Placing Jesus, the Teacher, as the foundation of relationships in education

Manila, 20th January  1997

Chiara Lubich answers


Journalist: My name is Cora Dangallo, from Mother of Life Center Publications. I am also a catechist. 

"Could we ask you to give a message, through the ladies and gentlemen here in this room, to Christian educators of our day, above all in this country, focussing on how to form the consciences of young people and children, especially our own, please?

Chiara: Yes. What I would like to say to everyone is this: Jesus said something that was very important “Do not call anyone ‘teacher’”.

What we do in the Movement is to try to live in such a way as to fulfil Jesus’ prayer…, Jesus’ wish when he said “Where two or three are united in my name, I am in their midst”.

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Love put into practice

Love of neighbour was a discovery Chiara Lubich and her first companions made progressively right from the start of their experience.

“While realizing that the foundation of the Gospel is charity... we did not immediately understand how to live it, nor with whom, nor to what degree we were to put it into practice.

At the beginning, due mainly to the distressing circumstances of the war, we directed our love toward the poor. We were convinced that in those gaunt and, at times, repulsive faces, we could make out the face of the Lord. It was a real training. We were not accustomed to loving supernaturally. At most, we cared about our relatives or our friends in a spirit of warm respect or in a purely natural and healthy friendship.

Now, under the impulse of grace, trusting in God and in his Providence which cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, we addressed our attention to all the poor of the city. We invited them to our houses, to eat at our table…  When we could not receive them in our home, we arranged to meet them somewhere, and we gave them whatever we had managed to put together. We visited them in their dismal shacks and we comforted them and offered them medicines.

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“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Mt 25:40)

Word of Life – November 1984

This sentence of Jesus is em­bedded like a pearl in the well-known passage on the final judgment written by the evan­gelist St. Matthew. It represents the whole message of the Gospel in summary form, reinforcing all that is affirmed in it regarding the human person and what is expected of him or her.

Jesus, the one long-awaited "by all peoples," came and saved humanity which had fallen into sin. He himself bore the price of such an immense purification. He will return at the end of time under his rightful title as King and Judge and will gather to­gether all peoples of every time and place in order to judge each individual according to their deeds. The result will be either eternal reward or eternal punishment.

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The Risen Lord

Castel Gandolfo, 14 November 2002

Christ’s Resurrection. A unique event in history that most characterizes Christianity and identifies its founder. It is an opportunity to renew faith in the Life that does not pass.

Dear everyone,

The spiritual thought this month concerns one precise characteristic of the Christian life.

Since our Movement also includes the faithful of other world religions as well as people who do not have any particular religious affiliation, I would like to begin with a suggestion and a recommendation precisely for them.

As you all know, we are all part of the same Movement where what must triumph among us is the “Golden Rule” present in our Scriptures: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” or “Do not do to others as you would not have them do to you.” This requires loving one another, and therefore, getting to know one another better. For this reason, I encourage all of you to derive benefit from what I will say now. It is part of the necessary inculturation you can acquire, without which it is impossible to build universal brotherhood. On other occasions, the Christians among us will do the same with you.

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Easter Triduum

Lake Constance (Switzerland), 16 April 1981

In the life and thought of Chiara Lubich, the most precious moments of the year are in Holy Week.

We are now living through the most precious moments of the year. They are precious for the Church that re-lives the liturgy of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. They are precious to all of us in the Movement because we have a spirituality that is centered on unity and on Jesus forsaken.

Today is Holy Thursday, our feast day. Like today, many years ago, Jesus gave his disciples the new commandment, the commandment which is the fundamental law and the basis of every other rule for each of us. Like today, Jesus prayed for unity: “May they all be one.” Like today, he instituted the Eucharist which makes him present among us and in fact brings about our unity with Him and with one another. And like today, he instituted the priesthood that makes the Eucharist possible. All of this in one day.

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The charism of unity and education

Washington, D.C. November 10, 2000

Part of the lecture given by Chiara Lubich on 10th November 2000 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, on the occasion of the conferral of the honorary doctorate in education.

Our Movement can also be viewed from theological, philosophical, cultural, social, economic, educative and artistic standpoints, as well as from ecumenical or interreligious perspectives.

I would like to share with you now some of the ways that the more significant points of this spirituality have had an impact in the area of education.

Actually, our Movement and the stages of its development can be viewed as one continuous, extraordinary educational event. All the necessary factors are present, including a well-defined educational theory and method which underlie our efforts in this field.

But first let us ask ourselves: what is education?

Education can be defined as the itinerary which a subject (either an individual or a community) pursues with the help of one or more educators, moving toward a goal considered worthwhile both for the individual person and for humanity.

What then are the characteristic elements of our educational method which follow from the main points of the spirituality we live?

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What will the united world be like?

Loppiano, 6 May 1995 

An answer to the inhabitants of the little town of Loppiano. It is God’s dream that Chiara Lubich sees taking place...

What will the united world be like, really, according to the plans of God?

Chiara: ... You see, everyone is going towards the recapitulation that Christ will bring about of all people, of all things. The united world is not a imaginary thing that we in the Focolare came up with; it’s Christian imagination, it’s a Christian thing. So we are going towards the united world. Whether world events bring it nearer or not, we are going towards a united world. We don’t know whether it will happen sooner or later, but we are going in this direction.

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How to live Lent

Castel Gandolfo, 29th February 1992

Chiara’s response to a young person helps us to see the meaning of being “empty of self” and being “nothing”, so as to live fully in the path of Love. It can help us live well during the Year of Mercy.

Eli: Dearest Chiara, I was very impressed by how you live "being nothing". Could you tell us something about how we can reach the point of living this reality of "being nothing" as you do?

Chiara: Well, I try to be "nothing", now too, for example, by living the Word or by doing the will of God and not my own will. The will of God is for me to be here with you; it seemed to be the right thing to do, it seemed to me to be the will of God. So I am not doing my own will... but, to tell you the truth, I was so happy to come that my will coincides with the will of God.

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From the 1973 Diary

Chiara Lubich shared the light she experienced during a period of illness.

“Over the last few days I have understood a great many things ... That tears are part of the Gospel too: ‘Blessed are those who mourn’ (Mt 5:4).

I’ve understood that health is a gift we are not aware of and for which we are infinitely grateful to God when we lose it. We really thank God for all the time we have enjoyed good health, not realising it was a gift from God.  

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Mary, «Explanation» of God

This writing is noteworthy for its simplicity.  Living Mary helps us understand God who is Love. If the Lord gave her to us as our mother, how can we not believe in his love?

A mother never ceases to love her wayward son; she never ceases to await his return when he has gone afar. She desires nothing but to see him again, to forgive him, to embrace him again: because a mother’s love fills everything with the scent of mercy.

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“As if I were his or her mother”

Rocca di Papa, 3rd March 1983

An invitation to live better the Holy Year of Mercy, with a mother’s heart and without measure.

“Let among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn 8:7). Jesus said this to those who wanted to stone the adulteress.

The central idea in Jesus’ commands is always love. This is why he doesn’t want us Christians to condemn anyone. In fact he says, “Do not judge,” and proclaims, “Blessed are the merciful.” Jesus wants mercy. Nevertheless, from what he says one could conclude that there is someone who could throw the first stone: whoever is without sin.

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