March 14, 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of Chiara Lubich’s passing on the next life. All over the world, various communities of the Focolare Movement have commemorated this anniversary with a series of wide-ranging events featuring the social impact of Chiara Lubich’s charism and the changes it has brought to society.
In a reflection from years back, Chiara Lubich, in a kind of “prophesy”, talked about how to reach the most profound communion with God and fellow human beings, and called it the greatest attraction of modern times. She explained clearly how to go about it — “to penetrate to the highest contemplation while mingling with everyone, one person alongside others”.
A renowned Italian politician and writer, Sergio Zavoli, once defined Chiara as a mystic of unity between heaven and earth. Remarking on the contribution that Chiara brought to society, through her charism, he said: “Allowing God to dwell in the intimacy of one’s soul is making him live among men through communication between God in me and God in my brother.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, also affirmed that Chiara Lubich’s specific contribution to the Church is that of having deepened and highlighted the “Marian profile of the Church, as well as the apostolic one” and the strong and innovative call to unity: “May all be one for the world to believe” – a unity built and made possible by the “secret” of mutual love, contained in the “Golden rule” that Jesus taught us in “not doing to others what you would not want done to you.
A great spiritual force capable of attracting crowds of different ages, social backgrounds, and cultures: this is what animated Chiara Lubich and the fruits are still with us today. From the beginning of the Focolare Movement in Trent, Chiara’s experience lived together with her early companions, gave rise to social initiatives that brought about change, not only in the lives of many people around them but also in their environments, in the society where they lived, and this change has spread all over the world.
Focolare Co-President, Jesus Moran, during the commemoration of Chiara’s 10th death Anniversary celebrated in Rome last March 3, explains further, “one can see the key pillars in Chiara Lubich’s prophetic vision for society. She, in fact, was not a social reformer…
in effect, her aim is much higher and more profound, and that is, the anthropological and theological foundations underlying in every kind of social reform: universal family and unity as envisaged by the God-man, Jesus.”
“This is why we could say,” Morán underlines, “that the first social project that Chiara founded was in fact the early community of the Focolare that began in Trent immediately after the war. This community took the Acts of the Apostles literally (Acts 2, 42-48); they practiced a radical communion of goods and did all they could to care for the poor and the thousands of suffering people the war had left in its wake. This underlying experience has never been lost. Indeed, it is the inspiration behind all the activities and social projects undertaken over the years by Chiara herself and all those who, in following her, have made their own the Ideal of unity. ”
Moran continues and cites Guislain Lafont, the great Dominican theologian who, in a summary of the philosophy of Pope Francis, speaks about the “principle of littleness” (salvation comes from below rather from above). He concludes: “Chiara knew how to magisterially apply this principle of littleness in the work of real social change which she set in motion, with and from the paradigm of unity.”
Since Chiara’s charism is a prophecy, greater fruits can still be harvested in whatever historical epoch and place, in the choice of many men and women of goodwill, who will live it concretely.