Frank Johnson reviews a book of brief reflections by Chiara Lubich.
[New City Magazine – October 2008]
Many of us live fairly hectic lives, and the idea of dedicating some time each day to meditation or spiritual reading does not sit easily with our busy lifestyle. Thus, in recent years quite a large number of titles have been published that help people cut comers. Perhaps the most successful of these attempts at ‘potted’ meditations, was The Little Book of Calm, which was on the best sellers’ list for many months. The popularity of this little book was proof that, deep down, people do want to spend some time reflecting on the direction their lives are taking.
No Thorn without a Rose – 99 Sayings by Chiara Lubich, is one of a now well-established series of little books that offer digestible snippets of distilled wisdom. Chiara Lubich’s charism of unity is so dense and so all-embracing that it would seem impossible to present it in this ‘abridged’ form. Nevertheless, the skill of the editor has enabled the reader to enter into the charism with a fine selection of mini-meditations. A few examples suffice to illustrate the point: ‘Only those who pass through the ice of suffering reach the fire of love’; ‘Believe it, one minute of your life on that sickbed, if you accept it as a gift from God, is worth more than all the words of a preacher who may speak a lot, but loves God little’; ‘When unity among us becomes difficult, we must not break, but bend, until love makes the miracle of one heart and one soul’. Most of the reflections are longer than those reported her, but none is more than a single page in this beautifully-produced little hardback, complete with ribbon page-marker.
However busy you may be, you will find something in No Thorn without a Rose to feed your soul.