December 1981

Rome, 10 December 1981

An interview with Chiara Lubich by Sister Ignazia Ishino and Hiroshi Miyahjra of Vatican Radio. Chiara explains how the Focolare Movement spread throughout the world reaching people of all walks of life and of every religious conviction.

“The Focolare Movement that you founded sees a great expansion in the world. It embraces people of all walks of life. What is the secret for this success?”

Chiara Lubich: “When we started out, one of the first inspirations God sent us was to abandon ourselves completely to His will. That meant putting aside our own plans for our life and embarking on a unique adventure, entrusting ourselves to God who is our Father.

At the beginning, when God was laying the cornerstone of this Work, He prompted us to make a pact among us, that of reciprocal love, and he also gave us all the necessary tools to maintain it. We tried to be faithful to this pact under the guidance of the ecclesiastical authorities, nourishing ourselves each day with the Eucharist and with the Word of God.

So that’s how it came about. By constantly keeping love among us alive, God was with us. “Where there is charity and love, there is God”. And because this love united a group of people, Jesus was among us right from the start. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I,” He said. We can therefore affirm that even though God used a person as his instrument, he is the true founder of this Work. And He’s the expert in doing these things.

The Work had to have a spirituality and he suggested it; it’s a spirituality which through all its various aspects – mutual love, putting the Gospel into practice, phrase by phrase, unity, Jesus in the midst, Jesus crucified and abandoned, Mary – has only one goal: to ensure His presence among us.

The Focolare Movement then had to have a structure. He was the one who drew it up. It was He who showed us how  like a small plant born of a seed which then develops into a shoot bearing leaves, this Work unfolded one step at a time within the Church, up to its present structure.

And God was also the one who spread the Work. The universal expansion can only be attributed to Him. His spirit was embraced in more than 140 nations among people of all races, of every walk of life, of every language, by men and women of all ages. No human work would have been capable of bringing this about. He alone is Humanity, the light for every person on earth.”