Holy Bulldozer

2 Dec

cat-bulldozer-clipart-cat-bulldozer-clipart-cat-xuoljh-clipartHave you ever driven on an icy, winding mountain road, or sat in construction traffic for miles? Now think about driving on a wide, dry, flat open highway.  In which scenario can you arrive at your destination more quickly?  In which case is the journey more fun?

In today’s Gospel, John declares that his job is to “make straight his paths.” He has been tasked with unwinding, smoothing and clearing the highway between people and their Savior.

Your marriage is your vocation, which means it is your “highway” to Jesus. We all need to heed John’s admonition to straighten that path and keep it clear. How do we do this?  By learning simple ways to communicate or reconcile, by being reminded of our spouse’s wonderful qualities, by receiving encouragement from others.  In other words, by setting aside some time for marriage enrichment.  What better gift could you give your spouse this Christmas?  See www.joyfulmarriageproject for ideas.

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

 

An Advent Invitation

26 Nov

advent wreathWe all have plenty of time.

If that seems like a crazy statement, think about what you’d do if you found out there was a huge wildfire coming toward you. Suddenly, your schedule would open up, and you’d be able to do what you needed to do to secure your home and family.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to be prepared before disaster strikes. One of the best things we can do on an ongoing basis to keep our family secure is to fortify our marriages. Often, since our marriages seem to be “okay,” we turn our time and attention elsewhere. But our marriages are our vocation, our life’s work! Don’t we owe it to our spouses to invest time in making them great?!

This Advent, why not adopt one small practice that will bring more joy to your marriage? See www.joyfulmarriageproject.com for ideas.

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.

Holy Authority

16 Nov

Image result for serving others“If you are a King, . . . save yourself.” As we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King this Sunday, we gain an important lesson in authority that we can apply to our families.

The scoffing onlookers (i.e., those who did not know Christ) represent the mistaken idea that authority is meant for the benefit of the one who possesses it. Christ teaches the opposite: True authority is given for the benefit of those served, while giving those in authority the opportunity to grow in virtues such as justice, mercy, and generosity.

In marriage and parenting, it can be easy to sit back and wait for others to earn our service or respect, but that is a self-serving attitude and a misuse of authority. Christ calls us to something greater and more fulfilling. Respect is gained when it is given. Joy is gained when service is offered.

For practical applications of other-centered authority and love, click here.

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 sun will come out tomorrow . . . or will it?

11 Nov
Image result for sun will come out tomorrow

“It’s the end of the world as we know it!” The old R.E.M. song sums up the fears of the disciples in this Sunday’s Gospel. The disciples wanted to know if they would receive a sign, so they could ostensibly be prepared for the end. There is a hint of procrastination in the disciples’ question. It is almost as if they were asking, “Do I have more time to do what I want before I follow you?”

What if we lived our life with such intentionality and focus that we gave a radical “yes” to Jesus’s invitation to follow Him? What would that look like in our marriage? Would our children know that we love them unconditionally? Would our spouse know that he or she is truly the most important person in our life? How would we prioritize our time?

This week, leave nothing on the table, and make sure your loved ones know how you truly feel!

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.

Joyful Communion

3 Nov

Image result for faults shape up spouseThis Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that our ultimate destiny is heaven. We married couples may hear this message and wrongly assume our mission is to point out our spouse’s faults and “shape them up.” We may also think our spouse’s irritating qualities are chiseling away our imperfections. As common as these two viewpoints are, they paint a miserable picture of marriage.

We forget that heaven is joyful communion with God. What if, instead of dragging each other along, we supported each other by encouraging virtue? What if, instead of focusing on our spouse’s faults, we focused on convincing them that we love them unconditionally? What if we lived the marriage we always dreamed we would? What if we could prepare our spouse for heaven by practicing joyful communion here on earth?

If you desire such “joyful communion,” but you want a practical plan, check out Archbishop Naumann’s Joyful Marriage Project at www.joyfulmarriageproject.com.

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 Hidden Pharisee in Marriage

20 Oct

vacuum“O God, I thank you that I am not like this tax collector.”

The Pharisee in this Sunday’s Gospel is so arrogant! Yet it is easy to be the same way in our own marriages. We often judge our spouse’s actions against what we would have done in the same situation, imagining that our way is right and theirs is wrong. We can say to ourselves, “If only my spouse were more like me, things would be much smoother.”

For example, “O God, I thank you that I am not like my spouse . . . who thinks a vacuum is an appropriate birthday gift . . . or who cries whenever we fight . . . or who always makes us late.”

We all have our own version of that “prayer.” For trivial matters, we can ask our spouse why he or she behaves a certain way, and in the process learn more about him or her. Even when our spouse is sinning, we can look deeply into our own hearts and say, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” and then grant forgiveness.

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.

Winning the Battle of Family Life

11 Oct

Image result for Moses in battleAre you or someone you know facing a serious struggle? It could be at home or at work. It could be your spouse, one of your children, or a friend.

We learn three important lessons from Moses in this week’s reading from Exodus:

(1) Moses is not afraid to confront the battle.

(2) Moses relies primarily on prayer to win the battle.

(3) Moses is not afraid to accept help to win the battle.

In the daily struggles of marriage and family life, it is important to take the same approach. Recognize and confront your battles, rely on prayer, and ask for help if needed.

  • What is the biggest battle your spouse faces?
  • What is the biggest battle you face today?
  • What is the biggest battle your children face today?
  • What time have you set aside to bring these situations to prayer?
  • Who can you ask for help to support you in your family’s battles?
  • Is there a struggling family to whom you can reach out and help?

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.