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.

Parents, Listen to Your Own Wisdom

29 Jul

Has your child ever demanded, “Mom, tell my brother to share the Legos with me!”? If so, you can relate to Jesus’ experience in this week’s Gospel when He is asked to instruct siblings to share the family inheritance with one another.

As parents dealing with children or looking at this Gospel, it is easy to recognize the jealousy at the root of these situations, and we have the wisdom to say, “Possessions are not the source of happiness.” However, we parents face the same temptation of jealousy.

A new car, new house, new clothing, new phone, or a new kitchen seems to call our name every day.  None of these things are bad, but we can want them for the wrong reasons.  Let us take the time this week to check the motivations of our heart and to be grateful for what we do have. We can set the example for our children of what it means to be poor in spirit.

Mission Statement

1 Jul

nfpWhat is the mission of your marriage? Do you have an actual mission statement? A popular trend for married couples and families is to form a mission statement. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus clues us into the mission of every married couple.

Jesus sends His disciples out 2 by 2 to proclaim the Kingdom of God, which means they were sent to announce the presence of God among us. With sacramental Marriage, the couple becomes the presence of God in the community as the sign of Christ’s love for the Church. God’s plan for every married couple is to bring His life and love into the local community through the way they love each other.

St. John Paul II said, “Couples are a permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the Cross.” Does this mean that marriage is torture? No, it means that couples are the concrete reality that God’s love is tender and moves toward unity with the Beloved. This week, live your mission heroically!

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.

Freedom!

24 Jun

calling of disciplesHow well do you use your freedom? The greatest choice we can make daily is to follow Jesus Christ and share His love with others.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus invites people to do this, but they offer various excuses as to why they cannot choose the path of discipleship, or at least why they need to put off the decision until they can take care of other important things.

Isn’t this the lot of family life? Daily, Jesus desires to share joy with us, but we are quick with excuses, or we are so distracted that we do not even hear the invitation to encounter Him.

Whether it is stress at work, the busyness of family life, the television, the cell phone, the computer, sports, music, or hurting relationships keeping us from a deeper relationship with Jesus, let’s pray for the grace to make Him the top priority of our marriages and families. He awaits us with open arms!

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.

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