Chiara Lubich’s work for peace started during World War II. In Trent, in an air-raid shelter, she read Jesus’ last testament with her first companions: “That all may be one.” That “all” became their horizon; that program for universal unity, became the reason for their lives. This project now involves more than two million people, giving life to a large-scale movement of spiritual and social renewal, multicultural and multifaith, the Focolare Movement, present in 182 nations.
Trent 1943. It was in the time of war that Chiara Lubich’s work of peace and unity was born. Barely 20 years old, faced with the ruins that hate had brought about, she lived an experience of the essence of God: Love, an experience immediately shared by many. “The Gospel became the only book we read, the only light of our life,” she wrote. She understood that “the commandment of mutual love contained the law for composing people and all things in a new order.” Jesus’ testament, “That all may be one,” became the goal of their lives: to bring unity in every point of division. “Let us put everything in common: goods, houses, money. Life changed. Every day the number of people grew around us. Wherever we worked, in offices, schools, and businesses, a new climate was built. Hates and gripes were dispelled. Many families came together again in harmony and peace. We were convinced that the Gospel held the answer to every personal and social problem.” The small group became a movement of spiritual and social renewal, multicultural and multifaith, the Focolare Movement, characterized by dialogue, present in 182 nations. More than two million people are involved. Chiara Lubich reads in the profound changes of this time, the beginning of a new world, of a united world. To bring this about many projects came to life, like 26 little publishing houses, 33 small towns of witness in various phases of development, the project for an Economy of Communion, the Movement for Unity in Politics, 1000 social projects and 14,000 adoptions at a distance. Where does the strength to take this work ahead come from? Chiara Lubich responds: “It is a gift of the Spirit, a charisma. I am only an instrument in God’s hands to bring about his project.”