«That all may be one» (Jn. 17,21)
We were born for these words, for unity, to give a contribution to its realization in the world. Chiara Lubich
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|In the Beginning - Another small Mary|
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|Thursday, February 07, 2008|
Page 12 of 12
One day, the air raid shelter we were in was shaken by a violent bombing nearby. I fell prostrate to the ground and was covered with a thick layer of dust. As the people around me cried out terrified, I got up calmly and peacefully, like someone who was miraculously saved. While my life was in danger, I felt a deep pain in my soul: the pain of realizing that I would no longer be able to pray the Hail Mary. At that time I did not understand the meaning of this idea. Later on, as the first group of focolarine came to life and the work of God took shape, I understood the significance of that suffering.
Perhaps it was part of God’s plans that praise be lifted up to Mary during our times: that Hail Mary had to be made up of living words, people who like another small Mary, gave Love to the world. This was why, as if by supernatural instinct, we called the Movement: “Work of Mary.”
After this first manifestation of Mary to us, for some time we had no other intuitions about her. We thought that she was dealing with us the way she did with the early Church: she did not appear so as to give room to Jesus completely. We compared her to a door, the door to Christ. A door is not a door if it does not open up to let others pass through.
We realized only much later that her influence had been present since the very beginning of the Movement and ever after even though in a hidden way. The new lifestyle, the “spirituality of unity,” the cardinal points of which the Holy Spirit gradually imprinted words of fire in our hearts, seemed to us to be Mary’s nourishing milk for our souls. The truths we gleaned from the Gospel put into practice – God-Love, the will of God, the Word, love of neighbor, Jesus crucified and forsaken, unity – inter-connected one to the other – enabled us to “generate” (as Pope Paul VI once said) through mutual love – Jesus among us: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Mt 18,20). Jesus spiritually present among us! The very same Jesus whom Mary had given birth to.