Chiara Lubich’s Communitarian Way to Holiness
in the Light of John 17: 11b-19
Paloma Cabetas (about)
Some Related Comments:
"Cabetas offers a deep meditation on the meaning of John 17 that reflects her own spiritual journey. Combining contemporary biblical scholarship with the spiritual reflections of Chiara Lubich, she points out that when Jesus sanctifies his disciples in the truth, this sanctity is modelled on the Trinitarian life. Sanctity does not mean withdrawal from the world. On the contrary it means being united in mutual love in Jesus’ name and in so doing, bearing witness to the world that unity among us is possible. Cabetas, as a follower of Chiara Lubich’s charism of unity, helps us penetrate John 17 with a freshness and attractiveness needed for our modern times."
Professor Ordinario di Ontologia e Razionalità Scientifica
Istituto Universitario Sophia
"Chiara's message of non-exclusive unity is scholarly documented and interpreted by Ms. Cabetas as an inescapable challenge for the world to heed. She speaks through Chiara’s voice for each of us to surrender oneselves to be a living, loving contributor to the sanctity of the whole world and not just a self selected fragment of it. As a Jewish friend of the Focolare I urge everyone to study this book and choose how to fulfill its challenge."
Ronald Ramer, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Education
Aurora University, Illinois
"Paloma Cabetas’ little book on Chiara Lubich’s Collective Sanctity has combined scriptural exegesis with a beautiful reflection on the spiritual foundation of the Focolare movement. Her exegesis of Jesus’ priestly prayer in John 17, in particular on the inextricable link between unity and sanctification, draws upon the fathers of the Church as well as on 20th century biblical scholarship. Cabetas illuminates the origins of Focolare in its founder Chiara Lubich’s realization, based on John 17, that followers of Jesus are called, not to an individualistic moral and spiritual perfection, but to unity in love. Holiness, then, is fundamentally communitarian in nature – a unity in love between God and his people, a unity in love among the followers of Christ themselves, a unity which can transform humanity. For those interested in Chiara Lubich and the spiritual roots of Focolare, this book provides an insightful introduction. Those seeking a catholic spirituality that overcomes the rampant individualism of our age will also find grist for their mill in Cabetas’ exegesis and reflection."
Editor, Western Catholic Reporter, Alberta, Canada
"In her work Paloma Cabetas analyzes the textual source for Chiara Lubich’s spirituality and demonstrates how the founder of the Focolare Movement was well-grounded in the Biblical text and yet offered both unique and modern interpretations of Christian love, sanctity and unity."
Emily D. Soloff
National Associate Director
Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, American Jewish Committee
"Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement, was one of the most remarkable lay leaders and spiritual guides of the modern church. Her spirituality was deeply rooted in the Scriptures, particularly the theology of John’s Gospel. In this exceptional work, Paloma Cabetas demonstrates how profoundly Chiara drew on the fundamental themes of both unity and the communitarian quest for holiness found in the final testament of Jesus in chapter 17 of John’s Gospel. The driving spirit of both themes is the Johannine focus on love as the essence of Jesus’ own mission. This study not only explains the strong biblical and theological foundations of one of most vital Christian movements animating the church today but also points the reader to the heart of John’s theology."
Fr. Donald Senior, C.P.
President Emeritus and Professor of New Testament at Catholic Theological Union
Paloma Cabetas is currently the Co-Director of the Focolare Movement in the Midwest Region. Born in Madrid, Spain, she has a B.A. in Classical Studies from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and an M.A. in Theology from the Catholic Distance University.