Maria and Vince Luca have been married for 42 years, with four daughters and seven grandchildren. Members of the Focolare's New Family Movement, the couple reflects on their journey together in light of Marriage Sunday, taking place on Sunday, February 10. To celebrate, they'll be in attendance at the Celebration of Marriage Mass with Cardinal Collins.
1. Why did you join the Focolare Movement? During our engagement, we experienced the happiness of falling in love. We were imagining how wonderful our life together would be, always in love, having many children and not too many problems. We can still remember our first year of marriage when life together was very beautiful, however, we could see our shortcomings and the incompatibility of our personalities. We began to think that the dream of a perfect marriage might not be achieved as easily as we thought. Soon after, we met people who lived the spirituality of unity of the Focolare, and we were impressed with the way that they put the Gospel into practice. We felt called to do the same.
2. Can you describe the work of the New Family Movement?We try to live the Focolare's spirituality of unity, "That they may all be one" (John 17:21) concretely in our own families. By coming together on a regular basis, we help each other as we try to be a light to other couples. Retreat days, talks on family issues and many informal events help us to grow in our relationship with God as well as work toward the unity of the whole human family.
3. How has being a part of the lay movement impacted your relationship as a couple?
It has had a huge impact. In the early stage of our marriage, we began to meet with a group of Focolare families. Our journey together helped us to love each other more deeply, along with those with whom we came in contact. After being married for a year or two, our dream of having a large family seemed to be shattered when we found out that we would not be able to have children. When we first heard this news, it was very difficult for us but little by little, as we shared it with these very close friends, they gave us courage and we were able to see this suffering as God's will for us. However, God's love is never outdone in generosity because, soon after, we were expecting our first child and three more followed.
4. Do you have any advice for married couples? Here are some points that have helped us overcome small and, at times, big difficulties.