Forgiveness and Healing in Marriage

Tags

, , , , , ,

JPII Forgiveness

In our marriage coaching, we frequently see unforgiveness as a major obstacle for couples in achieving the intimate and fulfilling relationships that they deeply desire. Unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger towards your spouse poisons the relationship. We have heard it said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. True healing can only take place when offenses are forgiven, and forgotten, never to be brought up again as a weapon against your spouse.

Continue reading

Extraordinary Witness of Conjugal and Familial Spirituality: Louis and Zélie Martin

Tags

, ,

Icon

Three years ago today Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux were canonized by Pope Francis. The couple was the first to be canonized together as husband and wife, giving testimony to their “extraordinary witness of conjugal and familial spirituality,” said Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

Saints Louis and Marie Zélie Guerin Martin were married in 1858. The couple had nine children, but four of them died in infancy or early childhood. All five of the surviving children, including St. Therese, 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; Louis died when he was 70 in 1894.

Continue reading

The Rosary: A Powerful Weapon to Protect Families

Tags

, , , ,

Fatima Rosary.png

Two of the Three Fatima Children, Jacinta Marto and Lúcia dos Santos

The Church dedicates the entire month of October to Our Lady of the Rosary. It was during October, 1917 that the last of six apparitions of Our Blessed Mother to three shepherd children occurred at Fátima, Portugal. In her appearances to the children – Lúcia, Francisco, and Jacinta – the Virgin Mary requested conversion, prayer, particularly the recitation of the Rosary, and sacrifices on behalf of sinners.

Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries discussed the urgent message of Fatima during a recent episode of the EWTN TV series The Choices We Face. The TV series began in 1985 and is currently the longest running Catholic television program in the world. We highly recommend that you watch this important message:

Continue reading

Respect Life Sunday

Tags

Mother Teresa Abortion 3

Today in the United States is Respect Life Sunday. Every life is cherished and chosen by God. The psalmist speaks of God lovingly choosing us into being, “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!” (Ps 139:13-14). When more than 50 million babies have been sacrificed on the altar of freedom of choice, it is increasingly important for Christian men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers to help others encounter God’s transforming, life-giving love and to defend the sanctity of every person’s life, at every stage and in every circumstance.

“A great prayer of life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.” St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae), n. 100.

Respect for Life Prayer

Heavenly Father, the beauty and dignity of human life was the crowning of your creation. You further ennobled that life when your Son became one with us in his incarnation. Help us to realize the sacredness of human life and to respect it from the moment of conception until the last moment at death. Give us courage to speak with truth, love and conviction in defense of life. Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy and forgiveness to those who do not reverence your gift of life. To all, grant pardon for the times we have failed to be grateful for your precious gift of life or to respect it in others. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, in unity with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Thérèse: Do All for the Love of God

Tags

, , ,

St Therese Quote 2Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the “Little Flower.” St. Thérèse (1873-1897) was a French Carmelite nun who died in obscurity at the age of 24. Her autobiography Story of a Soul detailed her “Little Way;” doing everything, even the most common and menial tasks, for the love and glory of God. Her thoughts resonated with both religious and laity alike, quickly expanding her renown. She was canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. She is one of only 36 Doctors of the Church.

St. Thérèse determined at a young age that she desired to be a great saint but felt she was not capable of the mighty deeds of the great missionaries and martyrs for the faith. In developing her “Little Way,” St. Thérèse said that even the slightest acts of penance or charity for the good of souls, if done well “with love for God and neighbor,” yields countless graces and spiritual merits.

Continue reading

God Loves a Hungry Heart

Tags

, , ,

St Vincent with Beggar

Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul (April 24, 1581 – September 27, 1660). The experience and needs of the poor turned St. Vincent de Paul’s heart and energy to a life of care and compassion for those in need. St. Vincent’s example is especially important today when not only is there suffering and starvation in the world, but so many people are lost and suffering from a spiritual starvation.

We are all beggars before God. Our hearts and hands are empty. We have nothing to offer to God but our love for Him. He sent His Son to die a criminal’s death for our salvation. He rose from the dead and set us free from Sin and Death. We beg Him for the gift of faith which will lead to eternal life with Him in heaven.

Continue reading

O Sorrowful Mother, Pray for Our Families

Tags

, , ,

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

William Adolphe Bouguereau, Pieta, 1876

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. This title was given to the Virgin Mary to reflect the sorrows in her life, especially her intense suffering and grief during the passion and death of her son and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

In addition to suffering at the foot of the cross, Mary endured many sorrowful events in her life, collectively known as the Seven Sorrows (or Dolors):

Continue reading

Saying “Yes” to Jesus

Tags

, , ,

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

It was Mary’s “Yes” to the Archangel Gabriel that enabled God to humble Himself, take on flesh, and launch His plan for the salvation of humanity through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. Mary was blessed to be the Mother of God. She was the first disciple of Jesus, carrying the Savior of the world in her womb. She indeed “found favor with God” (Lk 1:30).

Just as God asked Mary’s permission, Jesus is asking permission to dwell within you. He wants you to know His love for you. He took on human flesh so He could search for you like the shepherd searching after the one lost sheep (see Lk 15:1-7). Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, said that all of Scripture can be reduced to just three words, “God is love.” Jesus is God’s love manifested in the flesh and He wants a personal and intimate relationship with you.

Continue reading

Be a Witness to the Love of Christ

Tags

, , ,

Kolbe_Forget not love

Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe (Jan. 8, 1894 – Aug. 14, 1941) died in the concentration camp at Auschwitz, during World War II, and is remembered as a “martyr of charity” for dying in place of another prisoner who had a wife and children. He was canonized by St. John Paul II on October 10, 1982. Present at the canonization was Franciszek Gajowniczek, one of the ten men from his barracks picked to suffer death by starvation as punishment for the escape of a prisoner. His life was spared when Fr. Kolbe volunteered to take his place.

Continue reading