“Remember, young lady, that God loves you immensely”. These words told to Chiara Lubich by a Capuchin friar while World War II was raging everywhere, brought out in that young teacher from Trent a Copernican revolution destined to change her life and that of hundreds of other people in the world. Having gained awareness of God’s personal love for her and for every other creature, her extremely particular charism would begin, and thanks to the Focolare Movement, it would spread all over the world in just a few years. Chiara Lubich repeated that same phrase to Chiara Badano, when she was paralyzed in bed because of her cancer, as to remind her of the sense and the value of what she was living.
But that same phrase had left a mark in her long before her illness began. It was actually thanks to that phrase that the young miss Badano was able to face it: more than a battle to fight, as a new manifestation of God’s love for her. Certainly, a love that was light years ahead of the canons and the desires of human beings, but one in which to continue to believe in every moment: in the little events of each day, in the encounters and welters of life, and even in that which would constitute the greatest challenge of her existence: a struggle that not only was she able to accept, but actually take advantage of, to give a return to that Love.
Just like her spiritual mother decades before, even young Chiara knew to trace everything that happened to her back to God’s love, even more so in the last two years of her life. In this sense, her illness did not change its course in her existential journey, but served as an instrument to accelerate the pace. For her, everything was the simple manifestation of a divine Love, and as such, infinite, eternal, incorruptible, but most of all so personal so as to feel the need to deepen the knowledge of it every day to discover new undertones, to constantly taste new flavors, inside and out of herself. “God is Love”, she would repeat to herself thousands of times, not in words, but as a natural impulse of the heart. It was the reason for being of Creation, and the sense of her own life, and just like Chiara Lubich, she had learned to find confirmation not only in the splendor of the Nature that surrounded her, in the beauty of the masterpieces and the majestic complexity of the Universe, but in every neighbor, and in every phrase of Jesus’ Gospel.
From this, the intimate and ineffable happiness that also accompanied her in the most difficult moments, always giving her that sense of fullness and serenity with which she was able to face the darkest struggles, and which she knew to radiate upon whomever was beside her. “God is Love”, therefore everything is love, for me and for you, she seemed to repeat with her radiant eyes: an unshakeable conviction that would accompany her until her last breath.