Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – Exemplars of Simple Spirituality Lived Out in Daily Life

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Louis and Zelie_08

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In October 2015, they became the first couple to be canonized together as husband and wife.

Blessed Louis and Marie Zélie Guerin Martin were married on July 12, 1858. The couple had nine children, but four of them died in infancy. All five of the surviving children, including St. Thérèse, entered religious life, highlighting the important role parents play in their children’s human and spiritual upbringing. Zélie Martin died of cancer in 1877, at the age of 45; her husband died when he was 70 in 1894.

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Book Review: The First Society

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The First Society

During the last five decades, marriage has declined while the number of broken families has sharply increased. The ills of society that we face today are the direct result of the breakdown of the traditional family.

Formed to address this critical issue, the Calling Couples to Christ Apostolate strives to help couples live Christ-centered, joy-filled marriages. St. John Paul II said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” Healthy and whole families lead to a healthy and whole society.

In seeking resources to assist us in this effort, we were delighted to see that Dr. Scott Hahn recently published a new book, The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order[1]. Dr. Hahn makes the bold claim that through the Sacrament of Matrimony, a truly peaceful and humane society are possible.

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Good Things Come to Those Who Wait on the Lord

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Zachariah and Elizabeth_crop

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Luke 1:5-7

Zechariah and Elizabeth were called “upright in the sight of the Lord” because of their devotion to God. Not only were they obedient to God in the outward compliance to the letter of the law, their obedience grew out of hearts desiring to please Him.

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The Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Love

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Faith_Hope_Love

Virtues are absolutely essential for marriages to thrive. A virtue is the habitual and firm disposition to do the good. The Latin root of the word is virtus, which means “strength” or “power.” Growing in virtue is a lifelong task to strengthen your willpower to choose what is best and right even in the most difficult of circumstances.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) our efforts will be fortified by grace: Continue reading

The Principle End of Marriage: Getting Each Other to Heaven

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heaven

In previous posts, we looked at the four goods of marriage and how to live them out. The Church also teaches that there are three ends of marriage. These are the extrinsic goods to which marriage is ordered, not the goods that arise from the married state.

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Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Family Consecration

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Sacred Heart_02A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647–1690), was a French Visitation nun and mystic, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart. As a young girl, she had apparitions of Jesus Christ, which she thought were a normal part of human experience. After receiving her first Holy Communion at age nine, she suffered four years with rheumatic fever, which confined her to bed. After making a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health.

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Solemnity of Corpus Christi – Marriage as an Image of the Eucharist

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Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist – His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Marriage is an image of the Holy Eucharist.

The Church since its earliest days has held up marriage as a profound image of God’s love for His people, brought to fruition in Christ’s love for His bride, the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy, describes how God’s covenant with His people Israel images the union of man and woman in marriage:

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Marriage: An Image of the Holy Trinity

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Trinity_Holy Family

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. The Most Holy Trinity is an eternal exchange of life-giving love. Throughout history, God has shown humanity His selfless love. Christ has revealed the Father’s love in the power of the Holy Spirit. He has shown us the inner life of the Holy Trinity: a communion of persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Church is also a community of persons that shares in God’s Trinitarian life and love.[1]

Marriage is a metaphor for God’s self-giving love. It is also a participation in it. Like all sacraments, Matrimony draws husbands and wives more deeply into the Trinitarian life of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC, 2205).

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Family Prayer to the Holy Spirit

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Come Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, Lord of Life, bless us and grant us the grace of loving our families, as Jesus calls us to do, and help us to build peace in our hearts and in our homes.

Come, Spirit of Right Judgment, bless us and grant us the grace of peacefully resolving conflicts that arise in our families through patient dialogue that leads to understanding and renewal of love.

Come, Spirit of Knowledge, bless us and grant us the grace of loving the Church and finding in her a sure guide for truth and service to God’s will, especially in our relationships at home and in our extended families.

Come, O Comforter, bless us and grant us the grace of recognizing and responding with love when others are in need or are suffering from injustice or abuse. May we be ready to help them find safety and shelter.

Come, Spirit of Wisdom, bless us and grant us the grace of conforming our lives fully to God’s holy Word, so that we may have compassion on one another, especially those who are poor, lonely, or afraid.

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten the minds of parents and grandparents, so that they may have patience with children and with one another in the daily challenges of family living.

Come, Spirit of Piety, and bless all children and young people to withstand the temptations that lead them away from a holy and happy life. May they have good examples in their homes, schools, and society, and become true witnesses to the love of God in the world.

Come, O Spirit of Fortitude, and strengthen all those who are married or contemplating marriage and encourage them in their vocation of service to the community. Strengthen also those who are separated and divorced, to have courage and remain in your care. Lead them to a future filled with hope.

Come, Holy Spirit, bless us and grant us the grace to put Christ at the center of our lives and our families. Heal the hurting and wounded that they may be whole in body, mind, and spirit. May the prayers we offer bless our relationships and lead us to your peace.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be…

 

Behold Your Mother

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

The image of Our Lady on the Talmud of St. Juan Diego

Is your Mother’s Day filled with sadness, grief or even anger because your mother is absent? Perhaps your mother has died. Perhaps you never knew your biological mother. Perhaps she was abusive. Both of our mothers are deceased. So for our family, Mother’s Day has an element of sadness and sorrow.

Did you know that Jesus has given you a perfect mother?

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