Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts

6 Nov 2017

The Final Fight

Sister Lucia, the oldest of the Fatima visionaries prophesied that the final fight between Our Lord and Satan will be over marriage and the family. Being the one good thing that remains from Paradise, it is easy to see why the devil would attack it so harshly. With sex scandals upon scandals, the acceptance of same-sex “marriages”, the normalization of incest, the epidemic of contraceptive use, and a million other violations of the natural order, it’s not terribly crazy to speculate that we are nearing that final battle.
Faithful Catholics easily recognize the dangers of the big lies society is pushing, and we seem to frame our understanding of this final battle as being against these big issues, but that is only the surface of the fight.
....
Those of us in faithful, sacramental marriages, I really think we are going to be attacked more than anyone else. You only have to do a quick read through of the Book of Job to see how much the devil delights in bringing destruction to God’s faithful ones....
Keep reading here at Messy Buns & Latin Chant

13 Sep 2017

Within Marriage, There is No Place for Adultery - A Look at the Sixth Commandment


Adultery has no place in God’s plan for how He defines marriage. That is why it is clearly spelled out in the Sixth Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex 20:14). We can go all the way back to Genesis, and read about the creation of man and woman. It is here that we learn of God’s plan for marriage. We see that Adam and Eve were created in a state of union and love with God.

God blessed them, saying to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:28)
 
By God’s design, through the complementarity of male and female, along with the gift of sexuality, humans may procreate. This design is further clarified later in Genesis, where it states:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two become one body (Genesis 2:24).
 
Not only do the couple become one body through the conjugal act, but they unite their love for each other, as Adam and Eve’s love was united with God, before the fall. Also, take note of the usage of the word “wife” in Genesis,... Read more...

5 Jul 2017

When the Fireworks are Over, Then What?


Yesterday, in the United States, we celebrated Independence Day with an assortment of fireworks displays throughout the country. As with this type of celebration, the day after seems like quite a letdown, doesn’t it? The evening before was exciting, filled with color, splash and sound! Today, all is quiet and serene. We can draw a correlation between celebrating the Fourth of July and marriage. How so, you might ask?

Fireworks and Marriage


When we initially meet our spouse, it’s like fireworks are going off all the time. Life is filled with excitement. Everything around us seems to come to life. Then we settle into a relationship, with its ups and downs. Yet, the fire is still strong; so strong, that we decide to marry. Much time is spent preparing for the wedding ceremony and celebration. Planning for the big day can create excitement, color and splash!

My Own Fireworks


I remember planning my own wedding 38 years ago this month. I experienced that sense of... Read more... 

12 Jun 2017

Love is in the Air! Wedding Bells Ring!


It is wedding season and love is in the air! In the United States, June is always a very popular month to get married. The weather is usually wonderful; the flowers are in bloom, and it’s a great time for family and friends to come together. Yet, marriage is more than a celebration.

What brings two people to the altar of marriage is a love formed by God; a uniting in a covenant; the giving of one, fully to another. Remember asking your mom, “When will I ever fall in love?” or asking a friend, “When will I find my soul mate?”

Loving any another person is always a choice; but falling in love, with your soul mate, that’s a whole different thing! That’s because... Read more...

10 Jun 2017

'God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.' Sunday Reflections, Trinity Sunday, Year A



The Trinity. El Greco [Web Gallery of Art]

For Readings and Reflections for Trinity Sunday click on the following:


Benedictus sit Deus, Mozart



Antiphona ad introitum 

Entrance Antiphon


Benedictus sit Deus Pater,
Blest be God the Father,
Unigenitusque Dei Filius,
and the Only Begotten Son of God,
Sanctus quoque Spiritus,
and also the Holy Spirit,
quia fecit nobiscum misericordian suam.
for he has shown us is merciful love.

