Growing in Holiness

Tags

,

JPII not sum of weaknesses

Our society at large, and even our Church, is suffering from a lack of holiness. Satan is on the attack to destroy families, the Church, and countless lives. He is using sinful desires of the heart to enslave us. Collectively, we are suffering from heart disease. St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians speaks clearly on this matter.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh…Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:16, 19-21

Continue reading

The Heart of Marriage: Self-Giving Love

Tags

,

St Gianna Molla Quote

Gianna Beretta Molla was a pediatric physician, a wife, and a mother. She was born in Magenta, Italy on October 4, 1922. She was the 10th of 13 children in her family. Shortly before her marriage to Pietro in 1955, she sent him a letter that included the above quote. It tenderly speaks of the love that St. Gianna had for her husband and family. Gianna’s life demonstrates a self-sacrificial love, a love that gives for others without counting the cost. It is a love modeled on the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world to die for our sins. He gave His life as a ransom for ours so we might inherit eternal life with His Father in heaven.

Continue reading

Marriage: Image of God’s Covenant with His People

Tags

, , , , ,

St John Vianney on Family

Sacred Scripture is God’s love letter to His people. Throughout this letter, God uses nuptial imagery to describe His covenantal relationship with us, His beloved children. Just as His love for us is everlasting, so God designed marriage to be an unbreakable relationship between one man and one woman for life. Our culture views marriage as a contract between two (or more!) people that can be broken at any time when the relationship no longer meets the needs of those involved. Hence, we have a twisted view of a God who loves us unconditionally in spite of our sin. Broken marriages lead to a broken image of God.

Continue reading

Humanae Vitae: The Gift of Life

Tags

, , , ,

Paul VI Humanae Vitae

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae (HV), written by Blessed Pope Paul VI. It provides a concise, clear, and beautiful teaching on God’s plan for married love and the transmission of life. Specifically, it addressed the evils of contraception.

Much damage has been done to couples and families by contraception. Prior to 1930, all Christian denominations shared this belief. Today, the Catholic Church alone declares that contraception is morally evil. “The Church condemns contraception since it violates the procreative and unitive meaning of the human sexual act,” says Janet E. Smith, expert on Humanae Vitae. “Sex is for babies and for bonding; if people are not ready for babies or bonding, they ought not to be engaging in acts of sexual intercourse…our society [has] lost sight of the fundamental truth that if you are not ready for babies, you are not ready for sexual intercourse.”[1]

Continue reading

Finding True Happiness in Marriage

Tags

, , ,

Happiness Christ-Centered Shaded

Did you know that your happiness is dependent on your ability to focus on others?

Recently, thanks to Craig Pohl, Director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, we learned about Fr. Robert Spitzer’s Four Levels of Happiness. The essence of each level is based on philosophy dating back to Aristotle, who said that happiness is the one thing we desire in and of itself. The level of happiness that is dominant in our lives will dictate our actions and choices. Furthermore, whichever level of happiness dominates our lives will determine the depth and endurance of our happiness.

Continue reading

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

Tags

, , ,

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.

Continue reading

Book Review: The First Society

Tags

, ,

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.

Continue reading

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait on the Lord

Tags

, , ,

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.

Continue reading

The Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Love

Tags

, , , ,

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

Tags

, , ,

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.

Continue reading