At the Origins of a New Spirituality
Chiara Lubich; Bill Hartnett (Translator) (about)
How should the author be introduced? Well, in the back cover of this book of 147 pages, there is a section introducing the author that I find fascinating: The New York Times described Chiara Lubich as one of the most influential women in the Catholic Church. As the president of the Focolare Movement, Italian-born Chiara Lubich was a renowned religious leader and writer. She, a prolific writer, had published over 50 books in 29 languages, with more than one million copies sold. As a book of spirituality in the form of a collection of 60 letters written to many people spanning from 1944 to1949, it is not easy to grasp the important themes of this book. Therefore, the letters are grouped into four parts with distinguished titles as follows: 1. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love; 2. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified; 3. I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled; 4. Whoever is near me is near the fire.
Lubich’s mystical experience can be traced to her intimate dwelling in God. As result, she has special spiritual insights expressed in her letters in the following subjects: love, suffering, abandonment, and unity. Lubich attempts to help her friends to closely follow Jesus Christ in whatever their situation and circumstances. Who are the audience of these letters? Originally, the recipients of these letters are the readers. However, after the publication of this book, all readers of this book become the audience. With the words of encouragement in this book, readers are uplifted spiritually because as followers of Jesus Christ, we all follow our model/example/sample: Jesus Christ.
Alan L Chan,
Canaan Chinatown Christian Church, Las Vegas, NV, USA
An internationally known religious leader and writer, Italian-born Chiara Lubich (1920-2008) was described by the New York Times as one of the most influential women in the Catholic Church. She was president of the Focolare Movement, and her work has been recognized by universities, agencies, foundations, nations, states, and municipalities including 15 honorary doctorates, numerous civic awards, the Templeton Prize for Progress of Religion, and the UNESCO Peace Prize. She has published over 50 books in 29 languages, with more than one million copies sold.