Chiara Lubich: Where there is love and charity, there is God

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated from 18-21 January in the northern hemisphere. The Christians of the Middle East who prepared the resources for 2022 affirm: “The new path for the Churches is the path of visible unity which we pursue with sacrifice, courage and boldness, day after day, ‘So that God may be all in all. (1 Cor 15:28)’.” In an interview with Bavarian TV in 1988 in Montet (Switzerland), Chiara Lubich spoke specifically about how to make progress on the path to Christian unity.

When speaking of Christian unity, we must bear in mind that this work was not begun by Christians from one Church or another. Here too, we know that it is the Holy Spirit who is urging Christians to progress towards unity. It is God’s plan before being ours. Therefore, we are truly prudent and wise if we follow him by listening to his voice which speaks within us and tells us: take this step, take this other step.

Now the Churches are travelling on two tracks: that of building unity in charity, the dialogue of charity, typical of Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI, for example, and then dialogue in truth between Churches or groups of Churches. It is good to keep the idea of charity as the foundation because through charity we establish the presence of Christ in our midst. We know that where there is charity and love, there is God. Now if he is in our midst, he can prompt and enlighten theologians so that they can find ways in which we can united and find just one truth, one truth seen perhaps from different viewpoints.

So, what is needed? We should continue with the approach the Churches have begun, to dialogue in charity and on this basis, to dialogue also in truth, about the truth.

Regarding the unity of all humanity, I see that there are all these efforts being made towards unity and a small example is what we are doing. What I feel is that many barriers must fall, because if the barriers fall, many things will be resolved

If we spread Christianity and renew our Churches, and if we bear better witness to Christ and spread Christian principles through dialogue with other religions and with people of good will, we will certainly become one more and more. Jesus came on earth to bring universal fraternity. But only God knows how things will be in the end.

Chiara Lubich

(Chiara Lubich, Una spiritualità per la unità dei cristiani, [A spirituality for Christian unity] Città Nuova, 2020, p. 122-123)

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