Let Easter impact your marriage!

13 Apr

After the sacrifice of Lent and the gloom of Holy Week, we can sometimes arrive at Easter like someone who has just finished a dreaded chore. We can think, “Hooray, we made it!”  Now, pass the jelly beans. However, if this is our approach, the Resurrection of Jesus becomes no more than a happy ending to a scary story, and we miss the gift it can be for our marriages.

The first message of the Resurrection is “Don’t be afraid!” This phrase is proclaimed to all who approach the empty tomb, and it is proclaimed to us as married people as well. We should not be afraid:

  • … of serious illness, financial, or relationship problems. He has conquered even death, so He can bring good out of any evil we face.
  • … of facing our own or our spouse’s sin. He loved His disciples even after they abandoned Him; He can help us love each other with that same love.

To unleash Easter Joy into your marriage, visit 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.

Holy Week for Marriage

6 Apr

Praise, temptation to despair, indignant questioning from one who does not understand His mission, rejection, and eventually death . . .

While all of these descriptions certainly apply to Our Lord’s experience during Holy Week, they also apply to the lived experience of every married couple.

St. John Paul II said, “Married couples are a permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the Cross.” Jesus called Himself the Bridegroom, and His Bride was the Church, so we can imitate Christ in our marriages when we:

  • Accept praise from others with humility and thanksgiving to God.
  • Allow grace to strengthen our hope when we are tempted to despair over financial situations or the choices our children make.
  • Choose to courageously witness to the beauty of marriage even though friends or extended family may not understand our vocation.
  • Forgive generously when we are hurt.
  • Lay down our lives, in ways big and small, for our spouse.

For other ways to joyfully witness your marriage, go to 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.

 

“What are you waiting for, Jesus?”

28 Mar

Crosses for married couples come in all different shapes and sizes. Whether in the form of death, illness, financial troubles or conflict, the “bad times” can really test our resolve!

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus waited two days before setting out to help His dying friend Lazarus, and the delay resulted in His friend’s death. In our suffering, we can often feel like Jesus is taking forever to help, and we fear He may come too late.

We can keep two important things in mind in these situations. First, “Jesus wept” over His friend’s death, and therefore we know that He suffers with us. Second, He allowed Lazarus to die in order to bring about a greater good.

As we approach Holy Week, let’s offer our pain to our merciful Savior, trusting in His wisdom and confident that the trial we bear will produce great fruit!

For help in finding joy in the midst of trial, go to 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.

“I can see!”

23 Mar

This weekend’s readings are about seeing clearly. While few people experience physical healing like the blind man in the Gospel, many of us can recall times when God has allowed us to see a situation from a new perspective—with equally miraculous results.

If you and your spouse keep running up against the same conflict or difficulty, perhaps you are in need of a new perspective.

  • Pray specifically for God to “open your eyes” to a new way of seeing your spouse and his or her perspective.
  • Seek counsel from a couple whose marriage you respect who may have traveled through similar difficult circumstances in the past.
  • Gain new insights and skills from a marriage enrichment program such as Living in Love or Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

Other practical marriage tips can be found 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.

Are you willing to die?

16 Mar

This week, St. Paul reminds us that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). As married people, we are called to imitate Jesus by laying down our lives for our spouses, a theme that runs through many of our most cherished love stories.

We see great nobility in one spouse taking a bullet for the other, even though it usually doesn’t come to that!

If we are literally willing to die for each other, we must also be willing to die to ourselves in little ways–while our spouse is still a sinner.  Here are some ideas:

  • Pick up those socks without comment.
  • Answer a bad attitude with lavish affirmation.
  • Do one of your spouse’s chores without getting noticed.
  • Seek understanding instead of the “last word.”
  • Listen to your spouse without trying to “fix the problem.”

Build a more joyful marriage 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 Original Fall of Marriage

2 Mar

untitledIn this week’s readings, we hear about the fall of our original parents, Adam and Eve. We sometimes forget that this initial temptation and subsequent sin was not only an attack on the first two humans, it was attack on marriage and God’s beautiful plan of communion between the first husband and wife.

Adam and Eve were called to cultivate the Garden of Eden and protect it, with divine assistance. We can approach our marriages in the same way. Our Sacraments are gifts from God, and we have the calling to cultivate and protect them with divine assistance. How do we do this?

  • Unlike Adam and Eve, ask God for help when trouble arises.
  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt when a misunderstanding arises.
  • Be the first to ask for forgiveness.
  • Be quick to offer forgiveness.

For other practical ways this Lent to cultivate and protect your marriage including ways to pray together, go to 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 Lord of the Wedding Rings

25 Feb

f718c73f-12be-4393-9d5f-2ace13bb0e2cIn Tolkien’s novel The Return of the King, the Steward of Gondor has been at his post so long he has forgotten that he is merely the guardian of the land, not its king. He sees it as his possession. This leads to a grasping at the last clutches of power, a resentment toward the real king, and ultimately an untimely death born of despair.

This Sunday’s second reading reminds us that we are “stewards of the mysteries of God. As married people, we are called specifically to safeguard the Sacrament of Matrimony. This means our marriages are a gift from God for which we are meant to care, not possess or dominate.  This perspective is freeing!  It helps us:

  • Worry less, because God is with us.
  • Release our spouse (and ourselves!) from unrealistic expectations.
  • Love our children in the most generous way.
  • See our vocation as the noble calling it is!

For more resources, go to 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.