31 Mar 2017

'Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ Sunday Reflections, Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A


The Raising of Lazarus, Rembrandt [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible)
For the shorter form of the Gospel omit the passages [in square brackets].
Gospel John 11:1-44 [11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45] (NRSV,Catholic Ed

[Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.] So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ [The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’ After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’ Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’]

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. [Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother.] When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’

[When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When] Jesus saw her weeping and [the Jews who came with her also weeping, he] was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

From The Gospel of John

I think it was back in the 1980s when I was at home in Ireland on a visit that I heard a young diocesan priest being interviewed on national radio about his work as a prison chaplain. He spoke about an occasion when he spent an hour in a cell with one prisoner who was there for stealing on a large scale. The priest got no response whatever - until he was about to leave. He then looked at the young man, put his arms around him and said, 'I love you', adding the man's name.

The prisoner broke down and began to open up to the priest. Over a period of time they became friends. After he was released the young man set up a successful security agency, no doubt drawing on his 'professional skills'.
Full post here.

13 Aug 2016

'From now on five in one household will be divided . . .' Sunday Reflections, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C


The Marriage at Cana,Marten de Vos, 1596-97
Gospel Luke 12:49-53 (NRVS, Catholic Ed, Can)

Jesus said to his disciples: “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:
father against son and son against father,
mother against daughter and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

About 40 years ago when I had some programs on DXDD, a radio station in Ozamiz City, Mindanao, started by a Columban priest, Fr Charles Nolan, and now owned by the Archdiocese of Ozamiz, two friends of mine brought in a boy of about three whom they had found wandering at night. I appealed on the air for his family to come and bring him home. There was no response. My program was the last for the night and I was wondering what we'd do with the boy. The janitor and his wife, whom I'll call Carlos and Teresa, happened to be there and said, 'We'll take him home. What's one more mouth to feed?' They had a small house and a large family.

The boy's mother, who worked in a night club, was found a day or two later and Carlos and Teresa reunited them.

On 25 July 1968 Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, which begins with these words:

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.
Officiating at the wedding 
of friends in 2007
M & J now have five children

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

The encyclical, which upholds the Church's traditional teaching on family planning, immediately caused dissension within the Church, much of it quite bitter. It still provokes strong feelings and has been dismissed by many, maybe even by a majority of Catholics, especially in the West.

Full post here.

20 May 2016

'The family is the image of God, who is a communion of persons' (Pope Francis). Sunday Reflections, Trinity Sunday, Year C


The Two Trinities, Murillo, 1675-82
John 16:12-15 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.


During my kinder, primary and secondary school years, 1947 to 1961, my brother and I had breakfast and dinner - a midday meal in Ireland in those days - with our mother. In the evening we had 'tea', as that lighter meal was known in some English-speaking countries. My father had his dinner and tea combined, the four of us together. I often heard my mother 'complain' about having to prepare two meals for my father in the evening. It would never have crossed her mind, or that of any other working-class housewife in urban Ireland in those days, to have dinner for the whole family in the evening.

However, we did have dinner together on Saturdays and Sunday's. My father, like other construction workers, had a half-day on Saturday. Saturday was the only day when we had soup, very often barley soup, served in cups, not in bowls

Phoenix Park, Dublin, in the summer [Wikipedia]
Sunday dinner was special, as it was for all families, and meant extra work for my mother who would spent the whole morning after Mass and breakfast preparing it. My father would take the two of us to meet our paternal grandfather and then for a walk in the nearby Phoenix Park.

Full post here.

1 May 2016

When Life Isn't Ideal: "Amoris Laetitia"

Something I found on page 59 of "Amoris Laetitia"1 is an example of why I love being Catholic — common sense, drawing on the Church's experience and wisdom, developed by dealing with people for two millennia.

Some folks have been having conniptions over the encyclical: some because the Pope won't redefine marriage to suit their preferences; others, I suspect, for his failure to heap abuse on couples in " 'irregular' situations."

