The Little Way

13 Sep

aaaDo you remember your wedding day? Your honeymoon?  We were so mindful of our spouse and each of us would have given our lives to save the other if necessary.

Fortunately, many of us will never be asked to lay down our lives for the sake of our spouse. But we are asked every day to do so in smaller ways. Jesus gives us incredible advice to keep the flames of marriage burning bright in this week’s Gospel: “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.” The pathway to a great marriage is through the small daily things.

This week, let’s prioritize the “little things”–often hidden–that make your spouse feel cherished or respected:

  • Hiding a written love note in his lunch bag
  • Getting her a cup of coffee in the morning
  • Wearing that shirt and tie she bought you for Christmas
  • Affirming his daily hard work for the family

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

 

The Prodigal Son . . . or Spouse

9 Sep

reconciliationCan you imagine the betrayal the father in the “Prodigal Son” story must have felt? The son wishes his father dead, takes his money and squanders it.  If you are married or have children, you have probably felt hints of this pain. We have all had times where we felt our spouse or children have squandered our trust and found it difficult to forgive.

In marriage and family life, part of forgiveness means giving up the right to bring the offense up later, using it to justify ourselves or holding it over our spouse’s head to get our way. The Father’s example is to run out to meet the repentant son, lavishing forgiveness and celebrating the return. In marriage and parenting, we do this by focusing on our spouse’s or child’s repentance. It costs us pride, but wins for us the joy of a restored relationship.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Pink Floyd and Jesus

30 Aug

Is There Anybody Out There? by AperatureScienceDo you remember the Pink Floyd lyric, “Hello, is there anybody out there?”

What happened to the “great crowds” that accompanied Jesus? In our own day, many are left wondering what happened to the great crowds of people who used to attend Mass and now only attend at Christmas or Easter. This may include our sons, daughters, brothers, or sisters.

While different people fall away from the practice of the faith for different reasons, Jesus’s words in the Gospel this week give us insight. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Let’s face it, following Christ is hard. Many give up, while others do not understand the value of following Christ and His teachings. This is especially true in matters of marriage and family.

What do we do? We can draw strength from the Holy Spirit and the witness of the Saints. We can strive to live joyful lives that convince our loved ones that we are stronger and happier people with the Eucharist present in our lives. A joyful family life is the greatest message we can send.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

What Is the Opposite of Love?

26 Aug

marriage1If you said “hate,” you’re probably in agreement with most people, but St. John Paul II had a different opinion. He wrote that love’s opposite is “use.”

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus asks His disciples to examine their intentions as they invite guests to a party. Did they invite someone only to get an invite in return?

It may seem strange, but even in marriage, we need to guard against using each other. We can check the purity of our intentions by asking ourselves:

  • Am I performing a kind act in order to get a specific response from my spouse?
  • Is this action coming from a joyful heart, or out of a desire to not “be in the doghouse”?
  • Do I keep track of good deeds, words, or even intimacy?

If you find you answered “yes,” ask Jesus to purify your intentions.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Discipline = Love

19 Aug

Do your children ever give you grief because you love them enough to discipline them? Even though they may not agree or understand, we know we owe them the gift of discipline.  And yet, we all know that it is sometimes easier to let behaviors slide because we know that our disciplinary efforts will take time and effort.

Our experience of parental discipline helps us to understand how God our Father treats all of His children. We hear in this Sunday’s second reading, “For whom the Lord loves He disciplines.” God’s love for His children is constant and never tiring.  If we want to parent like God, we must be constant in our loving discipline for the sake of our children’s growth.

This week, let us pray for the grace to be constant in discipline and, when we do discipline our children, may we act out of kindness and reassure them that they are loved.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Stand Firm

12 Aug

Image result for sacred heart of jesusHave you ever been the butt of family jokes because you attend Mass faithfully, make counter-cultural parenting decisions, or have “too many” kids?

If your faith has ever made you unpopular, you’re experiencing what Jesus describes in the Gospel this week. Sometimes our faith becomes a dividing line between us and family, and this can make us feel torn or even guilty for causing the disruption.

We need to remember that Jesus is calling us to authentic unity with our loved ones, and unity ultimately comes from Him. It may seem as if our getting serious about the faith has caused the problem, but really we are just the first to take a step toward authentic unity.

Like Christ Himself, we can help to bring our loved ones along through our silent, loving witness and by offering the pain of being misunderstood for their conversion.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Treasure Hunt

4 Aug

aaatreasureHow do we treat our treasures? Treasured items do not end up covered in something sticky at the bottom of your purse, or under a dirty pile in the garage. We proudly display them, usually up high, in order to both admire them and keep them safe.

Today, Jesus tells us that our heart will be with our treasure. Is your marriage your treasure? Ask yourself:

  • Do I have a reverence for my marriage?
  • Do I put my marriage “up high” by prioritizing my spouse over work, activities, decisions, etc.?
  • Do I protect my marriage through prayer, positive speech, reconciling hurts, and establishing healthy boundaries with others?

If you answered no to these questions, you are not alone! Consider making an investment in your marriage by attending an enrichment activity: www.archkck.org/family . Marital treasure collects compound interest far greater than financial treasure!

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.