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About the Word of Life

'We have understood that the world needs a treatment of the Gospel, because only the Good News can give back to the world the life it lacks. This is why we live the Word of Life....

'We make it flesh in ourselves to the point of being that living Word....'

Here, expressed by Chiara Lubich, is the basic insight that led her and her first companions to choose each week - and later each month - a sentence from the Gospel, to comment on it, and to live it together. This practice does not consist merely in reflecting upon a word of the Gospel nor even in meditating upon it, but in putting it into action - in all the circumstances of daily life. It is thus lived with the conviction that the words of Jesus are 'Spirit and Life', and that a single word of the Gospel, if it is put into practice, can be a starting point for the re-evangelisation of one's whole life. Chiara Lubich uses the following image to express this certainty: We need only to know a few letters and rules of grammar in order to read and write, but if we don't know them we remain illiterate for the rest of our lives. In the same way, a few sentences of the Gospel are enough to form Christ in us - if we live them.

Thus the Word of Life with its commentary has been distributed month after month so that everyone who wished to live it could have it to hand, in their pocket, on the desk, on the computer screen, on the bedside table; anywhere close by, so that it would be remembered, so that the person could be impregnated with it, and living it could become almost a reflex. Today it is translated into 90 different languages and dialects and reaches more than 14 million people worldwide, through the press, radio, television, and the internet. It is lived by people all over the world.

Another characteristic feature of the Word of Life is the way that people meet to tell each other how they live it. Just as scientists experiment on hypotheses in laboratories and then communicate their results to one another in order to advance their science, so those who put the Word of Life into practice communicate their experiences. This is done, not to show off virtues, but to share the light they have received.

In conclusion, let us once again allow Chiara Lubich to speak:

'We live many words of Sacred Scripture, so that they stay with us as a permanent treasure in our souls. To live the Word in the present moment of our lives - this is our task. All of us can live it, whatever our vocation, age, or position in society, because Jesus is Light for every human being who comes into this world.

'With this simple method we re-evangelise our souls and with them, the world...

'Let us be living Gospels, living Words of Life, each of us like another Jesus! Then we will really be loving him...

'There is Life! Whoever finds it does not die.'

This page is adapted from the preface of the book Words to Live by published by New City Press, New York, ISBN 0-911782-08-7.

 

Contributions towards the cost of publishing the Word of Life may be sent to:
Word of Life, 50 Dafforne Road, London, SW17 8TZ, UK., or
Word of Life, Ardmory, 30 Langside Drive, Glasgow, G43 2QQ. UK.

The Word of Life is published by the Focolare Movement