Although He is hidden deeply in the form of bread, we surround it with our care and we show Him reverence, inviting Him to visit our streets. We take our most beautiful monstrances, flags, pillows, feretrums, we throw Him flowers…
We remember that everywhere that He came, people were healed, He stiated their hunger and spread the Good News about themselves, about the love of the Father to each of us, about our wonderful future and the place in Heaven that He prepared for us.
During the procession I like looking at the families, preferably through the monstrance. Just like it’s impossible to look at the sun without a glass that is a colourful filter, so we must look at marriage and family through the Eucharist. In that way marriage shows all its dignity, purity, potential, mission and the warmth of human ove that can embrace all aspects of life, from changing a nappy too looking with love into the eyes of the spouse.
Although we may follow Him in different places, He will always be the same. Yesterday and today, the same for ever and ever.
Married couples have a special right to Him. He is called at the very beginning of the sacrament of marriage . It is them who are referred to in the words from the Sunday of the Holy Trinity: “suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”.
It’s difficult to imagine a married couple who do not experience suffering. And suffering produces perseverance. They need it so much. But they can also experience the presence of the Holy Spirit so much.
Today the words from the Book of Sirach touched me again: “He set his eye upon their hearts to shew them the greatness of his works”. You can only see well wth your heart. This is thanks to “his eye”. Only He can show us the whole truth. “And he gave to every one of them commandment concerning his neighbour.” He is so worried about our relations. He knows that our eyes are quick to spot what hurts us, what is danger and what others lack. And we should look at reality with His eyes. Therefore “his eye on our hearts”.
Five couples, each with ther own history, their difficulties, expectations, desires. Correcting perspectives, attitudes, sensibilities. We need to depart from what is ours to live at His scale, to lve up to God’s invitations, to live in His image. “He gave them counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise: and he filled them with the knowledge of understanding”. We need to resurrender to Him.
Six simple steps that are supposed to rebuild in us Sześć prostych kroków, które mają odbudować in us what is worthy of Him and the vocation to marriage.
Today so many married couples have prayed for us. Also the group of couples from Programme 1 in Mexico joined the prayer. They were the last group to pass the Programme. They know how important it is that the participants are prayed for so there was a prayer flowing from before the image of Mary of Guadalupe. Dziś za nas modliło się tyle małżeństw. Dołączyła do tej modlitwy grupa małżeństw z Programu 1 w Meksyku.
The world united in the worry for the beauty of marriage. The civilisation of live crosses all borders and unites everyone. “That they might praise the name which he hath sanctified: and glory in his wondrous acts, that they might declare the glorious things of his works”. Glory be to God.
It is on Her day that six years ago we found our home. It was after a short search but after a two yeras’ prayer of our children to find “a house with a garden”. The keys to that house with a garden we received also on Her day (12 September).
So many times we experienced in our lives help, friendship and dscrete presence of Mary. We like to remember that our youngest son was born at 12.00 – when the the bells for Angelus Dominus were ringing.
In my view the words of today’s Bible reading refer so much to her:
“A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure. A loyal friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth. A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one”. (Sirach 6: 5-17)
World Congress of Families – the third and unfortunately last day
May 20, 2013 8:54 pm
Unfortunately – because it’s the farewell day and the beautiful meeting comes to an end.
Today, apart from going to my own lecture:) and the talk of Louise Kirk, whom you probably from our trip to the UK, I have gone to all those session that were dedicetd to fatherhood. And I liked them veeery much. Not only were they very good as farr as the subject matter is concerned bacause they showed how much the presence of a father changed the lives of children and influenced their future functioning in life but also they were presented by excellent speakers – husbands who also followed their vocation as fathers.
So many knew people I got to know, so many inspirations, good experiences. Family is always the same, regardless of the latitude, confession, skin colour…
A novelty at the congress was a fashion show – where fashion was presented that expossed the dignity of woman.
I remembered then our fashion show, organised my by students of Personalistic Bases of Conjugal Love, where the students presented collections of clothes for different occasions, each outfit received a mark “L&R” (Love and Responsibility approved, conforming to the personalistic norm). Perhaps the possibilities were more limited than at the show here but the clothes presented were fit for different occasions, not only for extra nights out. Of course I did not hesitate to suggest it to the author of the show, Judy Limbers. She liked the idea. Their Facebook page is The Dress Shoppe.
Finally we heard the Tongan Touth Choir.
And, as usual, it was difficult to say goodbye. I wanted totalk a little with everyone and thank for the good. Wepromise to each other that we’ll meet again next year, meaning 1-12 September 2014. For many people it will be much closer. There’s also an idea to go to the congress in Moscow from Vladivostok, with the famous Trans-Siberian railway, 2 weeks before. It sounds good to me.
Tomorrow I have one day for myself to do some sightseeing in Sydney.
