Maria Voce: The family – a creative resource

The President of the Focolare Movement speaking to the families meeting at the little town of Loppiano (Italy), on 11 March, nearly nine years after Chiara Lubich’s death. The Family: a creative resource for the social fabric of every people
20170311-184047 © Caris Mendes - Archivio CSC Audiovisivi
Photo credit © Caris Mendes – Archivio CSC Audiovisivi

“This evening I invite you to dream with me about a different world, the one we would like to live in” Maria Voce said, having heard the stories and commitments of many families from the stage. They seek to live the charism of Chiara Lubich, in their daily lives. It is a spirituality that “encourages us to look at the world and history from a different point of view. It helps us understand the bond that connects us with the whole of humankind, and which is not merely personal. This bond embraces the whole of our being, our affections, our relationships, our weaknesses, emotions, sufferings, commitments and dreams.”

She reminded us that: “When Chiara founded the New Families Movement on the 19th July 1967, she said: “… it is important that you (…) have in your own family life an experience you can share with others[1], (to be) another Jesus: Jesus who looks at the world, at the crowds, and has pity on them. Because within this section of the world … I place upon your shoulders those most broken, most like Him forsaken.[2] Today I believe we can say that this invitation to families is being made once more, to every family.

“What kind of family can create a world imbued with brotherhood?” Maria Voce asked. “Only families renewed from within in this way, despite being weak and imperfect, as we all are, can give the world the healing light and love it needs, so that society can find genuine models to follow.”

20170311-184223She invited them to do this “By sharing material and spiritual goods, freely”, by “accepting others for what they are, caring for them, living alongside one another happily”, “handing on values from one generation to the next”, and practising “the forgiveness and correction which are so necessary for human development”, and “meeting the needs of those in need” those nearby.

After stressing the essential tasks of families and their commitment in the New Families Movement, she mentioned some concrete examples: “In a town near Chicago, Carole realised that other families struggled with the same problems she faced in caring for her severely disabled son David. She organised a series of activities bringing young disabled people together, engaging many families from her part of the town and involving the town council, which was then awarded a prize for social development.”

She ended saying: “t might seem a dream. These experiences show it is already a reality, which might be very small or just beginning, but which contain the overwhelming power of life.”

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[1] C. LUBICH, talk given to the first school of married focolarini on the occasion of founding the New Famililes Movement, Rocca di Papa, Italy, 19.7.1967, Trascription.

[2] Ibid.



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