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Showing posts with the label Catholic marriage

NFP in the Trenches- Changing the Conversation

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NFP is billed as a magical system that helps unite a couple and foster deep communication, even during times of abstinence. The Couple to Couple League International’s website is full of words like “liberating”, “selfless”, “empowering”, “teamwork”, and “enriching”. Our peppy instructors seemed so in love, so confident, and so in sync with each other. NFP was clearly my ticket to marital bliss. So why then, is practicing NFP actually so miserable? The frustration, arguments, frigidity, distrust, and temptation of using NFP is by no means the rare exception. This is not what we were promised! But nevertheless, we continue using NFP, cuz it beats the alternatives, right? And when people complain, sometimes they are met with a sympathetic, “yeah, I know it sucks, don’t it?” but more often they are met with, “Offer it up.” Both accurate responses, I think. But neither one is particularly helpful. It’s time to stop sugarcoating NFP. We need to start being honest about what it actually look…

Marriage IS a Vocation

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In the midst of preparing for a religious vocation, God surprised me.  He upended my life in a single day when I met Michael, my future husband. I was secretly disappointed I was not going to be a nun because I imagined myself embracing a heroic calling. I literally felt a sinking feeling when I surrendered my grandiose schemes and dreams, even though I knew without a doubt marriage to this man was the will of God.

Now, I have to laugh because marriage is a powerful vocation with the potential to transform us into saints

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Resistance - Is There Hope to Ever Change

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So ... Where Are We in this Process I thought I would take this week to share where Kevin (my hubby of 26 years) and I are mentally in this process. As I begin my Weight Watchers journey this month, I realized the similarity of the discipline the Lord is trying to create in my heart.  This mind shift from spending as we wish on what we wish, much like my eating what I want and when I want, is a process.  IT is not overnight.  As we say in the weight loss world - YOU did not get 20 lbs over weight overnight, you will NOT shed it overnight.

It has been literally 32 years of mistakes and missteps; along with some serious emotional and mental baggage that has brought us to be this over our heads with debt.  Add to that my desire to serve God in the ever lucrative (read only for Joel Osteen) ministry world - and this is not going to be a quick fix.  The Navigating Your Finances God's Way  study has truly been a God Send - but it has not been the miraculous fix all I had hoped.  IT WIL…

Amoris Laetitia and building bridges: “stay as close as you can”

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I’ve had time to skimThe Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia)by Pope Francis. It bears closer reading, and I’ll get there eventually. For now, it evokes words that had a profound effect on my life – words uttered a decade before Pope Francis even became a priest, and a year before I was born. The pope’s recent message reinforced the Catholic Church’s recognition of the truth about the dignity and indissolubility of marriage. At the same time, he urged readers to build bridges of mercy and patience and acceptance for other people as they are, where they are. Can one be “accepting” of people in unsanctioned unions, without compromising on truth? Let me tell you my family’s story, and you’ll know why I say yes. Read the rest of the post at ellenkolb.com.

BOOK COVER REVEAL of The Four Keys to Everlasting Love!!!

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The thrill-ride of book publishing continues as we hit our next milestone: the cover of our new book, The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime!!! This Catholic marriage help book is alreadyavailable for pre-order at Amazon.com (what a dream come true).

Our editor called publisher Ave Maria Press' art department their "secret weapon" because of how great they are at developing attractive cover art, so we were overjoyed to work with them. Like everything else in publishing, coming up with a great cover is a long process.

For the final cover and to see how the book got from rough sketch to finished product, click here!!

HUGE NEWS: Chris West Will Write the Foreword to Our Marriage Advice Book!

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Many of you have patiently followed the saga of our Catholic marriage advice book through the stages of proposal,publishing contract, and editing.  Over the summer, we found out our title:


The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime


And.... we found out that Christopher West had agreed to write the foreword!!!! In every informal poll we conducted on social media, when we asked who would be the BEST person to write a foreword to a Catholic marriage advice book, you overwhelmingly responded, "Chris West."

