The Certainty of Christian Unity

Hard to argue with the forthright logic of Chiara Lubich, founder of Focolare, a unity movement of the Roman Catholic Church. Sometimes we just need to be reminded!

The following is an excerpt from an article appearing in the current issue of Living City magazine, a publication of the Focolare Movement. The article quotes Lubich by way of her participation in an interdenominational conversation dating to November 1988. Her logic is just as persuasive today as it was 28 years ago.

“Though we continually assume that God wants it, we cannot see in detail what a united world would be like…nor can we see when this united world will come about. But some things are certain.

“First of all, I am convinced that Jesus wants it, because he said to his apostles, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news’ (Mk 16:15). Therefore, everyone is a candidate for unity, for the Gospel, for a united world–all are candidates. So the first thing that we can be sure of is that Jesus wants it.

“Secondly, we know for sure that Jesus prayed for unity. He prayed, ‘May they all be one’ (Jn 17:21), which means everyone. Since the Son of God prayed to the Father for this, I think it will have to be granted, because it is impossible for the prayer of the Son of God not to be granted.”

Lubich’s logic here is simple and strong–Jesus’ command to make disciples, and his prayer for the oneness of the Church, incite encouragement and confidence, because it is, after all, Jesus making the command and praying the prayer! May our time be God’s time for the fulfillment of his Beloved’s request.

Let The Amish Be Our Guides

A Story of Grace and our North Star for the Journey

[The following account was presented by CBS News in 2013.]

It’s been seven years since Terri Roberts’ life changed forever.

In October 2006, her 32-year-old son Charlie walked into an Amish school in Lancaster County and shot 10 young girls, killing five of them before killing himself.

“I heard the sirens and heard helicopters,” Roberts said. “My phone was ringing and it was my husband and he said, ‘You have to get to Charlie’s right away.’

And I looked at my husband with these sunken eyes, just saying, ‘It was Charlie.’ “It could not be,” she said, shaking her head and with tears in her eyes. “It truly was. It was our son.”

Roberts’ initial reaction was that she had to move away. But the Amish came to her the night of the shooting to say they wanted her to stay.

Some of the victims’ families attended her son’s funeral. “There are not words to describe how that made us feel that day,” said Roberts.

“For the mother and father who had lost not just one but two daughters at the hand of our son, to come up and be the first ones to greet us — wow. Is there anything in this life that we should not forgive?”

Roberts now shares this message with those who have experienced trauma. And every Thursday, she cares for the most seriously wounded survivor of the shooting, who is now 13.