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.
So, I try to be nothing by doing not my will, but the will of God, also when it costs me, of course; that's the test... when it costs, when there is suffering, and so on, and so we try to live: "Your will". It's something outside of myself, which is not I, so I do not exist.
Above all, I try to do that will of God which is typical of my spirituality, and that is, to love my neighbor, because I see Jesus in him or her as I see Jesus in myself. We are all one body, we are all one; as a body we are Jesus and also individually, we are Jesus.
Thus, by loving the other person, by trying to make myself one with the other person, I am not loving myself, I am not turned inward, and so another "nothing" is being fulfilled and the ego is put aside.
Sometimes, despite the desire and effort to live for our neighbor and to do the will of God, small attachments come within us. For example, I might be eating and I want to make a telephone call. And so I have to mortify myself, or better still, I must live dead to myself, as we say, because I must make the telephone call after lunch, not during lunch, usually. And so I try to mortify myself. If the matter is urgent, then I’ll do it right away. But if not, I try to say "no" to this idea, and so I put it aside.
Something else that might happen is that while I am praying, a problem of the Movement comes to my mind... and then, beautiful things always come to my mind about the Movement, like all the new developments and it would really seem to be the will of God to think about these things, but I must pray. And so I put these thoughts aside too. It's another way of living "being nothing".
So there are three ways to be nothing: by doing the will of God and not our own will; by living our neighbor and not ourselves; and by eliminating all the other things that might come to our minds but which are not God's will in that moment.
And so, doing the will of God truly brings about wonderful results. First of all, it gives peace to our soul. And then, even though loving our neighbor requires extra effort, because you must do this or that, you do it when it is the will of God. So you don't overdo it because you do it when it is the will of God, so everything is balanced, and so this benefits your physical health, too: you sleep better.
So it gives much peace, and above all, much joy because to live the will of another, to live your neighbor, letting go of many things, putting aside many things, is a continual pruning: cutting, cutting cutting away the "old self" because you want this, you want that; instead, cut, cut, cut. This continual "cutting" makes you overflow with joy, joy, joy, joy.
I see people who might be tired or maybe sick or even dying, who are in the fullness of joy because they continually accept the will of God, and of their neighbor and they live this "being nothing". So this way of living, this "being nothing" is truly the way to perfection... We could give thousands of examples, but you understand me: all we have to do is live it. Let's go ahead.