Not lukewarm, but ardent

Our love needs to be continuously revived by acts of love which are always more perfect, always more sincere.  Chiara Lubich compares love for neighbour to a fire that is fuelled by love, to show our commitment to God and to our neighbour.

Undoubtedly, we want to focus with greater conviction on our Ideal, which is all there, in mutual love. We want to strengthen our unity and do all in our power to spread it as far as possible. …

Because fire—and it is a matter of fire—does not burn unless it is continually fed with wood or straw and so on. Similarly, our love needs to be continually revived by acts of love that are ever more perfect and sincere.

And this is necessary not only for people who are at the beginning of the spiritual life or half way through it. Even people who have strived to practice charity for years and years can fall into a type of “routine” charity which loses the splen­dour and warmth of the flames, and slowly diminishes, becoming more and more hidden beneath the ashes. This is the case, for example, when in our daily lives, we no longer spontaneously declare unity with our brothers and sisters. This is the case when we notice that our charity loses its impact, its power to irradiate decreases, we are of little use to the Kingdom of God, there are fewer fruits: we have become lukewarm.

For this reason, therefore, we must re­mind ourselves to enkindle the fire con­tinually, to return again and again to be­ing alive to love.

Yes, because God doesn’t like those who are lukewarm, not at all: “… You are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  (Rev 3:15-16).

This is terrible. It shows the urgency of always returning to being “hot”, to having a truly fervent charity.

Let’s go ahead then: let’s ask ourselves often: have we thrown wood on the fire? Is our love shallow or ardent? Have we used every opportunity to express our fervour to God and to our neighbour? Let’s … remember only these words: not lukewarm but ardent.

Chiara Lubich


(Taken from a telephone conference call, Rocca di Papa, February 28th 1991)



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