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Family Life

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In 23 short years (as of August, 2010), we are already in our second and third generations in Our Lady’s school of love. What kind of people will these second and third generations turn out in the fourth and fifth generations? A generation of God’s people, a generation of religious vocation, whose forefathers walk with Our Lady leaves them indelibly marked by Her, even through their lineage, their posterity through all future generations until the end of the world.

Through years of studying Our Lady of Medjugorje’s apparitions, the Community’s founder came to understand that not only are Her words important, but Her gestures, expressions, moods, etc., are very important as well in understanding what She is telling us. When the visionary Marija (click for more about Marija) comes to Caritas, it is almost always Our Lady Who chooses where the apparitions will take place. There have been 156 apparitions at Caritas, and Our Lady has chosen to appear in the Bedroom 123 of those times (as of August 2010). This is a gesture from Our Lady.

Through this gesture Our Lady means to tell us that healing, conversion, and holiness begin in the home. They begin with the relationship between husband and wife. We have a nation and world full of problems, and the nation and the world will never be healed, will never be holy, until families are healed and become holy.

Family life in the Community of Caritas is much different than family life in the world today. In the world, families are separated. Fathers, and often even mothers, leave the home to go to work. Children do not see their parents for most of the day. Our Lady has established a radically different life here.

Harvesting is always a time for learning and joyful days for children in the Community.  Seasons come and go, with memories of love, being around their parents, consecrated singles, young adults and other children.

Youth today spend most of their time with other youth, with no adults around. Instead of being formed by adults with a mature spirituality who can instill in them the proper mentalities, most youth are on their own, receiving their “formation” from other youth who are equally immature. Our Lady helped our founder to understand and guide us to a different way in Community.

Since we all live and work here in Community, parents are with their children throughout the day. The founder has insisted upon this repeatedly. Children often come into his writing office to play unrestricted, even when he is in the middle of writing. Parents and children work together, they pray together, they eat lunch together. A young boy learns hard work and manly virtue by working side by side with his father. A young girl learns to cook and care for children, learns womanly virtue, by working side by side with her mother and other mothers, cooking and helping take care of the babies. Our daily life is very much a classroom in itself.

Birthday party with the Community is a shared life with those who share a way of life. An opportunity for all to be together in fun and in prayer.

The following is taken from the Community’s “rule,” “A Way” in a New Time, written by our founder.

Kids no longer know how to “free play.” Everything is structured today from tournament sports to the McDonald’s play ground prison. Children need spontaneous play, and that can only come from where there is freedom with unnoticed boundaries that leave one feeling unrestricted. Our Lady has shown this in “A Way” in a New Time. From playing riding bulls to climbing trees, our kids are secure with an adult always nearby.

“The sway of society today to prepare for retirement during and after raising children leaves the next generation to repeat the cycle, which is leading to a weakening of ties across generations. The preoccupation and worry that we must “provide for ourselves” in this way, while our grown children, just beginning their lives, are head over heels in debt, has caused great financial strain and stress on many marriages as well as divorces. This mentality is what fills up nursing homes, where parents are forgotten, and children are led not to have to take responsibility for their aged parents. This set pattern continues a cycle to the next generation and beyond. Through prayer and Our Lady’s way, we should witness that this cycle can be changed. Mirjana, one of the visionaries of Medjugorje has said “It is a great sin to put parents in a nursing home.” Ivan, another of the visionaries in Medjugorje has said, “It is a joy for God to see three generations of family under the same roof.” We are not necessarily saying three generations must be under the same roof, but at least as a little village close to each other. We, therefore, believe that instead of feathering our futures, we should be helping out newly wed couples by supporting their beginnings, allowing them the means to begin their life together without the enslavement of the next thirty years due to loans, mortgages, etc.  For those youth who are in the Community and choose to stay, their years of learning and working contributes to building up the Community.  It rebounds back to them when they marry, through the Community they helped build. This brings young families greater security and therefore, greater contentment, peace and harmony within the family. Having been helped in this way by their parents and the consecrated, the children would grow up understanding that when their parents are no longer able to take care of themselves, that the children would then take it upon themselves to care and look after the needs of the aged. It should not be thought of as an imposition, but rather as a privilege, to care for the ones who gave so much to them in their growing years. This strengthens the community in that a full cycle of generations are always moving through, exposing children to Grandma, Grandpa, to children wed with all others in between, breeding a holy way and a witness of God’s desires to change society to a better, holier way to live. This cycle cannot occur without hard work, for nothing is free. However, it is a labor of love, which is what makes it as though free and a fruit of Our Lady’s messages in our life that has guided us into the position of cross generations living in harmony together as opposed to society’s segregation of generations.”

Kids are often in the hay field playing while older youths and the fathers are working. Hard play is work too. Our Lady said on August 14, 1989,

“…I would like to see in the future parents in the families work and pray as much as they can with their children, so they can, from day to day, strengthen their spirit…”

Our Lady has shown Many children today don’t experience this forerunner to good work ethics, never learning to play and therefore never learning to really work.

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