Rocca di Papa, 9 July 1974
In this talk to the gen, the young people of the Focolare Movement, Chiara Lubich shared the discovery that thirty years earlier had revolutionized her life and of those who were with her at the time: God-Love.
In recent years, we have spoken of charity, Jesus forsaken and Mary, and we have discovered them to be fundamental keystones of our life.
This year, I feel that Jesus wants me to repeat just one "word" to you all, a word that resounded like a trumpet blast thirty years ago when the gen of that time were beginning this revolution. It's a word wider and deeper than the sea, that must spread infinitely, just like when you throw a stone into a pool, and it makes larger and larger ripples. It's the word that Jesus wants to say to humanity today, in this century. He wants each one of us, from the first to the last, to be channels or echoes of this word.
This word is he himself: God.
This morning I prayed to the Holy Spirit, asking for help, because I must explain something about God of whom it is impossible to speak. In fact, if there is someone who is beyond words, inexpressible, infinite and eternal, it is God. We have often heard people speak about this deep mystery, and we too have spoken about it, but we want to go into greater depth. If someone were to ask us, what is your ideal, we would have to answer, God. Because this is our revolution: to bring God back into homes, schools, offices and coffee shops, into sports, games, and politics; into every part of the life of each one of us. So here I am, revealing to you who God is, in the way that he revealed himself to us; who God is for all four generations of this wonderful Movement.
God is Love.
This is the great, immense discovery that the first generation made and it was a spiritual bomb powerful enough to make us forget all the other bombs that were falling around us due to the war. This understanding of God was completely new for us, a revelation strong enough to convert us. In fact, although we were trying to be good Christians before, and to live in God's grace, we saw that up until then we had lived like people who look at this earth and see nothing beyond it. We had been like orphans who do have a father and a mother, but only earthly ones. As soon as we understood that God was love, we felt at once that we were children of another Father who is in heaven and we established a direct relationship with him. We began to build up a relationship with God Love that has never ended.
This human and divine relationship, this wide-open horizon of love above our heads, this unbroken conversation between children and their Father is what I want to give to you today, gen. This new attitude towards God, this believing in love and acting in accordance with this belief should be very strong in you. It should become the reason why you live to the point of being your badge, your characteristic, your personality. Believing in love should become your very being.
The gen must repeat with all their characteristic supernatural drive what the first generation said in their times and which shows us the importance of this discovery: "If we die, we don't want our names to be written on our tomb, but only these words: "We have believed in Love." Whereas the eyes of the people of this world see little more than a series of boring events and the effects of much evil, a gen knows that beyond everything and everyone there is God who is Love and there is his providence that makes everything turn to the good of those who love him. The gen turn towards God as towards Someone whose love has opened their hearts and become part of their lives. All they have (relatives, friends, possessions and studies) then takes second place, whereas God comes first in their scale of values. If they do this, their heart’s desire and their commitment will be to discover the signs of God’s love in every joyful and sad circumstance of life.
In fact, to believe in His love doesn't mean just believing that God is Love when everything goes well, but also believing it when there is suffering and purification. A gen says with St. Catherine, who was like a gen of her time: everything that God wants or permits is for our good. Of course, the gen understand that if God is their Father, they will love Him as such. They will answer his Love with their love and try to do so moment by moment through life. The more the gen are in contact with God, the more they resemble him, the more they are enriched with God to the point of becoming a vessel full of God. Yes, because if somebody loves art, they become an artist and dedicates themselves to art; if somebody loves science, they becomes a scientist; if we love God and live for God, we will become divine people.
God is Love: what an infinitely meaningful treasure is contained in these words! God is Love. God is not far away, static and inaccessible. God is Love and comes towards each person in a thousand different ways. It is enough to want it.
Let's look around us, gen, to discover together to what crazy love our God, the only God, was moved by his love for us. Let's see if there are some signs of his love in the world, signs of His presence. Let's search for him, not only to affirm a truth or out of curiosity, good though they may be, but in order to draw near to his presence, to bask in the rays of his sun, to let ourselves be enlightened by his wisdom and set afire by his Spirit. If we do this, we will possess him more and more; we will fill our lives with him to the point that his life will overflow from our lives onto others.