Monika and Chris Matelski, with their five children in tow, will be sharing their testimony on using their gifts to serve God and neighbour at the Family at the Heart of Service event on Saturday, November 17. Below is an excerpt from their talk, exploring the concept of multiplying love, rather than dividing it.
"When we started our family, we never had a definite target when it came to the number of children we hoped to have. We never anticipated restricting God's generosity in that way. However, one thing was on our mind: eventually we would get busy with our family activities and not have time for anything outside of that. Now that we look back at the beginning, it's very strange to think: as we were expanding in size, we were mentally preparing to reduce our community outreach. We were almost in a way, planning to have a family just for the sake of having a family that was closed-in on its needs. How quickly did we learn that "...grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift" (Eph. 4:7). Christ's gift was His total self to us all: all He wanted back from us was…everything! This reality-check hit me most when we went to a Theology of the Body conference given by Christopher West here in Toronto many years ago. We heard love defined there powerfully through the definition by St. John Paul II: "Love…is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one's freedom on behalf of another."
To learn more about the family life ministry at the Archdiocese of Toronto, contact the Office of Formation for Discipleship at 416-934-0606 ext. 509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.