The May 2008 issue of New City is the first since the death of Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement who publish the magazine. It is therefore dedicated to her, and to some of the key events in her life and the life of Focolare. Particular attention is given to Chiara's visits to England and Ireland.
One article is entitled "The Work of Mary". This is the official, canonical title of the movement - Focolare is a kind of nick-name. According to the article, it was Chiara's understanding of God's plan for the movement that it was to live "like Mary"; or, in fact, more than that to "relive Mary" in a certain sense. New City reproduces a meditation in which Chiara gives an account of how this intuition for the movement came into being. It has a striking resonance with a thought of Alina Reyes included in the post I did yesterday on the April-May issue of Lourdes Magazine. One might also want to suggest that apparitions of the Virgin Mary such as those at Lourdes do in some way make a presence of Mary in the Church.
I went into church one day, and with my heart full of trust, I asked: "Why did you wish to remain on earth, on every point of the earth, in the most sweet Eucharist, and you, you who are God, have not found a way to bring here and to leave here Mary, the mother of all of us who journey?"
In the silence he seemed to reply: "I have not left her because I want to see her again in you. Even if you are not immaculate, my love will virginize you, and you, all of you, will open your arms and hearts as mothers of humanity, which, as in times past, thirsts for God and for his mother. It is you who now must soothe pains, soothe wounds, dry tears. Sing her litanies and strive to mirror yourself in them".
[Chiara Lubich Mary the Transparency of God]