Community of Caritas

Sign-up for mejList, the FREE Medjugorje Newsletter


BELOW: 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.


Founder of Caritas with his family


“Our nation cannot recover if Christians do not acknowledge the Commandment of the Sabbath and live it.” - a Freind of Medjugorje

“What you fix on Sunday, breaks on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”1

 

sleeping kids sheep

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.

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:

 

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-10)


 

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”:


“Meanwhile, something extraordinary began to happen in the Community once “living Sundays” began to root itself into our lives. The more we desired to fulfill the command of God by love, the more our experiences were touched by grace. Being raised Catholic, I can say I had never before in my life experienced the grace associated with living the Commandment. Why should I? I had never lived it. I didn’t even know a grace was available. In doing it as “a way” of life, it was within six months that Sunday became an extraordinary day, filled with graces. One Sunday, when I first experienced this grace, I felt as though Sunday lasted for two days. Monday morning, as the Community met, we all shared the same experience, “a day that seemed not to end.” One could easily believe this to be exaggerated, at least stretching it. But it is easy to unveil this truth by simply living this commandment – not to do it to test God and see if He gives one a grace, but a real commitment."


victoria horse
Once the community began to “Live the Sabbath,” they began to experience beautiful moments touched by grace. It was clear that these extraordinary moments were the result of this Commandment taking root in their lives. They began to feel the physical presence of God, for as in Scripture it says to ‘remember the Sabbath’ and ‘therefore the Lord blessed that day and made it holy.'

 


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, “If, at least, we admitted it, ‘I’m doing wrong. I’ll confess this sin,’ then perhaps we could spare ourselves many of the woes we now suffer from.”2 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:

 


“Is my Son, your God truly in the first place? Are His Commandments truly the measure of your life?”

 

sunday in field

 
Many people are excited to get away from their work and their co-workers at the end of the week to change the scenery and spend time with the people they love. In the community their whole life is with each other, even in time off on Sunday. They meet out in the Field to say daily Rosary and bring out “Sunday blankets.” Blankets are overlapped, blanket to blanket, so it looks like one big quilt on the shady grass underneath the lone tree in the Field of Apparitions. Unity is beautiful and treasured in the community and it is best displayed through spending time with one another on the favorite day of the week, “Sunday.” 

 


What follows is taken from Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping. It gives a concrete illustration of how to live truly the Third Commandment, that it will cost you something, but also that God’s blessing waits those who desire to be true to His Commandments.

 

living the Sabbath Commandment

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.

“Not long after we began to live Sundays, we had some hay on the ground that we were planning on bailing on the upcoming Monday. Remember Exodus 34:21 ‘...but on the seventh day you shall rest: on that day you must rest even during the seasons of plowing and harvesting.’ It was our lush, late spring cut; the best cut of the year. Saturday, the hay was not quite ready to bale. Sunday would be the perfect day to bale, but we knew we were not to work on Sunday, so we had to plan to bale Monday. By Saturday evening a strong chance of rain was forecasted beginning Monday morning. We thought we couldn’t afford to lose this much hay. Surely, God would not be offended if we went ahead and baled Sunday. Would God not see our ox was in the ditch? We needed every bale we could harvest to put us through the next winter. If we did not bale it Sunday, we might lose the crop. We had enough sound rationalization to say our ox was in the ditch, so that we could bale the hay, but in our hearts we said, ‘No, we must trust God.’ [This was a Friend of Medjugorje.  He wrote 'we' but it was his decision.]  If we honor Him on Sunday, keeping the day holy, He will honor our Monday and preserve the hay. We placed our trust in Our Lady’s intercession and did not even pray that it wouldn’t rain, but only that God would take care of us because we honored His command.


“We went through a beautiful Sunday and Monday came with a beautiful morning. Our hope in trusting God was invigorated, but within two hours after sunrise the storm moved in and it poured and poured and poured. Thinking that God was testing our faith, we thought, ‘OK, we will just bale a lower quality hay Tuesday or Wednesday.’ Tuesday it poured and poured and poured. Wednesday the same. We lost the whole crop. So much for positive action of the laws of consequences. But we kept good attitudes and said, ‘God giveth and God taketh away.’ And did He ever taketh! Our best crop! Yet, we did not regret keeping the Commandment because Scripture stated clearly do not work on the Sabbath, ‘not even to plow or harvest.’


 

“With the rest of the cutting that summer something amazing began to happen. We normally get three cuttings. That summer we got five! Every crop was more than normal. We filled our hay barn with a harvest so full that we’ve never had so much hay since that year! We were faithful to God, and through the positive action of the laws of consequences, God was faithful to us! We were so happy. We are convinced had we baled that crop that Sunday, we would have had far less hay in our barn from the rest of the cuttings, maybe even losing more to rain. We could have never imagined losing so much hay, only to end up with so much more than our need, ending up with a large surplus.”3

 

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:

 

“.... little children, in humility of heart return to God and to His commandments so that with all of your heart you are able to say: as it is in Heaven so may it be on earth...” 

 

joshua deer

 

The community lives in a natural way with nature in an unnatural way many would dream of. The gifts of life Our Lady offers through Her messages are available to everyone who is willing to walk with Her. It takes time and is difficult in the beginning years, but leads to Heaven on Earth. It was Our Lady who said, “If you would abandon yourselves to me, you will not even feel the passage from this life to the next life. You will begin to live the life of Heaven on earth” (1986).

 

ruth reading fax

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

Dear Community, 


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



colafrancescos horses
The Community’s Sundays are God-filled, rest-filled, and fun-filled all in one day. Leisure activities such as horseback riding, swimming, hiking, reading, etc., are ways of adding fun into our Sundays. An entire family on horseback on a beautiful Sunday afternoon is a mystical sight that brings hope for other families in the world that are trying to live out this Commandment.

 

Below are additional resources to help in the understanding of living the Sabbath commandment and its seriousness.  A Friend of Medjugorje specifically wrote the book, Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping, to illustrate the consequences upon ourselves, our families and our nation for not living the Sabbath Commandment.  It is a must read!


To order the book Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping


To order audio set of Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping


“You need not drown”


“Divine judgment”


“Feedback From You - October 5th 2007”

 


1 Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping, a Friend of Medjugorje. pg. 39. Saint James Publishing, 2007.

2 Ibid. pg. 12.

3 Ibid. pp. 44-46. 




Click on the link below to
Send us Your Feedback on this Writing

All Fields are Required

Name:
Email:
City:
Country:
Enter Your Feedback Below: