Tag Archives: Easter

Mercy Works in Marriage

28 Apr

Easter is the season of mercy, but have you ever thought, “How do the works of mercy apply to family life?” God’s beautiful plan allows for the works of mercy to be practiced daily in family life.

Spiritual Works of Mercy

  • Bear wrongs patiently: Assume that your husband did not intend to make that insensitive comment.
  • Pray for the living and the dead: During meal prayer, offer prayer for living and deceased relatives.
  • Admonish the sinner: Discipline children when they disrespect you.
  • Counsel the doubtful Encourage a child who is questioning Faith:
  • Instruct the ignorant: Give a book to an uninformed relative on a matter of Faith.
  • Forgive offenses: Forgive your spouse instead of holding a grudge.
  • Comfort the afflicted: Spend time listening to a struggling child or relative.

For other ways to joyfully witness to mercy, 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.

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.

The Living Stations of Marriage

23 Mar

aaaHave you ever attended a “living Stations of the Cross”? Many parishes have their youth groups act out the steps of Jesus on His way to His crucifixion and death. Seeing these truths acted out in a dramatic form can be a very powerful experience for the faithful in attendance.

Did you know that as a married couple you are called to the same thing? St. John Paul II said, “Spouses are a permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the Cross” (Familiaris Consortio).

It can be hard to imagine the kind of sacrifice that Jesus made for us, but when we see a couple choose to forgive a serious offense, or pull together during a difficult pregnancy or care for one another during a life-threatening illness, suddenly Jesus’ Passion is played out in front of our eyes.

Likewise, couples mirror the Resurrection. Anyone who has had the honor of celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary has seen the joy that is the fruit of years of suffering offered for the good of the other.

As we begin this Easter season, let us reflect on the crosses in our marriage and choose to bear them as Christ did, that we might show the world that His love brings new life.

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.

Love in the Time of Easter

8 Apr

Image result for easter lilyRecently during Mass, Maggie, my four-year-old daughter, grabbed my hand while we were listening to the homily. I thought she just wanted to hold my hand, but I was wrong. She gave my hand to my wife Libby, so we could hold hands during the homily. It deepened my realization that little ones desperately want their parents not only to be together, but to be “IN LOVE.” It is sometimes easy to forget that one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is our dedicated effort to grow in our marriage no matter how good or not so good it already is. No matter where we are or have been in our marriages, the natural instinct of my daughter, Magdalene, can give us deep insight into the supernatural reality of this Easter Season. Let’s explore.

What is it about an “in love” married couple that gives so much security to our little ones? I think it has something to do with the fact that a married couple is intended to be the very reflection and concrete experience of the love and goodness of God. Every married couple is intended to be a window into the life and love of the Holy Trinity. If the reflection that the couple is intended to convey is somehow cloudy, then the very stability that confidence in God’s existence offers is also clouded. Children want to believe that they come from love. If a child knows that their existence is the fruit of love, then they are confident that they exist for a reason.

We all know that children are created out of the love of God and that there is a reason for the creation of every child, but we as parents sometimes forget that we are supposed to be the living and tangible reminder every day to that reality by the way we love one another. It is not just about participating with God in the child’s creation, and then focusing on the child and figuring that our spouse is old enough and can take care of their own needs. When we intentionally choose to nurture the marriage relationship, we create the culture for a child to grow in a stable environment. If we were going to plant a garden, we would not be very successful if we did not tend to the soil. Passionate marriages are the optimal soil for the seed of children to flourish!

Yes, I said “passionate.” Some are scandalized by that word, so let me explain why I purposely chose it. When I say “passionate,” I am not talking about “an urgency to make love.” That is how the world defines it, and it is important to reclaim the language. When I say “passion,” I am talking about the type of passion that we celebrated on Good Friday. And no, I am not saying that marriage is torture. I am saying that the total self-abandonment of Christ on the Cross is the same self-abandonment that a married couple is called to have toward one another. The grace that was won on Calvary and offered through the Resurrection is made present to and through the Sacrament of Matrimony. John Paul II said it best when he said that married couples are a “permanent reminder to the Church of what Christ did on the Cross” (Familiaris Consortio).

The mystery of Christ’s Death and Resurrection is present in every home–what a wonderful plan in the wisdom of God! He knew that the Blessed Sacrament would not be able to make it into every home, but through Baptism and Matrimony, His sacramental presence has the potential to reach every house and neighborhood.

Our marriages are personal but not private. When we embrace the call to love one another as Christ loved the Church, we participate in the sanctification of the world. We can sometimes dismiss evangelization as a good idea that some people should do out there somewhere, or we wait around for our parish priest to form an evangelization committee.

The reality is that when we love our spouse passionately, we evangelize our children and our communities, and we participate in the redemption of the whole world. I invite every married man and woman, most especially myself, to step up the level of love in our relationship this Easter season. The grace is abundant, and when we take the time to prioritize our marriage, we are entering deeply into the mystery of Christ’s Death and Resurrection. If we enter into this mystery more deeply this Easter season, we will experience the power of Pentecost in a tangible way, and we will be a beacon of light in this world struggles to see the path to authentic happiness.

Chants Occurrence

29 Apr

When my daughter Virginia was about a year old, I twice received calls that she was unconscious and being rushed to the hospital. (I hope you fathers out there never receive such a call.) Thanks be to God, on both occasions, by the time I arrived at the emergency room, she was awake and fine.

The second time she was knocked out, however, the doctors understandably wanted to do a CT scan to ensure that she didn’t have any lingering internal head injury. The problem is keeping a one-year old still during the procedure. The nurses suggested sedating her, but instead I asked if I could just sing to her.

So, I started gently singing various Marian antiphons, from the Ave Maria to the Alma Redemptoris Mater and Regina Caeli. These chants calmed her so that she was perfectly still and relaxed through the entire medical procedure. The nurses were amazed!

I mention these chants here, because now that it’s Easter, the “Marian antiphon” of choice is the Regina Caeli (”Queen of Heaven”), which our family sings each evening after our Rosary. Here are the words for this beautiful chant:

The English translation is:

Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia. The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as he said, alleluia. Pray to God for us, alleluia.

Marian antiphons like the Regina Caeli are not only part of our rich Catholic patrimony, but they can also become part of the daily rhythm of our own families’ lives. As the episode with Virginia shows, even on a natural level, these antiphons can be “holy lullabies,” gently leading our children to a deep, filial love for our Blessed Mother.

The Road to Emmaus

23 Apr

Every year on Easter Wednesday Mass we hear St. Luke’s account of Our Lord’s appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

This Gospel passage brings to mind the Eucharistic “amazement” that Pope John Paul II sought to rekindle in the faithful through his final encyclical letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia:

“To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize him wherever he manifests himself, in his many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of his body and his blood. The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by him she is fed and by him she is enlightened. The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a ‘mystery of light.’ Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: ‘their eyes were opened and they recognized him’ (Lk. 24:31).”

Perhaps when praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary this Easter season, we might want to reflect on this episode during the decade devoted to the Institution of the Eucharist, as it vividly connects Holy Thursday with Easter faith.

What Happened on Holy Saturday?

19 Apr

Our Lord’s descent into hell, under whose aegis Holy Saturday stands liturgically in the Church’s year, is an article of faith that is of particular significance to modern man. On Good Friday we contemplated Christ on the Cross, and beginning on Easter Sunday we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.

Continue reading