Reflections on Chiara Lubich's Mystical Journey
Page Count
536 pages
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    About the book

    "Paradise: Chiara Lubich’s Mystical Journey" is the first book to be published with Chiara’s only two talks about Paradise ’49, along with essays about that mystical journey and it implications for today’s world.

    This book presents both Chiara’s mystic journey in Paradise and her mystical journey in creation seeing humanity, nature and the Church in the light of Paradise. The latter journey gave Chiara mystical insights about the Church, humanity, and nature as well as God’s will for all three in the future. The mystical genius of Chiara created a lay spirituality that seeks to realize Jesus’s prayers: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt. 6:10), and “May they all be one” (Jn. 17:21).

    Essays by: Chiara Lubich, Peter Casarella, Thomas Norris, David L. Schindler, Piero Coda, Brendan Leahy, Donald W. Mitchell, Hubertus Blaumeiser, Luigino Bruni, Antonio Baggio, Bernard Callebaut, Gérard Rossé, Callan Slipper, Roberto Catalano, Cinto Busquet, Brian K. Reynolds, Jesús Morán, Maria Voce, Cherylanne Menezes, Judith Povilus, Anna Pelli.

    This fascinating book contains two major components: first, Chiara Lubich’s “Paradise” reflections of 1949 manifesting the earlier years of her agapic, kenotic, mystical journey; second, several fine essays by thinkers from diverse disciplines on the implications of Lubich’s mysticism, especially for a christology of Jesus as the abandoned one and for Trinitarian theology of mutual love. Particularly valuable are the essays on the possible contribution of Chiara Lubich’s form of mysticism--indeed of all genuine mysticism in all religious traditions--as a great enrichment of all inter-religious dialogue. In sum: a complex, erudite, thoughtful collection. 

    David Tracy
    University of Chicago

    This remarkable collection centered upon the memorial of Chiara Lubich’s mystical experience, “Paradise ’49,” is like the setting of a gem: not only does it secure for this little text its rightful place in modern Catholic mystical theology, drawing our attention to its heavenly splendor; it also serves to refract from various angles its significance to such varied subjects as theology, biblical studies, ecclesiology, society and culture, and even interreligious dialogue. In his foreword Peter Casarella describes Lubich’s paradisal experience of the Trinity in 1949 as “The Mount Tabor of the Dolomites.” It may be hoped that this commemorative volume will further the reflection of its light. 

    John Betz
    Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame

    The appearance of Paradise: Chiara Lubich´s Mystical Journey is a wonderful contribution to the actual state of the field of mystic studies. In our times, where consistent spiritual experiences with strong features seem to be lacking, Chiara Lubich´s experience testifies to the presence of those experiences in a new configuration. She is not the only one. Others too have had deep experiences of God in secular circumstances in contemporary times. What is fantastic about Chiara is the fact that she combines the deepest mystical revelations with the most current and practical tasks and details of everyday life. And​ she does​ that with a great comunitarian sense and a deep fidelity to the Church where she belongs. This collection of essays about her mystical journey will give the reader a good sense of the depth of Chiara’s loving union with God in Christ and also her openness to everything that is created with their​ similarities and differences.

    Maria Clara Bingemer
    Professor of Theology, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

    These intelligent essays shed light on the profound contemplative experiences and subsequent writings about those experiences by Chiara Lubich. As such these reflections provide further evidence that she is one of the must luminous mystics of the modern Catholic era

    Lawrence Cunningham
    The University of Notre Dame

    About the author

    Donald W. Mitchell is Professor emeritus of Asian and comparative philosophy and religion at Purdue University with specializations in Buddhism and the Buddhist-Christian dialogue. He is now permanent visiting professor of interreligious dialogue at Sophia University Institute, Florence, Italy; and editor of Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture.