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Posted February 13, 2010
"What matters is not that we are already perfect, but that we are always trying again and again, loving and living for others." With these words editor Maria Chiara Janner describes the basic message in this anthology of writings from Chiara Lubich, founder or the Focolare Movement. Most of the 166 short excerpts are taken from letters Lubich wrote in the 1940s. They are presented in no discernable order, but each is numbered to correspond to reference notes at the end of the book.
Time is a frequent topic in these excerpts: ".Every life has a sunset that quickly falls, yours too" (1944). "In this life that runs by like a flash, one thing remains true, and that one thing we should ask of God: to love him" (1944). "Everything passes away and what remains is only the amount of God's love that we gather in our hearts" (1944). "Time is a flash in our hands, it is only a fleeting moment" (1940s). ".Every day takes care of itself and not of tomorrow" (1945).
More recent entries include the basis for the book's title, "Whether we suffer or whether we rejoice, we always believe that God loves us immensely" (1999). Other excerpts from the same document speak of God's affinity for those who suffer, and our relationship with God through which we need never to feel poor or alone on this earth.
The final excerpt, from Christmas 1985, emphasizes Lubich's most frequent theme, unity. With the knowledge of God's love for us, Lubich wrote, we can discern his loving hand at work "beyond life's dark lines." Everything becomes more bearable, pervaded with joy, and filled with the possible. If we hope and ask with all our heart, our world can move toward unity among social classes, races, religions, and nations.