A Friend of Medjugorje’s complete family on a last ride before the first marriage took place that would lead the children to begin their own families. How did we ever “live” before we began to “live Sundays?” The Community of Caritas cherishes this day, and we are grateful beyond words to God for the great “gift” He has given when He gave us this Commandment.
Sundays in the Community of Caritas are the most “looked forward to” days of the week. They are days of rest, prayer, and community. No work is done on Sundays. Nor is anything done that causes other people to work for us.
The Third Commandment is:
A peaceful slumber on Sunday during rosary in the Field with Agnes, the sheep, asleep with her friends. In the Caritas Community, Sunday is cherished, and Monday is held in view of the joy of working for Our Lady. The community has come to take living this Commandment seriously, and in so doing has realized what a blessing God meant this day to be – a day of rest in the Lord.
In the early years of the community, through prayer a Friend of Medjugorje came under deep conviction that his living of the Third Commandment was not true before God. He came to believe that he, and therefore also, the whole community, was living in violation of the Third Commandment. Though they themselves mostly did not work on Sundays, they didn’t mind paying someone else to work for them on Sundays – filling up their cars at the gas station after Mass, going out for ice cream on Sunday afternoons, running out to Wal-Mart for a few forgotten groceries.
A Friend of Medjugorje began to understand that to make others work for them on Sunday was also a violation of the Commandment. His conviction grew until he could no longer rationalize it away. As soon as he understood that this was not pleasing to God, he applied himself to changing the way of life in community to a more true living of the Third Commandment. No work on Sundays. No making others work on Sundays. The change was not easy, but it resulted in the blessing of God descending upon Sundays in the life of the community in tangible ways.
A Friend of Medjugorje writes in the Rule of the Community of Caritas, entitled, “‘A Way’ in a New Time,” about what happened when the Community began to “live Sundays”:
In society today, the biggest problem with this Commandment is not that people are breaking it, but rather that most Christians do not even consider it a sin to work on Sunday or have others work for you. The denial that this is a sin is an even greater problem than the sin itself. A Friend of Medjugorje wrote in Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping,
Many woes today afflict families and nations and are in direct consequence to the violation of the Sabbath. Our Lady said on December 2, 2007:
The blessing of an abundant harvest for living God’s commandments. The community always ends their day in prayer of thanksgiving. They are absolutely sold on living the Sabbath Commandment and as a result of living it, they have received graces that they did not even know existed because they could never receive them without the blessing of living this Commandment.
God always knows what is best for us. He requires the living of the Sabbath Commandment to honor Him and put Him first. In doing so, the Caritas Community has learned that “living Sundays” has been good for both their spiritual and physical well-being. They feel nearer to Heaven on Sundays. Our Lady said on January 25, 2016:
Throughout the year, some in the community spend time in Medjugorje working in the Caritas Mission House and helping with BVM Caritas Medjugorje Pilgrimages. These individuals will write a “Sunday fax” to share with everyone back at home in Alabama special events happening in Medjugorje, as well as conversion stories from a Caritas pilgrimage or from the Mission House. We termed it “News from the Front Lines.” It is always a joy for the community to hear the beautiful testimonies of pilgrims and those that are touched by a Friend of Medjugorje’s writings that are provided in the Mission House. These “Sunday faxes” fortify the community for the week ahead as the stories make clear that their lives have purpose and worth in Our Lady’s plans for the salvation of the world.
News from the Front Lines
The following is one of the Sunday faxes from a community member working in Medjugorje.
August 6, 2017
The Mission House has been incredible. There has been a constant flow of young and old and in between throughout the whole day. There have been tons of Croatians coming in. There was one group of Croatian youth who came in and couldn’t believe that we had all this material in their language for free. Before they left, they came up to me and asked where we were from and what this place was. So I explained about a Friend of Medjugorje and our community and as I told them that a Friend of Medjugorje has a very special love for the Croatian people and wants to help them understand their importance in Our Lady’s plans, many of them got tears in their eyes. They couldn’t believe someone that they didn’t even know would love them this much, to do this for them. They promised that they would spread our materials to all their friends and families and that they would bring other friends back with them. There was another group of young Croatian youth who came in and were so full of joy as they went through our materials. I would bring them a bag and they would fill it up. I would ask them if they wanted another bag and they would say, ‘No,’ and then laughing they would come in a few minutes later asking for another bag. I kept going in with more empty bags and they kept laughing and taking them and filling them up. I think that all left with three or four bags full of our materials. They couldn’t say thank you enough – many with tears in their eyes as well.
A woman and her two daughters from Hungary came in. They all spoke English. She translated the 2nd of the month message into Hungarian and asked if we could print up 100 message cards for them. They have been in several times this week and each time they come in, they get more of our short books. They love them. They said that they are written so simply, but with profound messages in them. They were so grateful for us being here, for the work of the community. They couldn’t say thank you enough. Very few Americans have come in, which is sad to me – but pilgrims from other countries that have come, have been so excited that we have the message cards in their language. They are like little kids at a candy store. It is beautiful. Many of the youth have looked through our photo albums and for them they see this as a dream world – a place that they could not even imagine even exists. It is so fun to watch them look through all the pictures and see the smiles, the joy, the longing, the awe on their faces as they look at pictures of our community.
In the Love of the Two Hearts,
The Community of Caritas in Medjugorje