Rocca di Papa, 24 January 1978
As you can see, this was a surprise for you, but also for me. I'm still trying to catch my breath, because I ran across the lawn so I could come here to greet you.
... I heard someone inside saying: go to greet them, go to greet them. (Applause)
Gen, I didn't even know what to tell you - but now something will come - one idea at a time.
The first idea that comes to my mind is this. The Gen Movement offers to the youth, because it is a work of God, as you know, but you will know it even more so in the future, it offers to the youth all that today's youth needs.
None of us can hide the fact that the youth, both men and women are passing through a torment, a transition period of searching, which is also very beautiful because of the fact that the young people are putting aside many things, ideas, mentalities, ideologies that perhaps the adults have held on to as if these were eternal, beyond criticism, and beyond judgment.
Instead the young people, who are freer, in their minds and in their hearts, freer because less attached to the things of this world, the young people are screening everything - what is good and what is not good - and now we have arrived to the point, I say this because of the experience I have with the young people.
We have arrived to a point in which we should not even be surprised if some of the youth, ignorant of certain riches that exist - at a certain point they reject everything, because they see that this doesn't work, that another thing doesn’t work, that something else doesn't work either, that that other doesn't work - what's left? And so we have the recent out-break of a certain so-called ideal. In other words, some young people have put it into their heads as an ideal that the only thing left to do is to blow everything to pieces, the whole world as it, and wait for another world, the one that will come about.
And from this, came about this mania, in Italy, and in many European nations, but not only in Europe, this turning towards violence, towards hatred, towards the bombs in order to blow everything to pieces...as an ideal, as an ideal.
I recently spoke with one of these young people and I saw really, truly that for him, this was an ideal.. .and so I said to him: "Well, really the Gen Movement also tries to change things a little" … and so I explained a little…."Yes, he said, but with the bombs it can be done faster." I said, "Certainly it will be done faster,” I said, “and then the world that will come, what do you think of that?" "Ah, we don't think about it, we don't think about the world that will come, because if we already begin to give a structure to the world that will come, that world itself will have to be destroyed."
So these poor things are really living in an illusion - I feel sorry for them, so much so that I am writing regularly to this boy - but I also admire the fact that he disapproves certain things in society, in individuals, in states and in the world. I admire this in them, even though I do not share, nor could I share the aspect of violence, all the violence that is going around.
I wanted to tell you this, Gen, because though it may not happen to you, some of your friends may be attached by this mentality. So you should know how to understand them, not in the sense of justifying them, but to know how to understand in order to be able to give them an Ideal which is at least as great, as valid, as universal, and as total as the one they have. It is an Ideal that penetrates all the strata of society, all situations and structures, so that they can be satisfied and see that there is a bomb more powerful than all the most powerful atomic bombs, and that is God, to whom we have given ourselves, to whom I have given myself when I was your age.
I was 23 years old, like some of you. I gave myself to Him. I didn't know anything, I threw myself into this adventure, I put it into my head that I had to do only one thing, not my will, but the will of God, knowing that He loved me, because God is Love, it is written, "God is Love", so if He loves me, I could throw myself into this and follow Him, moment by moment, not knowing where he would bring me, and instead of doing my will, I did His.
Where have we arrived, Gen? I will tell you, for the glory of God, maybe you already know, but we have arrived to 128 nations of the world. As I said to Cardinal Benelli, maybe you already heard this - he asked me, "Where has the Movement spread to?" I said, "More or less like Coca Cola". Because I saw on television yesterday that Coca Cola has spread to 139 nations and we are in 128. In another year we will be 130, 135. I said, in another two years we will be in 139 and we will be like Coca Cola and then he looked at me and started laughing. I said, but do you know why?
When I was younger, I used to wonder why the things of this world, like Coca Cola, women's fashions, men's fashions, beards, moustaches and everything else immediately start out from one particular place and then arrived to all the nations of the world? It's unbelievable!
I went to Fontem, right, and there in the middle of the forest, the bush, when it was still all bush, I found the women there with the same hair-styles as we had in Italy, exactly the same. So I wondered: who taught them, where did it come from? These things arrive, they arrive, the fashions arrive, Coca Cola arrives, the things of the world arrive. And God?
