This is the third in a series of articles on the charism and spirituality of the Families of Cana
My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, … (Gn 33, 13-14).
At the beginning of the Movement, as I was doing some research for my books “The Mysteries of Faith”, the Lord offered me this little-known passage from Genesis. What a beautiful surprise! I couldn’t rest until I had shared it with my family at our family prayer that day, and then with all the readers of my blog A Catholic Family. Since then, this passage has accompanied the Movement in a special way, and all the Families of Cana have a particular affection for it.
Like Jacob crossing the desert in the company of Lia, Rachel and their children, the Families of Cana also advance in caravan. It would be much easier to move alone! There are many beautiful proposals for individual and conjugal sanctification in the Church. But the Families of Cana aspire to family sanctity. They do not know how to move alone, only as a caravan! Each of our families is a caravan in the desert of this world, moving slowly and carefully toward Heaven.
I am writing this text to clarify some of the questions that have been raised by people who have, for example, a previous commitment made with CVX, the Teams of Our Lady, Opus Dei, Focolares or with the Schoenstatt movement, which are individual or conjugal commitments, and now would like to become Families of Cana. They claim that this commitment, being a commitment that includes the entire family, does not interfere with previous commitments, and that previous commitments allow for personal growth that the new commitment as Families of Cana will not allow.
Any family can come to drink from the “clay pots” of Cana and participate in our retreats and gatherings without having to justify anything whatsoever. And any Family of Cana can attend religious instruction and meetings of any other Movement or ecclesial charism. We never ask questions! But families who want to commit themselves to the Families of Cana Movement should ideally consider this family commitment as a cut-off from any other form of individual commitment they have with other movements and charisms, that is to say, a formal break from any other movement of the Church.
Which implies courage and a certain amount of folly. After all, our Movement is in its early stages, we are still breaking the road, cementing ideas and deepening the family theology that is our own! Is there enough food here for an entire family? After all, all we have are five loaves and two fishes …
Those who, despite everything, have already had the courage to choose this path by renouncing other movements, which are maybe more highly regarded and better experienced, are well aware that it is worth the risk. For those outside the movement, it is hard to grasp how such a family journey can offer each individual member such a profound personal experience. After all, all spiritualties had a beginning with just a small few intrepid voyagers (depending on the point of view) capable of giving them value! The five loaves and two fishes will, paradoxically, be sufficient for all, and we will still fill the baskets of those who approach our Movement without compromising.
A caravan heading to Heaven. A single commitment. Like Jacob, we are willing to slow our pace so the caravan can accompany us. We prefer, for example, a more agitated Sunday mass with little children than being serene and concentrated without them. We prefer a troubled family prayer, with tambourines and childish reading of the psalms to a silent retreat. We do not want to get to Heaven alone, we want to take our caravan with us, no matter how imprudent that may seem. And we find in this sweet stubbornness our opportunity for holiness.
We make ours the words of Saint Zélia Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux.
I do not ask for anything more than the hope that you will come to Heaven, my dear Luis, and see all my children there in better places than I . (Letter to brother, December 23 and 1866)
On the occasion of the approval of the Families of Cana Movement, we, the Power Family, were addressed by the most Reverend Bishop António Moiteiro: “Now it is necessary for families to be able to give themselves up completely to the Movement, and to be capaple, so to speak, of giving their lives for this … “