Fiona Townley reviews a new book on the spirituality of unity.
[New City Magazine – ?]
A New Way – The Spirituality of Unity, a collection of excerpts from the writings of Chiara Lubich, is only 180 pages long, 161 if you don’t read the fantastic foreword by Cardinal Vlk the Cardinal Archbishop of Prague. The spirituality of unity as it has been lived by members of the Work of Mary or Focolare Movement as it is more commonly known, is over sixty years of life expressed in hundreds if not thousands of writings, talks and discussions by its founder, Chiara Lubich. This book is a Tardis and just like the unlikely phone box used by Dr Who, A New Way looks slim enough to avoid being intimidating, yet it has a world of meditation and life inside it. Don’t let this synthesised look fool you though, it takes the reader through an explanation and a meditation on the key points of the spirituality of the Work of Mary and of the various ‘aspects’ that love can take while living this spirituality, but it is definitely still not a low fat offering. Every page is carefully distilled and edited to give maximum benefit to the reader. It is an ideal book to give as a present for anyone who wants to know more about the spirituality and it is also a great book for starting the day with the focus on unity.
I was particularly taken last Monday morning by these lines on the Movement’s view of work: ‘the Focolare spirituality has a similar, if not identical, concept of work to the one Jesus had… To be a true worker, a member of the Focolare must look after all this and more. Love one’s work, therefore.’ Reading this book, it was evident that the author had a great love for this work and for her readers.