A Way of Life
The community children are the ones who gather the eggs each day, wash them and deliver them to each household. Our way of life takes us back to a simpler time. “It is hard to put just one definition on it. Dirt, patience, and perseverance minus your will…equals…A Way of Life.” ~Wife of a Friend of Medjugorje Caritas of Birmingham was founded in late 1986. Before this, the founder of Caritas had owned a successful landscape and excavation company. He and his wife had built this business from the ground up. It was his desire that he would leave it for his children to run when he retired. He had been living a life of prayer, striving to be a Godly husband and father. One day while fueling his truck before heading to a jobsite, he heard God ask him in his heart: “What do you want to leave your children? Money, or a way to live?” The founder replied in his heart, “I want to leave them a way of life.” There were no fireworks, no thunder from Heaven. But, this simple exchange in his heart, between his soul and God, a moment that was here one second and gone the next, began many steps towards a profound change of his life. After the founder became involved with Medjugorje in 1986, and after starting Caritas of Birmingham, the changes that he was making in his life were the beginning steps towards what would one day become the Caritas Community’s way of life, grounded in the messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje.
After being deeply affected by the messages, the Founder of the Caritas Community had went down the path of radically changing his life and through this, transforming his family. The Founder has stated that, “We do not claim to be a holy people…but we do claim to be living a holy way of life shown to us by the Mother of God… Technological advancements and many other modern clutters of life have snuffed out the fullness of authentic Christian living.” From the Founder’s first encounter with Our Lady of Medjugorje in 1986, he ‘emptied his vessel’ and has allowed Her to fill it to overflowing. In a world that has traveled further and further away from God the Father, Our Lady has brought a community of people together to live a life that draws them closer and closer to Him. Society boldly goes against every way of life God intends for man. Our Lady knew it was necessary to form a community of believers, just as in the first days of Christianity, to reform society through the individual affecting the family, the family affecting the village, and the village affecting the world. By following the witness of the founder, also known as a Friend of Medjugorje, the Community of Caritas has transformed Our Lady’s words into life. This “way” was ordained by Our Lady and confirmed by Her on May 31, 1995 when She gave a message directly to the founder, through Medjugorje visionary Marija, stating: “Little children, I desire that through your lives you are witnesses, that you are my extended hands, my instruments. Get as many hearts as you can close to my heart and lead them to God, to a way of salvation.”
A group of people brought together through Our Lady to live a life based on Her words and commissioned to get hearts closer to Her heart. When Our Lady appeared to Marija on December 13, 1988 in the home of a Friend of Medjugorje and his wife, She conveyed to Marija Her desire to start a community at the site of their home. Just as in the early days of Christianity, this body of people is transforming society through one individual affecting the family, the family affecting the village, and the village affecting the world… Marija, immediately after that apparition, spoke to the founder who alone was with her and said, “Our Lady gave a message to you, your family and the community.” Marija and he knew this message was a milestone and directive to no longer be passive, but rather proactive in spreading the messages. He had been very active in spreading the messages, but in a passive way and had directed the community in the same way. This message was the impulse for him to guide the community, through Our Lady, to become much more proactive in its role to “get” hearts close to “Hers” according to the way She had instructed the founder. This way of life requires a great deal of sacrifice, but the fruit that comes is a closeness to Heaven that is incomparable. Thousands across the world have come and continue to come to see ‘how it works’ and we know that Our Lady has led “the way.” It is becoming clearer that this way of life, which She has revealed to a Friend of Medjugorje through the messages, is becoming the way of the future, when the entire world will be transformed through Her messages. We are not concerned whether people believe this will happen, but know that history will prove it to be so.
Many parents say to their children, “Do as I say, not as I do.” They let the television be their babysitter; their friends determine their values; the corrupt educational system mold their minds. A Friend of Medjugorje grew up in a neighborhood where the fathers gathered every evening to discuss the events of the day. The children weren’t shooed away, but were encouraged to listen and learn from their fathers’ life experiences. These were the days following World War II when there were monumental changes taking place in every part of man’s life—from society, to the culture, to the church. These daily conversations became imprinted in a Friend of Medjugorje and he learned not only many of the philosophies that he still holds today, but the importance of keeping youth near to adults and leading by witness. “Do as I say, and do as I do.” Through a Friend of Medjugorje’s “Yes” to change his life, the community reaps the beauty of… A Way of Life … Heaven on Earth.
For an inside look at a beautiful Way of Life: