Geniuses and scientists have offered and offer so much; but to change the world as we want, universal ideas are needed, ideas that encompass and complete the partial truths that the great thinkers left us. We need The Idea, we need the Word. [1]

In 1968, Chiara Lubich wrote, “Love is light, it is like a ray of light, which, when it passes through a drop of water, becomes a rainbow, where seven colours can be admired. All of them are colours of light, which in turn take on infinite hues. And just as the rainbow is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, in the same way love, the life of Jesus in us, would take on different colours, expressed in various ways, each one different from the other.”[2] Love leads to communion, it is not closed in on itself, it is of itself outward looking, it elevates the soul, it heals, it gathers people together, love is the source of wisdom.

Chiara Lubich narrated her experience at the conferral of an honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from the “St. Juan Bautista del la Salle,” University,  in Mexico City. She first referred to her attraction to philosophy, understood not as a discipline but as a love of wisdom. Then she asked a crucial question about the lack of meaning that characterizes the cultural crisis of our time:

“Are we facing an irreversible crisis? Or is it rather the slow coming to birth of a new world?

Here, too, Jesus forsaken provides a light for understanding and living the meaning of this drama. Jesus forsaken experienced in himself and took upon himself the nonbeing of all those separated from the source of being. He took upon himself the “vanity of vanities” (Eccl 1:2).

Out of love, he made his own this non-being that we can call negative and transformed it into himself, into the positive non-being that is love, as revealed in the resurrection.”

And later she concluded:  “The Risen Jesus who lives in us and among us [… ] sheds a new light upon, and opens up the relationship between, people and the world, of which the capacity to transform things through work and technology is just one aspect.

As a result of our experience we feel confident in affirming that the most profound intuitions (whether in the fields of thought, art, science, or of practical projects), when understood in the light of that unity among us by which the presence of the Risen Jesus in our midst makes us participate in his thought (see 1 Cor 2:16), can offer a glimpse into this overflowing of the Spirit of God into all things.”[3]

In recognition of her wide-ranging cultural contribution, in 1998 the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) awarded Chiara Lubich an honorary degree in  Dialogue with Contemporary Culture, calling her  “A woman recognized throughout the world for the value of her thought and work in favour of unity in diversity, of solidarity and of pluralistic dialogue”

In the Laudatio, Prof. Alicia Camilloni said, “Her ideal embraces the whole of reality, in which bridges are built between the different areas of knowledge, and where the right to a plurality of theories is preserved as an expression of the limitless creativity of the human mind. This, in fact, is the ideal of a University which is open, pluralist, tolerant and democratic – the one the university institution must embody.”[4]


  1. [1]

    Chiara Lubich, in Colloqui con i gen 1966/68, Città Nuova 1998, pag. 42

  2. [2]

    Chiara Lubich, in Dottorati honoris causa conferiti a Chiara Lubich, Città Nuova, 2016, pagg. 167-168
    Essential writings P 245

  3. [3]

    Ibid., pag. 175

  4. [4]

    Ibid., pag. 179

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