(Vatican Radio) The cause for the beatification of Chiara Lubich, founder of the international Focolare Movement, was opened on Tuesday.
The official inauguration of the Diocesan Process of Inquiry into Lubich’s life, followed the praying of Vespers in the Cathedral of Frascati, near Rome.
While Lubich was born in the northern Italian region of Trento, she established the International Centre for the Focolare Movement, whose charism is the promotion of peace and the unity of all people, in Frascati.
In a written message for the gathering, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Pope Francis turns his thoughts to the occasion and “hopes” that Chiara Lubich’s “luminous example” will inspire “renewed faithfulness to Christ and generous service to the unity of the Church” among those who have taken up her “precious spiritual legacy.”
Cardinal Parolin said the Pope exhorts that the life and works of Chiara Lubich be made known to the People of God. This consecrated laywoman, the Pope said, “ignited for the Church a new light on the path towards unity.”
Linda Bordoni spoke with Ray Asprer, a member of the general council of the Focolari Movement in Rome.
Listen to the interview:
Ray Asprer speaks of the gift of Chiara Lubich to the Universal Church as “a sanctity that can be lived out in ordinary life: in daily life where heroic virtues are not limited to moments of heroism but rather where heroism characterizes one’s day and one’s routine”.
“I think this is what she can offer today’s Church: the sanctity of the common person to be lived out in the midst of the world with many others in the footsteps of Jesus” he says.
Asper agrees that this vision is in line with what Pope Francis is asking us to do also by asking us to “look outwards, where there is discomfort, where we are called to go beyond our comfort zone”, reaching out towards the peripheries, “letting goodness flow”.
He says Chiara’s spiritual legacy can help ease the current tensions and conflicts in the world today, many of which are caused by tensions between religious groups.
It can do so – he says – by breaking down walls and divisions and by offering a path in which “the other is somebody whom I can be unity with” he says.
Asprer explains that Chiara Lubich’s legacy teaches us that precisely because “the other is different he is different, he can be a gift to me if I am open to him; and if I can be open to him and listen to him, I can offer to him that what I hold dearest in my heart”.
She offers – he says – “a kind of dialogue, a way of looking towards a horizon of unity in differences, not in uniformity: I think this is precisely what the world is asking for today.
(from Vatican Radio)…