So far I have had mixed impressions of Sydney. I stay in theory in Sydney but in reality in… Chinatown. The whole district where our hotel is located consists of shops, restaurants and offices with names in Chinese.
Every day we have a plenary session in the morning and in the evening, as well es 4 seminar sessions a day, 5 thematic blocks in every session and 3 to 4 speakers. People from nearly every part of the world. An incredible place for the exchange of experiences. Every day I wonder a lot which subject to choose because each of them seems very important and worth hearing.
For example, do you know that there are 1 billion active users of the Facebook? I mean active users, not merely registered ones! That 43% people start their day, checking their account? And that the most active group is women, aged from 12 to 24? And the majority are 15 years old girls?
It’s worth knowing.
Each of us has something good to say to the whole world. It’s not important whether this world is the child whom we say that it’s our greatest treasure or our spouse whom we make a nice surprise today because I want to, or our neighbours, or colleagues, or… Facebook friends.
The local Committee has chosen a rather symbolic place for our Congress: Australian Technology Park, the former railway yards. The place that used to promote technology, today hosts the event promoting family as the right point of reference.
One of the speakers today said: If you would like to go fast, go alone, if you would like go far, go together. I liked it a lot. The family is a place where you can go furthest. Contemporary civilization would like to turn us into isolated individuals fighting over their own selfish rights. For an individual – it is easy to accomplish the goals very quickly, but you remain single. When you walk together with the others – maybe it will take more time to achieve all the goals, because you have to adjust your pace to the slowest member of the team, but you may go far and share the joy of the covered distance with other people.
That is visible also in my situation. I’ve seen so many beautiful things, I’ve been to so many wonderful places, but it makes you feel really sad when you can’t take there with you your near ones, your friends – with whom you could share your joy. That’s why it is so important for me to share my experiences with you. I am aware that since I have dominated the blog for over 6 weeks, we have diverged a bit from what this website was trying to be: the inspiration for discovering the joy of being a couple, a family. So I’m taking the right course again with my posts from the WCF.
One of the questions that people keep asking is: what can we do in such difficult times?The family is ipersecuted with growing intensity, the governments of many countries change the definition of a family, where should we hide to escape that? We’ll find the answer with the first Christians. At that time, the situation was about the same as now: abortion, divorce at request, promiscuity, homosexualism, pagan worship of false gods, idolatry. What did the Christians do when they were persecuted for several centuries? They looked after their families: they were faithful to each other, open to life, they prayed. Rome fell. Christianity survived.
We wanted so much to write here yesterday that we all could become part of the World Congress of Families audience in Sydney via live broadcasting, but – unlike in Madrid last year – it is not possible this time. This morning Fr Jay was scheduled to give a talk during the session devoted to the family in the context of work. We hope to be able to hear his talk – “Work-Life Balance: Preserving Dignity, Protecting Family”- in post-conference materials.
Before we get the sign of life from our Fr Jay, whom we proudly count among the Invited Speakers, we would like to present you with some highlights from his talk – which may be important for us all in our thinking about work. And we attach a photo memorizing his preparations for the Congress.
“The need for purposeful activity was written in human heart by God, the first Creator and Artist, who rejoiced each time He looked at the effects of His work.”
“At work you may learn to cooperate, share responsibility, and handle conflict – and all those skills will become your personal asset outside work as well.”
“Sometimes it’s necessary to pose a simple question: “Do we really need this or that item?’ – and give an honest answer, instead of fostering the belief that ‘I have no choice but to slave away day and night at the cost of everything else in order to afford all that’.”
“When you don’t schedule taking care of your relationship into your weekly planner, your marriage will die, and it’s just a matter of time.”
“Someone else may replace you at work, but no one will replace you in taking care of your family’s needs. If you make them happy, you’ll be the happiest person in the world, too.”
The journey passed by very quickly. We arrived 50 minutes earlier than planned. We had to wait on the airstrip for the place in the gate. For the first time in my life I was third in the queue to the Immigration. My customs declaration was accepted and at 9:50 I began my stay in Sydney.
I reached the hotel half an hour later and experienced the same feeling as in Amsterdam and Madrid – the sensation of being part of the worldwide family of pro-family movement. I meet my “old” friends in the hall. I see Mary-Louise Fowler, the Chairperson of WCF Sydney Local Organizing Committee. She looks exhausted. The upcoming events have been prepared by the Australians with great effort. Then the hall is filled with the members of the Planning Committtee. It’s almost all of us who met in Madrid last year to plan the Congress in Sydney. Now we look at the progress of preparations of the Moscow Congress in 2014. Its topic will be:Large Families – the Future of Humanity. But the issues to discuss include the organization itself. We exchange experience and commnets.
Just as last year, I’m greatly impressed how many people in the world care for the family. So many religious denominations and cultures, from so many countries and continents. God created marriage and family and those who believe in Him also believe in the key role of the family.
Today we have our first informal meetings. Tomorrow – the opening ceremony.