Read more here...

Announcing Marriage Rx: Our New Marriage Advice Series on CatholicMom

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I'm thrilled to announce Marriage Rx, a new monthly marriage advice column from me and my husband, Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Manuel P. Santos! It will appear monthly on CatholicMom.com on the fourth Monday. I'll also repost on the Can We Cana? blog. My husband and I have already received lots comments and questions to feature in future columns. Please keep them coming!


How Marriage Rx Can Help YouMost marriages encounter bumps and trouble spots along the way. But Catholics don’t view marriage as disposable. We want to fix our marriage, not throw it away. If you’re looking for Catholic marriage advice from someone who understands the powerful and healing graces of the Sacrament of Matrimony, Marriage Rx can give you answers that will truly help. It’s anonymous.  When you submit questions, you don’t have to use your full name, or even your real name. Just email us at catholicmarriagerx@gmail.com and look for the answer in an upcoming column. It’s free.  You don’t have to buy a book…

Laughing, Loving, and Crying Through 36 Years of Marriage: 10 Years & Then Some

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Today we welcome Michael and Melanie Jean Juneau to the series How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some. Michael and Melanie live on a small family farm in Canada, where they raised their nine kids. I know Melanie from her excellent work at the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers and through her prolific writing. Today Michael and Melanie explain how suffering doesn't have to crush a marriage, instead it can lead to great joy!



1. How many years have you been married and how many kids do you have?
We have been married for 36 years, and we are still in love. Surprisingly, we really have become one, deeply in tune with each other’s spirits. Our tangible joy is inexplicable through secular eyes because from all outward appearances our life together has been a tough journey including poverty, nine kids, overwhelming chores on a small family farm and clinical depression.

One priest gently consoled us by explaining we have lived through “trials by fire.” Another friend, not given to …

Catholic Author Jean Heimann of CatholicFire Tells Us How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some

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Following up on last week's blog tour where I reviewed Jean Heimann's new book Seven Saints for Seven Virtues, Jean and her husband Bill return to Can We Cana? for some advice on How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some.
1. How many years have you been married and how many kids do you have?Bill & Jean:  We have been married 22 years and have no biological children. Bill has an adult son from a previous marriage, which was formally annulled by the Catholic Church prior to our marriage in the Church in 1992.
2. Name 3 things that have helped you to stay married this long.Jean: Our strong Catholic faith bonded us from the beginning and has kept us together over the years. We are “equally yoked” as the Protestants say. We were both actively involved in leadership roles in various ministries prior to our marriage (and continue to be) and saw eye to eye on the important issues that face engaged couples: openness to life, putting God first in our lives, serving others, stewards…

Our Marriage Book to Be Released by Ave Maria Press in 2016!!

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As we announced last week, Ave Maria Press will be releasing our Catholic marriage help book in 2016. The working title (although publishers always change the title!) is Secrets of Turning Water into Wine. Why are we writing the book? What can you learn from the book? Read on to find out!

SECRETS OF TURNING WATER INTO WINE

Divorce rates for Catholic marriages have almost tripled since the early 1970s, proving that Catholic marriages are not immune from the terrible epidemic of divorce. Catholic couples today desperately need a transfusion of spiritual truths combined with solid practical advice. Secrets of Turning Water into Wine offers a warm catechesis that illustrates how God’s plan for marriage can free us to experience deep, lasting, and soul-satisfying love in our everyday lives.
Weekend or one-day marriage preparation programs might not give couples all the information they need or want. Secrets of Turning Water into Wine shows how Biblical principles can provide trustworthy solut…

Our Love Story (@ Melody's Harmonies)

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I decided it was time to write down Joel and my story. It's a bit long so I've broken it into two parts with lots of photos (all for your amusement of course).

