The Greatest Enemy of Love

Tags

, , ,

Fitzgibbons Book Cover

The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort, and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish. [1] St. John Paul II

St. John Paul II said that the greatest destroyer of love in marriage is selfishness. It is one of the 12 marriage killers described by Richard Fitzgibbons in his book Habits for a Healthy Marriage: A Handbook for Catholic Couples.[2] Fitzgibbons says that developing virtue is the antidote to these unhealthy habits in marriage.

“Selfishness is the major enemy of married love and of life-long commitment in marriage” (57), says Fitzgibbons. St. John Paul II warned about selfishness in his 1994 Letter to Families Gratissimam Sane

Continue reading

The Role of the Holy Spirit in Marriage

Tags

, , , ,

Come Holy Spirit Wedding

Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy…he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3

The Sacraments are an encounter with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is present in all of the Sacraments. At baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit; we are immersed in Christ’s death and resurrection, freed from the stain of original sin. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (CCC, 1213, emphasis added).

Have you ever wondered why couples who marry in the Catholic Church have to be baptized? It is because the Holy Spirit is imparted at baptism and this is a requirement for the marriage to be sacramental. In “this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church. The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity” (CCC, 1624, emphasis added).

Continue reading

Marriage: Through the Lens of Scripture

Tags

, , ,

Marriage Through the Lens of Scripture 02

We are excited to present a preview of our upcoming Witness to Love Marriage Preparation retreat videos, presented by Fr. John Riccardo of ACTS XXIX and produced by our Apostolate Calling Couples to Christ. Thanks to Veritatis Media and Diakonia Productions for the production of this awesome video!

Continue reading

Pornography: Destroyer of Marriages and Families

Tags

, , , ,

shutterstock_man on computer dark room

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? 1 Corinthians 6:9

Pornography is destroying marriages and families. In our marriage coaching ministry, we are witnessing an increase in marital difficulties caused by pornography.

In addition to the addictive behaviors and associated emotions experienced by the user, it is typical for the spouse of a pornography user to experience very legitimate and overwhelming negative emotions: betrayal, shame, poor body image and low self-esteem. Many say they are unable to compete with the images on the screen.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19

Continue reading

Marriage: Imaging God’s Love

Tags

, , , , , ,

Seeing Jesus in Each Other

What is the point of marriage? To understand the point of marriage, we need to first understand the sacramentality of marriage. What is a Sacrament? It is a visible sign of an invisible reality, instituted by Christ as a source of grace. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, the visible sign is the couple themselves. What is the invisible reality of this sign? Jesus. The husband and wife have the mission of being Christ to each other, to their children, and to the whole world. You cannot have a loftier task!

Continue reading

Fixing the Root Cause of Violent Crime: Healthy and Holy Marriages and Families

Tags

, , , , , , ,

St Josemaria on Marriage

The future of the world and of the Church passes through the family.[1]

These prophetic words were penned by St. John Paul II in 1982 in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (The Christian Family in the Modern World). Society and the Church are built on the foundation of strong marriage and family life.

The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family.[2]

These equally prophetic words were written in 1965 by Pope Paul VI in the Vatican II document, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes). It was a time when traditional values were being questioned and often jettisoned as being “old fashioned.” Divorce was rapidly rising, the number of children born out of wedlock was increasing and traditional family life and moral values were under attack.

Our society today is suffering the ills of the breakup of marriages and families. Continue reading

Pray for the Protection of Families

Tags

, ,

Pius XII Prayer for Families

In his encyclical Casti Connubii (On Christian Marriage), Pope Pius XII defined the foremost responsibility of husband and wife in marriage:

For all men of every condition, in whatever honorable walk of life they may be, can and ought to imitate that most perfect example of holiness placed before man by God, namely Christ Our Lord, and by God’s grace to arrive at the summit of perfection, as is proved by the example set us of many saints.

This mutual molding of husband and wife, this determined effort to perfect each other, can in a very real sense, as the Roman Catechism teaches, be said to be the chief reason and purpose of matrimony, provided matrimony be looked at not in the restricted sense as instituted for the proper conception and education of the child, but more widely as the blending of life as a whole and the mutual interchange and sharing thereof.[1]

Thus, the principle end of marriage is the mutual assistance of spouses in growing in holiness with the goal of reaching heaven.

Continue reading

Feast of Ss. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tags

, , , , , ,

Education of the Virgin_Velazquez

The Education of the Virgin, Diego Velázquez, c. 1617-18

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of Jesus. Joachim and Anne are not mentioned in Scripture. Everything we know about them has been handed on by tradition. Desiring to have children, Joachim fasted and prayed in the desert for a child. An angel appeared to him and announced that he and Anne would soon have a daughter, who would be world renowned.

As respected members of the Jewish community, Joachim and Anne taught Mary the tenants of the faith. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, Joachim and Anne brought Mary when she was three years old to the temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Mary remained in the temple to be prepared for the special role God would have her play in salvation history.

Continue reading

Balancing Priorities in Marriage and Family Life

Tags

, , , , ,

Work-Life Balance

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21

What do you treasure most in your life? Your career, beautiful home, car, friendships, family, leisure time, possessions? To help you determine what you treasure most, look at your calendar. Where do you invest the greatest amount of time, energy, and finances?

Take a few moments to look at the figures below and honestly decide which one best represents the focus of your life.

Continue reading

Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – Love of Christ Imaged in Marriage

Tags

, , ,

Louis and Zelie_03

July 12th 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.

Louis and Zélie are not saints because they raised a saint but rather because they lived and imparted the faith to their family in a concerted and committed way. They evangelized their children by their example as a couple, living their faith in works and instruction in the heart of the family. Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World), stresses that the family is the place where children are evangelized and then the family becomes the evangelizer of other families:

Continue reading