Published by Uyulala
I was part of the Focolare Movement. I met Chiara Lubich, who died at her house, a cottage in Rocca di Papa. I was part of that movement from the age of 15 to the age of 23-24 years.
I remember the reverence we had (and, I assume, many more people have right now) for her. I remember the Congress in January, when I was still part of the movement. I remember the meetings in January, which took place at the convention center of Rocca di Papa, or Sassone, males and females strictly separated. I remember when Chiara came to read one of her spiritual conversations. Then, for a short period of time, males and females were mixed and we huddled trying to stay as close as possible to the stage, hoping to be able to make eye contact with her or to be dedicated a fleeting smile. I remember that we were running, when she was coming out of the conference center where we were, we were running to greet her.
In that period I was feeling "split". On the one hand, I wished I became like all the other Gen, and this pushed me to behave and to "feel" some kind of emotion, but on the other hand a strange feeling of detachment led me to wonder: why all this?
Why so much idolatry toward a person? For it was not love or simple admiration. We adored that woman. I could feel it in the way everybody, me included, prounounced her name, in the flash of light that enlightened the people who had had the chance to interact with her.
Everything had to be filtered through her "spirituality." There could be nothing outside of it, nothing but what, in one way or another, could be finally linked to that. Any kind of freedom was denied, and you were kindly invited to give it personally up. And we did it with a smile, offering the pain of those "cuts" to Jesus on the cross.
Chiara's real name was Silvia. She chose her name in the occasion of her original and unusual consecration. This is a common act to many forms of consecration by which you let what is on earth to take a different identity.
My experience of the Focolare Movement has given me deep wounds that I had to treat in many years and which probably have not yet healed. But there is one thing I learnt: I have finally learnt that never, for no reason at all, I may consider another human being on earth as an emissary, a spokesman or prophet of any god, nor as Guru or teacher. And this is the only thing I can be truly and deeply grateful to Chiara: she has been my vaccine.
Now you're back Silvia. I am sorry for those who will be horrified by my words but I am deeply convinced that now you, Silvia, you will know how many mistakes are being made in the name of a spirituality which was exclusively yours. And how much bad is hidden in the folds of the word "good."
Translated by Laryssa from the original article at http://www.sacroprofano.net/2008/03/14/chiara-lubich-si-chiamava-silvia/
written by Uyulala