I felt this very strongly: why, why doesn't God arrive? The Lord has given us the satisfaction, this year for the first time we went to count the states, which we never do, we counted the states where we have arrived to, where we have the Mariapolises, where there are the Gen, where there are the Gen 3, perhaps brought by the religious, understand, who left with this spirit, and who began there, then the focolarini arrived; for example this year, we have gained 15 nations in Africa, that we didn't have last year, in the black part of Africa, because we have other nations, we have about 40 nations there.
So already, where there is Jesus in the midst of a few, we can think and you will see this, I will not see it because I will have already left for heaven, I will see it from another point of view, but already the world is taken, it's finished. St. Gregory Nazianzeno said to Constantinople which was crowded with a large population: "You are proud of all the gold you have, of the beautiful galleries, the beautiful works of art - I say this in the book of "Jesus in the Midst"- he says, you boast of these things, and at the end he says, you don't know that two or three united in the name of Jesus are worth more than all your population."
And so I say, you, maybe Egypt, you, Ghana, you - all the peoples of Africa, right? Chad, you and all the way down, you boast of all your population.. .but you don't know that you have within yourselves the principle of the death of all the old selves, which is - two or three united in the name of Jesus and therefore the principle of the birth of new peoples, you don't know this. But just leave it to Jesus who goes ahead and then you will see what happens. When we started we were very young as you are now, we started with only one goal: the "ut omnes". It was great!
All right. Now I am seeing, I am seeing that it is becoming a reality... God here, God there, God certainly doesn't stay still. We are the ones who go backwards and forwards and up and down, we are the ones who have problems. We turn ourselves off, then we turn ourselves on, then there are those who come and those who go. We are made like this, but God no, God is immutable, in the sense that He is always love and He goes ahead, he enkindles, enkindles, enkindles. Where there is a fire, it cannot but burn, it's a fire that does not become ashes, that does not become embers, but it always remains fire and it cannot but burn, it cannot but burn. We have seen this, we have experienced this in these 34 years of the Ideal life, and they are not 34 years of a small experience but of quite an important experience.
Now, Gen, do you understand what we have ahead of us? If one of you falls, a state can fall, but if one of you stays on your feet, an entire state may be for the glory of God in the future. And you will say, "Chiara it's a utopia!" Then the idea of the bombs is also a utopia, more of a utopia than mine, because how many bombs would it take to blow the world to pieces? Here instead, it's enough to send a little bomb here, a little bomb there, a little bomb- that's you - you are the little bombs - in all the different parts of the world - a bomb in Asia, a bomb in Africa, a bomb in France -- and to always be up, never give up.
You might say, "Chiara, how did you do it?" We teach you this too, with Jesus in the midst. Then with Jesus Forsaken. When there were trials, always up… and then sometimes… up. Then another time… up and since we were always up, look at what happened.
Therefore, Gen, you have a wonderful future before you, the salvation of all the youth attracting them to this, because the great talent Demetrius told me - you will hear the tape, because I went to the successor of Patriarch Athenagoras - he told me that the great talent of the world are the youth. We must use this talent because they have the world of tomorrow in their hands, of tomorrow, soon, because you must soon lift up the new world, right? And so he said, they are the ones, the great talent, they are the ones.
So I give you my best wishes, because I came just to bring you my greetings and to tell you, Gen, get involved, get involved with all your strength - all yourselves. Look Gen, I too was just a young girl, as you are all young, I could have followed an ordinary way, like all the others, right? And what would have happened? In the end what would have happened? I would die, and my relatives would cry and then I would be absolutely forgotten, because that's the way it is.
Instead, I can throw myself into God, remain in God, but God never dies, and not even when I leave this earth, if I remain faithful to Him, and there will remain on this earth what I always desired since I was small, a streak of light, this light that is enkindled now, this fire that is enkindled now, will remain. In whom? In all those who will follow this great Ideal that is God.
So, as I asked the Gen 3, are you with me? Are you with me? Not with a half "yes" - because you can understand that it's a matter of strength against strength - half-measures are not enough, do you understand Gen? What can we do ?
They are the ones who give Christians a bad name or better yet, you know the ones that are lukewarm are never something good, and we must be hot, not only with words but with deeds.
So now, I leave you ... and we'll see one another again when God wants. (Applause)