Putting together the pieces of our full story is actually kind of hard to do because when we first met, we certainly didn’t think we’d ever get married (or at least I didn’t) so remembering important dates and events wasn’t important. However, we put our heads together and I think we’ve come up with what we’ll call Our Story with semi-accurate dates and timelines. I’m glad we’ve done this now… cause there is no way I’m going to remember this in 10 years unless I write it down!


Read all the romance here.

How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some: Karee and Manny

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The kick-off to this great new series How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some is written by yours truly, me and my husband Manny. Here are our prime bits of advice gathered over the years, and a few of our most cherished stories.

1. How many years have you been married and how many kids do you have?
Manny & Karee: We've been married 14 years and have 6 kids: Lelia, age 13; Miguel, age 11; Maria, age 9; Marguerite, age 7; Cecilia, age 5; and Elisa-Maria, age 3. Yes, we know that's a lot of girls.

2. Name 3 things that have helped you to stay married this long.
Manny: “Not staying married” was never really an option in my mind. So I would say that the first thing that has helped me stay married is a proper understanding of what marriage is -- a promise of forever. The second thing that has helped me stay married is that I meant what I said on my wedding day. The wedding vows I spoke were not flowery or cute, but rather simple and direct. They were spoken before God Almigh…

To the Woman Who Knows Her Husband Will Never Cheat on Her

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The Internet is abuzz with a duel of sorts between Patheos blogger Simcha Fisher and young, engaged-to-be-married Emma Smith, who wrote on Catholic Exchange that she knows for a fact that she and her husband will never have to face the issue of infidelity.

"God is faithful, but we're not marrying God," proclaimed Fisher. "What do we know about human beings? They sin. They sin, and they sin, and they sin. Sometimes they enter into a valid marriage and then they cheat. Sometimes they understand fully what they are supposed to do, and they just don’t feel like doing it," she explained.

I'm inclined to agree with Fisher. Because the issue in Catholic marriage is not whether anything will go wrong, but how will you handle it when it does.

Read more here...

Traditional Marriage is an Icon of Humanity (Part 2)

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This post is Part 2 of guest blogger Carlos X's defense of traditional marriage in honor of National Marriage Week. Part 1 of Carlos' post explored the common mythological roots of the male-female union as expression of the divine in Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. Part 2 details the scientific acceptance of male-female union as the essential archetype of humanity. Read on to enjoy Carlos' post, and for more National Marriage Week resources, be sure to check out Catholic Match Institute!
**************************** Love between a man and a woman has a mystical dimension in the sacred texts of Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. But the ultimate manifestation of “the mysticism of sexual love” is when “the love experience becomes cosmic.”  (Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces). So it's appropriate that when the world's scientists wanted to introduce humanity to possible alien races, they showed a picture of us as male and female.
In 1970 and 1973, NAS…

Traditional Marriage is an Icon of Humanity

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In honor of National Marriage Week (Feb. 7 - Feb. 14, 2014), here's a fabulous defense of traditional marriage from fellow blogger and lawyer Carlos X.  Part 1 explores the common mythological roots of the male-female union as expression of the divine in Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. Part 2 details the scientific acceptance of male-female union as the essential archetype of humanity. Please welcome Carlos, who will celebrate fifteen years of marriage this year. He's the author of the Super Martyrio blog, which tracks the canonization cause of the Servant of God Óscar A. Romero, whom Carlos met when he was growing up in El Salvador.  Carlos also serves on the Board of Directors of the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County, California, a Catholic lawyers’ guild. Read on to enjoy Carlos' post, and for more National Marriage Week resources, be sure to check out Catholic Match Institute!

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Traditional marriage is unlike any other union …

United in Heart and Soul to Our Beloved

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Aimed at greater intimacy than the one-flesh union, married love "leads to forming one heart and soul,” states the Catechism. (Section 1643). How do married couples become one in heart and soul, especially when the demands of daily life keep getting in the way?