Instead of denouncing them as loathsome sinners who should be cast into the outer darkness, Pope Francis actually talks about "...offering them assistance so they can reach the fullness of God's plan for them...." ("Amoris Laetitia," page 227)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

10 Apr 2016

"Amoris Laetitia" — or — Don't Panic


(From Elia Kazan, via Petrusbarbygere/Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Screenshot from a "Panic in the Streets" trailer. (Elia Kazan, 1950))

Actually, "Amoris Laetitia" means "The Joy of Love."

Pope Francis signed "Amoris Laetitia," about 58,000 words about love in the family, March 19. The apostolic exhortation was released Friday.

So far, I've heard an imaginative summary on radio news, read a few dramatic headlines, and one or two online remarks about it that make sense.

The latter generally boil down to 'I haven't studied it yet, so I don't know what it says.'

That's pretty much where I'm at, but that won't stop me from talking — briefly, for me — about what I have read. So far, I've finished the introduction, glanced at the index, and am working my way through the first chapter....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

26 Mar 2016

The Gift of Abandonment

The Gift of Abandonment - girl in field

What had happened to my life and how had things turned so quickly? We had renewed our vows on Valentine's Day, and it seemed, even to me, that we lived the perfect life. We had four beautiful little boys and another child on the way. Our large home had been built, much of it by our own hands, in an upscale neighborhood. Yes, it needed a lot of work, but we were looking forward to making it "perfect" together over the years. Friends and family were welcome and visited often. Laughter was a constant companion in days filled with sunshine.

Challenges and darkness had risen ugly heads in the past, but they seemed to have faded and finally been replaced by a deeper Love, a Love that comes only from choosing to face hard times with maturity, Trust, and sheer stubbornness, the refusal to succumb to defeat.

To read the rest of the post and see how abandonment can be a gift from God, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com
Happy Easter & God Bless...

27 Feb 2016

​Elisa Lardani Marchi: Body Given for Love


A special and touching story shared by guest blogger, Michelle Arnold Paine:

In the evening of February 27, 2015, I received a text message from my dear brother in Christ Alessandro: his sister Elisa had delivered her baby, was in surgery and they were not sure she would survive. He was asking me to spread the request for prayer to our network of American friends, those who have been students or faculty for the Gordon College in Orvieto program over nearly 20 years. Quickly I emailed and called several faculty and former Orvieto students to ask for their prayers. A few hours later another text – the hemorrhage that had begun during the birthing process was continuing and she was fighting for her life.
 
Through the night I was up several times nursing my own five-week-old baby, and that night checked my phone frequently. The next day, Saturday, we found out... read more 

29 Jan 2016

11 Ways to Celebrate Your Marriage


Once in a while, when I’m bored, or curious (or need a good introduction to a blog post!), I browse through the “Days of the Year” website. I never cease to be amazed at the variety of celebrations on the calendar. In February, people will be celebrating Stuffed Mushroom Day, Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, World Nutella Day, and Gumdrop Day. Mouth-watering, right? February also includes Thank Your Mailman Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, and Extraterrestrial Culture Day. If I followed my taste buds here, I’d probably be advocating for World Nutella Day; if I succumbed to my inner geek, I’d go with Extraterrestrial Culture Day. But, given the proximity of Lent, the lack of known alien life, and my focus on marriage and family life both in my job and at home, I’ll rise above the tasty and bizarre, and focus your attention on February 14. This year, February 14 is both Valentine’s Day and World Marriage Day. The two focuses actually go pretty well together, so here are a few ideas to help you celebrate your marriage on February 14 (or throughout the year – some of these things take more than a day).

Continue reading at Eyes On Heaven.

19 Jan 2016

Prayerful Thoughts from St. Ignatius of Loyola

I wanted to pray "for families" today. Then I looked in my little book of Ignatian thoughts and realized that's too vague. His words challenge me to become a better wife and mother myself--THAT is an important step in praying for families!


Open this booklet with me at Praying with Grace!

