July 1949

Chiara Lubich tells of the special pact of unity made with Igino Giordani (whom she called ‘Foco’) on the 16th of July 1949, the prelude to her mystical experience that summer. 

19. We were living these experiences when Foco arrived in the mountains.

20. Foco, who loved Saint Catherine, had always searched in his life for a virgin he could follow. And now he had the impression that he had found her among us. So one day he proposed to make a vow of obedience to me thinking that by doing so, he would be obeying God. He also added that in this way, we could become saints, like Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane de Chantal.

21. In that moment, I didn’t understand the reason for the vow of obedience or this unity between two people. At that time the Work of Mary didn't exist and we didn’t speak of vows. Moreover, I didn't share the idea of unity between two people because I felt called to live “May all be one” (Jn 17:21).

22. At the same time, though, it seemed to me that Foco was under the action of a grace which should not be lost.

23. And so this is what I said to him, more or less: “It could be that what you feel truly comes from God. So we should take it into consideration. However, I do not share the idea of unity between only two people because all must be one.”

24. And then I added: “You know my life: I am nothing. In fact, I want to live like Jesus forsaken who annulled Himself completely. You, too, are nothing because you live in the same way.

25. “Well then, tomorrow we will go to church and to Jesus in the Eucharist who will come into my heart, which is like an empty chalice, I will say: ‘On the nothing of myself, bring about unity with Jesus in the Eucharist who comes into the heart of Foco. Jesus, bring about the bond between us that you want’.” Then I added: “And you, Foco, do the same.”

26. We did this and then we left the church. Foco had to enter the monastery from the sacristy for a conference with the friars. I felt urged to go back into the church. I entered and went in front of the tabernacle. And there, I was about to pray to Jesus in the Eucharist, to say to Him: “Jesus.” But I couldn’t do it. That Jesus, in fact, who was in the tabernacle, was also here in me; it was I too, it was I, made one with Him. Therefore, I couldn’t call myself. There, spontaneously came to my lips the word: “Father.” And in that moment, I found myself in the bosom of the Father. 

27. At this point it seemed that my religious life had to be different from what I had lived up until then: it had to consist not so much in being turned towards Jesus, but in putting myself at His side, our Brother, turned towards the Father.

28. Therefore, I had entered into the bosom of the Father, who appeared to the eyes of my soul (but it was as if I had seen it with the eyes of my body) as an immense, cosmic abyss. It was all gold and flames, above, beneath, right and left.

29. Outside of us had remained all that was created. We had entered into the uncreated.

30. I couldn’t discern what was in Paradise, but this didn’t bother me. It was infinite, but I felt at home.

31. I seemed to understand that the One who had put on my lips the word: “Father” was the Holy Spirit (cf. Rm 8:15-17; Gal 4:6), and that Jesus in the Eucharist had truly been the bond of unity between me and Foco because on our two “nothings”, He alone remained.

32. In the meantime, Foco had come out of the monastery. I invited him to sit down with me on a bench near a stream. I said to him: “Do you know where we are?” And I explained to him what had happened to me.

33. Then I went home where I found the focolarine, whom I loved very much, and I felt urged to tell them everything. I invited them to come with us to church on the next day and to pray to Jesus who would come into their hearts and to make the same pact with Jesus who would come into our hearts. They did so. Afterwards, I had the impression that I could see in the bosom of the Father a small group - it was us. I communicated this to the focolarine who made such a great unity to me that they, too, had the impression that they could see everything.

34. Meanwhile, in the midst of our housework, we didn’t stop living, living with intensity, the reality we were, by living the Word of Life.

35. Every morning we went to Communion, allowing Jesus to bring about whatever He wished, and in the evening at six in the church, in front of an altar of Our Lady, which was to the right of the main altar, we had meditation in a rather original way. Believing that Jesus wanted to communicate to us something of what He had worked through the new Communion, I invited the focolarine and myself not to think of anything, to empty ourselves of all thoughts so that He could illuminate us.

36. In the fire of the Trinity, we had been so fused in one that I called our group “Anima” (“Soul”). We were the “Anima”. Now the Lord, if He wished, could enlighten this “Anima: (through me, who was like its centre), about its new realities and we felt that this required the greatest interior silence. 

37. Then I communicated to Foco and the focolarine whatever I had understood. Thus we lived three communions: that with Jesus in the Eucharist, with His Word, and among us.

(Nuova Umanità XXXIV (2012/6) 204, pp. 685-687)

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