Monday, October 29, 2012

Blessed Chiara (1971-1990): A "Light" For Us All

Today is the feast day of Blessed Chiara "Luce" Badano, an Italian girl of our own time who died of bone cancer in 1990, a few weeks short of her 19th birthday.

A devoted member of Focolare, Chiara Luce is the first person to be beatified from the "new ecclesial movements" that flourish today with so much vitality in the Church. Thus, she is a particular witness to the depth of Christian life that the following of a charism can generate.

There are many charisms in the Church, through which Christ seeks to enter the concrete circumstances of people today, especially young people. They are as various as the vast freedom of the Holy Spirit, and some are still in the process of development. What they share in common are their extraordinary fruits, and their profound obedience and love for the Church.

Chiara Luce Badano amazes me. I find myself dizzy and powerless, gasping for air in the atmosphere she inhabits. But I am also drawn in my heart, fascinated and filled with longing even in front of the things that seem frightening and incomprehensible.

I do indeed have a glimpse of my destiny in the love and sacrifice of Chiara, though I have been entrusted to a different charism, another path that leads to the same place.

I acknowledge that I am far from God, broken, and above all proud. Only the humility that trusts in the transforming presence of Christ in my life can change me. I don't know how to "imitate" a saint like this. I can only beg for the grace of Christ to awaken and deepen in me the awareness that the circumstances of my own life are His gift through which He draws me to Himself. Blessed Chiara, pray for me. Pray for us.

I offer my nothingness
so that the Holy Spirit can bestow his gifts
of love, light and peace
upon the youth;
so that everybody can understand
what a free and immense gift life is,
and how important it is to live every instant
in the fullness of God.
I feel so little and the road ahead is so arduous
that I often feel overwhelmed with pain!
But that’s the Spouse coming to meet me.
Yes, I repeat it: “If you want it Jesus, so do I”.

--Blessed Chiara Badano (1990)