The Meaning of Love

Tags

, , ,

Florentine Cross

Love is a very misunderstood word. We love our parents, pizza, and puppies. Have you ever looked up the meaning of love in a dictionary? According to Merriam-Webster, love is defined as:

(1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

(2) attraction based on sexual desire

(3) affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests

(4) the sexual embrace, copulation

These are just a few of the definitions listed. Is this all there is to love? Is love something more than affection, desire, admiration, or the sexual act?

Continue reading

Servanthood

Tags

, , , , ,

Foot Washing

And they came to Caper′na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:33-35

Husbands, you are called to be the servant-leaders of your homes. The man is the head of the home but just as Christ came not to be served but to serve, the husband is called to serve his family, sacrificing his own needs and desires for the good of his family.

Continue reading

St. Joseph: Exemplar of Fatherhood

Tags

, , , ,

Gerrit_van_Honthorst_-_Childhood_of_Christ

The Childhood of Christ, Gerrit van Honthorst, c. 1620

Father’s Day is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June. It is a day to celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society, especially in the foundation of society, the family. Unfortunately, there is a father absence crisis in America. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 million children, more than one in four, live without a father in the home. The consequences of this are devastating and a major factor in nearly all social ills in America today.[1]

Here are some facts on the astounding impact fathers have on their children:

Continue reading

Anniversaries: Time to Reminisce, Reflect and Recommit

Tags

hands 3

June is one of the most popular months to get married. It follows that there are lots of anniversaries in June. At Calling Couples to Christ, we remember several anniversaries this month. The first is today June 13 when we mark five years since we posted our first weekly blog. And this is our 282nd blog!

We also mark three wedding anniversaries this month. Today we celebrate our “half anniversary.” We were married on December 13, 2002. Sometimes, it is just too darn cold and snowy in Michigan to go out and celebrate! So, we celebrate again in June.

In addition, we each remember the anniversary of our first marriages. Rose and her late husband Mike were married on June 6. Dennis and his late wife Therese were married on June 8. While we continue to grieve, we take time to thank God for those relationships, and recount amusing or heartwarming stories about Mike and Therese.

Continue reading

Marriage: A Metaphor of the Holy Trinity

Parent Hands Baby Feet

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. In the 14th century, Pope John XXII instituted the celebration as a feast for the entire Church. After the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, the celebration became a solemnity.

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).

Continue reading

Come Holy Spirit

Tags

, ,

Holy Spirit Veni Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

Today the Church celebrates the close of the Easter season with the Feast of Pentecost. This feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Mary in the Upper Room. The Acts of the Apostles describes the Holy Spirit as rushing upon them with the power of a strong wind and as tongues of fire:

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Acts 2:1-4

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household, also describes the Holy Spirit as fire:

Continue reading

Remembering Those Who Sacrificed for Our Freedom

Tags

, , , , , ,

Arlington Cemetary

This weekend in the United States we honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives in the defense of freedom around the world. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was first observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. This was in the aftermath of the Civil War when many thousands lost their lives fighting for what they believed. It has taken a long time for our nation to heal from this devastating division and massive loss of life. Memorial Day is not about division. Rather, it is about reconciliation, coming together as a nation to honor those who gave their all for their country.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations. Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Continue reading

Love One Another

Tags

, , , , ,

Love One Another_Jn 15 12

This past week, the Gospel readings for Mass were taken from the 14th and 15th chapters of John. These chapters are part of Jesus’ farewell discourse (13:31-16:33) to His disciples during the Last Supper. In addition to words of consolation, Jesus gives instructions for the time when He will be physically absent from them. First and foremost, Jesus commands the disciples – and us – to love one another!

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” (Jn 15:9-12 emphasis added)

Continue reading

Thank God for Mothers!

Tags

, , ,

Mother's Day 2020

Today is Mother’s Day. We encourage all husbands to pray Psalm 103 in thanksgiving to God for His unmerited blessings, especially for your wife and the mother of your children. If you do not have children, husbands still pray this for your wife, honoring her as a great gift from God.

It is very simple, just insert your wife’s name in the designated places below and pray this to your wife. Thank God for His wonderful blessings!

Psalm 103 Continue reading

The Most Intimate Act in Marriage

Tags

, ,

Prayer_Mother Teresa

A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Last week, we highlighted several date night ideas to help you grow closer together as a couple. This week, we strongly urge you to take advantage of a unique online opportunity to strengthen your marriage. It is a three-part webinar series on couple prayer. And the best part, there is no charge to participate!

It has been said that prayer is the most intimate act in marriage. It is more intimate than the marital embrace. In prayer, we bear our inner most feelings to God and our spouse. There is nothing more powerful in binding a couple together in a life-long marital bond. Find that hard to believe? Let’s look at a couple of research studies on the efficacy of praying together as a couple.

Continue reading