Becoming One Heart

Talk to your beloved about what's in your heart. Sometimes men don't talk enough and women talk too much. What do you think about all day? Do you share those thoughts with your spouse? If not, why not? Take your concerns and preoccupations to prayer and ask God to help you share them with your spouse in a productive and positive way.

Becoming unified with your spouse is a foretaste of becoming one with God, the Bridegroom of our soul. But union entails sorrow as well as solace. St. Catherine of Siena experienced a mystical marriage with Jesus, which both increased her love and familiarity with Jesus and gave her a more intimate participation in his sufferings. Do we offer to participate in our spous…

FREE Copy of Sarah's Reinhard's Catholic Family Fun for Next Retreat Registrant

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Can We Cana's First Ever Give-Away!Awesome author Sarah Reinhard has generously agreed to donate a free copy of her book Catholic Family Fun: A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless to the next person to register for my online marriage enrichment retreat this February 3, 4, 10 and 11!! So be sure to join in Can We Cana?'s first major give-away by registering for the retreat here.

For those of you who don't already know Sarah, she describes herself as a Catholic convert/wife/mom/reader/writer enjoying the idiosyncrasies of life on a farm with critters and kids. She blogs at the National Catholic Register and has written five books for amazing Catholic publishers like Pauline Books and Ave Maria Press. She's heavily involved with CatholicMom.com and is always ready to lend a helping hand to beginning bloggers such as yours truly.

Sarah's book, Catholic Family Fun, is as great as the name suggests. It's packed with detailed instructions for n…

Announcing February Online Marriage Enrichment!!

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           Looking for ways         to make your marriage                   stronger?



Join me this February 3, 4, 10, or 11 in an online marriage enrichment retreat. Spend an hour or two, just in time for Valentine's Day, to make your marriage stronger! Similar to an interactive webinar, the retreat offers talks illustrated by sacred artwork with a background of Gregorian chant.

If you've never attended an online retreat before, don't worry -- the technology is easy. All you need is high-speed Internet and speakers for your computer. You can ask and answer questions simply by typing in a chatbox. But if you wish, you can purchase low-cost earbuds with a computer mike and speak directly with me and the other participants. You’ll receive a link by email to enter the online environment and a friendly tech will help you get used to all the features.

You can participate as an individual or a couple, during the early afternoon or in the evening -- whatever works for you. And if you c…

Pope Francis' Beautiful New Prayer for Families

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On the Feast of the Holy Family, December 29, 2013, Pope Francis invited all Catholics to pray for families as the Church prepares for an Extraordinary Synod to examine the troubling disconnect between Church teaching and the reality of modern family life. In his Angelus address given to the crowds in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis recited for the first time his new Prayer to the Holy Family. (Full text available here.)

The prayer seeks the help of the Holy Family while at the same time revealing Pope Francis' vision of the family as it is and as it could be. It paints an ideal portrait of family life and yet acknowledges the severe difficulties faced by many. It concludes with a heart-felt petition for the renewal of the sacredness and inviolability of the family. Pope Francis' prayer is a short primer on the theology of the family and deserves careful contemplation. Let's see what he says.

The Splendor of True Love
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splen…

Christmas Gift Ideas: Book Edition

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Just in time for Christmas, here are some awesome book suggestions for nearly everyone on your list.
For Married or Engaged Couples
For Better... Forever!: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, by Greg Popcak. This modern Catholic classic has been offering helpful advice to couples for more than a decade. Give a gift that helps love grow all year long. Click here for my review.

For Moms and Dads
Growing Up in God's Image, by Carolyn J. Smith.  One of the biggest struggles parents face is teaching their kids a healthy outlook on sexuality. You can start laying the groundwork when your kids are very young by teaching them respect for their bodies. Then, it's much easier to talk to them as they get older. Learn how in this helpful book. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Catholic Family Fun, by Sarah A. Reinhard.  The family fun can last all year round if you use the ideas in this clever book. Imagine always having something wholesome to do that will keep bodies and minds acti…