16 Dec 2015

God, What Should I Do?

Stop Sign - Discern God's Call Post Divorce
Have you ever felt lost, alone, confused, unsure of what to do next, unsure of what your calling is? Do you ever sit back and wonder what God is asking of you?

Maybe there was a time you knew your calling. You were to be a Wife and a Mother, a caretaker, a healer, a child's giggling dance partner, a coloring book aficionado, and a world class booboo kisser. You were to be a partner, a supporter, a champion, a budget-applying miracle worker, a secret look across a crowded room interpreter, and a soft place for your better half to land at the end of a long, hard day.

And now...you are just not.


So what is God calling you to do? When your dreams have been dashed and reality is that you need to concentrate just to support, to feed, clothe, and house your children.

In Sunday's Gospel, Luke 3: 10-18, John the Baptist addresses crowds asking similar questions, "What should we do?"

To read the rest of God What Should I Do? please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com.

And, as always, thanks for liking, commenting, following, and sharing!
God Bless...

8 Dec 2015

A Glimpse into Hell, Preparing the Way of the Lord, & The Christmas Season

Glimpse Hell, Preparing Way Lord, Christmas Season December 7, 2015
It came to me in the sudden realization, "This is what Hell is."

I didn't see the burning, unending agony the Saints have seen. I thank the Lord He knows me well enough to understand I'm not strong enough to witness such suffering even in those justly condemned by their own choices.

But I understood what must be one of the greatest agonies of Hell, and it wasn't an eternity of physical torture. It was no gnawing and gnashing of teeth. It was what was not in Hell that hurt souls most. It was their inability to give or receive Love. What made Hell so awful was, quite simply, a complete absence of Love.

And I knew this is what Hell would be.
To continue reading, please join me at SingleMomSmiliing.com

3 Nov 2015

Oops, Your Vocation Is Showing!

November 1-7, 2015 is National Vocation Awareness Week. I'm not sure local bakeries are stocking up on vocation-themed pastries, but that won't stop us from praying!

The USCCB has a page dedicated to National Vocation Awareness Week, complete with a news release, homily helps, and prayers from several dozen dioceses to get us going.

This is how the USCCB describes the vocation-awareness phenomenon:

“National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.”

But is the USCCB leaving something OUT? Join me at Praying with Grace!

15 Oct 2015

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




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 already available 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!!

6 Aug 2015

Confession of a timid soul

The recent ruling by the Supreme Court on the legal state of marriage has reverberated across the country. People cannot stop talking about it and the conversations are often heated. A seismic shift has taken place in our culture. It caught me unprepared for the personal storm of confusion and fear that I would experience as a result.

Facing the inevitable

KatLevPhoto fear of rejection, Flickr Creative Commons
Christians are facing a “brave new world.” Confrontation is now inevitable; I cannot avoid it no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel. I have to be clear as to what I think and how I feel and learn how to express it both firmly and in love, as Jesus would do.

Confession

These recent events have revealed in broad daylight what had been concealed in the shadows of my soul: I am a weak-kneed, timid Christian, locked in the tyrannical grip of caring about what others think of me. My instinct to self-protect causes me to hide away my faith and avoid discussion of it with others. Writing about it is easy enough because I can do that hidden away in my room. Now I will have to look someone in the eye and defend it.

Click to read the entire post.

28 Jun 2015

The worst result of the SCOTUS marriage decision

The worst result of the SCOTUS marriage decision is an article I posted to my Being Catholic ... Really page (scroll down to find the article and the comments made) and I got a lot of flack for it.  Some thought I wrote it and became very angry with me.  I didn't correct them because I agree with what was stated.  I lost a few likes over it too.  That's happened before so it doesn't bother me like it used to when I first started blogging.


You can read the rest at Being Catholic ... Really.

Antarctic 'Hot' Spots

Some scientists say there'll be more carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere this year. They may be right. I think the information...