The local community of the Far West Suburbs of Chicago enjoyed an evening preparing for Christmas at the McGrails’ home on Saturday, December 17.[more]
As a Family, We Have a Vocation:
“…each family has to live out its own vocation as a family in order to serve as a model for the entire human family, transferring onto it its own values with their characteristic way of being. …
- Is it natural in a family to have everything in common? Then that is the seed to give life to an economic system that serves the human person.
- Is it natural in a family for the members to live one for the other? Then that is the seed that will grow into mutual acceptance among all.
- Aren’t values passed on from one generation to another? Then that’s the incentive for emphasizing the importance of teaching values to a society at large.
- Is one person’s life as precious as another’s? Then that is the seed to a culture of life that needs to permeate laws and social structures.
- Does the family generally take care of its home? Then that is the model for a renewed consciousness about the environment and ecology.
- Is love the natural bond among all of the members of a family? Then that is the seed for social structures ad institutions that cooperate for the good of the individual and community to the point of achieving universal brotherhood.
God created the family as a model and prototype for every other form of human community.
Our Vocation is to Love Always
This is the family’s task; to keep love always alive, reviving those values that God has given the family and bringing them everywhere into society, generously and tirelessly.
An excerpt taken from a talk Chiara Lubich gave to a group of families in 1993. Chiara is the foundress of the Focolare Movement’s Spirituality of Unity.
My Duty to Trust – an experience
As a father of five children I always felt that it was my duty to be head of the house; to be the one to say no, to punish the children when necessary and especially to see that they were obedient.
I remember the first time I heard about loving my children in a different way, to love them as a mother does. One day I just walked past my son’s bedroom and noticed how untidy it was-bed unmade, clothes on the floor, mess everywhere. Immediately my blood began to boil. “This child knows his bed should be made, and the room cleaned up” I thought, “This is gross laziness and disobedience. In my anger I wanted to find him and do a bit of reinforcing! But then I asked myself, “How would a mother behave in this case?” I knew the answer. She would feel sympathy for the child, his tiredness or business or whatever, and make the bed for him. But would he grow up to be a spoiled brat?
There was a bit of struggle inside, but something made me try it just once. So I made the bed and cleaned the room. Amazingly, if nothing else, I came away feeling really good and happy.
As I said nothing about it, I was really amazed when, a few days later, I discovered that someone had made my bed before I got to it. Guess who!
That simple incident marked the start of a new relationship with my son and within the family. The emphasis is now on mutual love and trust, instead of imposed discipline. And not only does it work, but also we are all so much happier.
The Indianapolis Focolare Community meets regularly throughout the year both in large gatherings of all ages and in periodic meetings for different age groups or interests, such as youth gatherings, young family meetings, interfaith or business related events.[more]
Fifty-six merry makers enjoyed a classy, brassy and sassy celebration at the Ongtengco home in mid-December.[more]