encounter mountains because you have already reached a good altitude. In the same way, we too, on our journey, place ourselves at a certain altitude through love of Jesus Forsaken; thus, we are not frightened by unforeseen events, nor do we feel the effort of climbing. This is true because for Jesus Forsaken, surprises, efforts, and suffer­ings have already been foreseen and awaited.

Let us set the needle of our compass in the direction of Jesus Forsaken and then let us remain faithful to Him.

How? In the morning as soon as we wake up, let us direct the needle of the compass in the direction of Jesus For­saken with our “Eccomi!” (“Here I am!”) During the day from time to time, let us glance at it; let us see if we are always on course with Jesus Forsaken. If we find that we are not, then with another “Eccomi!” (“Here I am!”) let us go back on the right course, and we will be able to continue the journey. […]

If we proceed on the journey of life in the company of Jesus Forsaken, we too will be able to repeat that famous sentence of St. Clare, “Go safely, my soul, because you have a good companion for your journey. Go, because the one who has created you has always watched over you and has sanctified you. […]

Chiara Lubich

 (From a telephone conference call, 5 January 1984)


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