Rocca di Papa, April 26, 1999
In this message addressed to young people gathered at Loppiano for their annual meeting on 1st May 1999, the Founder of the Focolare Movement put before them a challenging goal, the one that inspired the first steps of the “Adventure of unity”.
It is the first of May and you, young people, have come together to share joys, concerns and ideals, to consider what can be of interest to you today, who are wholly oriented towards the new millennium which belongs especially to you. You have come to pool your youthful strengths and to contemplate a dream which can become a reality: a united world. And all this despite the very sad events we hear about every day in the media.
I imagine that in these moments, even in the midst of songs, music, and dances, while sharing various experiences,hearing testimonies and spending hours inthe peaceful and enthusiastic joy which is typical of your congresses, some questions can arise in your hearts. As a matter of fact, some gen have already asked me two questions on your behalf:
One is “Could you tell us how you got the idea of a united world? How did this adventure of unity begin?”And the other:“You were our age when you began… If you were in our place now, what would you do today?”
How did this adventure of unity begin?
Dear young people, it began not when I, but when Another, wanted it to begin.
You may know that certain gifts are given to the world from time to time: they are called charisms. They come from the One who guides history, who leads it toward a very precise goal: the common good, by channelling towards that goal even the sad things that we men and women do in the world.
It is God, God who is Love, in whom many of us firmly believe.
One day, many years ago, one of these charisms arrived here too. Through it, weunderstood that there was a wonderful design, a task, almost a mission entrusted to us, young people at the time: to work in our lives so that all may be one, by putting love into action, in our own hearts and in that of others.
A dream? Utopia?
No, certainly not, since Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven using these very words: “May they all be one”.
Could God, the Father, not listen to the voice of God, the Son, with whom he is one God?
We set out confidently toward this goal and now there are millions and millions of us - children, young people and adults - from almost every nation in the world. It is not possible to count us all.
Of course, some of these people do not share our same faith, they might have another, or perhaps no religious faith at all. Nevertheless, they act with kindness and good will, sentiments which must be present in every human heart. So we journey together, with them too, towards the goal of a universal family, towards the building up of a united world.
If God is with us, who can be against us?
Now I will answer your second question.
If I were one of you, first of all, I would make the patrimony that already exists my own. I would be in solidarity with the millions of people who are already marching toward this goal of unity and I would try to give two contributions to the cause.
In faithfulness to those who were there at the start, and in solidarity with all those who went before us, I would resolve, if possible, to love with even greater ardour, and to intensify our Movement’s network which now covers the entire globe. In other words, I would aim at growing in depth and in extent.
And then I would always be attentive to the various needs expressed by humanity from time to time and try to meet them.
But in order to reach this goal, you have to know more about our revolution of love, its methods, its tactics, and its means. And knowing about it, besides living it, is one of your duties. So ask those who can tell you about how to do that. At the same time, plunge yourselves into this adventure without holding back.
Now it is up to you to carry the banner of our ideal. On one side is written: unity, loving one another to the point of being ready to die for one another. On the other side is the means to reach this goal: effort, exertion, being ready even to suffer so that the world may become one family.
You are young. You are not lacking in courage. If we were able to do it, why can’t you?
My very best wishes! May today be unforgettablefor you.