Seeing with God's Eyes

11-11-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

In 1 Samuel, God advises the prophet Samuel not to observe as men see but as God sees. He tells him to "look to the heart." This is the movement of this Sunday's Gospel reading. "Beware the scribes," Jesus advises. He points out their public greetings and "seats of honor," which stands in sharp contrast to their private greed. For the Jewish people of Jesus' day, honor resides at the top. Power and prestige created a high profile back then as it still does today. After his warning, Jesus turns his disciples' attention elsewhere: a poor widow. "She, from her poverty, has contributed all she had." While the scribes donated large sums to the temple, they did so "from their surplus wealth." This woman -- in her faith and devotion -- offers "her whole livelihood."

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The Invitation to Love

11-04-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

"You are not far from the kingdom of God." What does it mean to be close to God's kingdom? In today's Gospel, Jesus is in a dialogue with teachers of the law. They know well the Law of Moses, with its complex codes, expectations, and punishments. What will Jesus say? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus effortlessly distills all the books of law into two commands. The simplicity of the Gospel message doesn't mean it's easy to follow. Far from it! The simplicity of the Gospel indicates its totality. Anything that requires the passions of our heart, the choice of our soul, the reason in our mind, or the strength of our body - all of this ought to be animated by love. As you can imagine, that means pretty much everything! The love of God and love of neighbor is meant to flow into our entire lives.  

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Opposites

10-14-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Adam was given the task of naming all the animalsin the garden. As amazing as they all were, nonecomplimented his body or had his intellect. Adamlonged for compatibility and relationship so Godmade a suitable partner for Adam from his very ownbody. When Adam looked at the gift of Eve, provided by the Father, he exclaimed “At last, hereis one of my own kind, bone taken from my bone,and flesh taken my flesh” (Gen 2:23).

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A True Leader

10-07-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

We learn good and bad behaviors from our families of origin. As adults we must analyze what was healthy in our parent's relationship and what was destructive. Removing the destructive tendencies from our lives can take years of hard work, prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments to rid ourselves from the same behavior. A destructive behavior that many young men must identify and remove is one of control. They mistakenly perceive being the head of the family as a position of ruling over wife and family, expecting obedience and service. They think control through force, manipulation, threats, coercion and anger are the methods to be used to achieve this end. This makes for a very unhappy home.  

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Obedient Love

09-30-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

"Be it done unto me according to thy word" (Lk.1:38). "Not my will Father but your will be done" (Lk.22:42). Those are two of the most important phrases in the entire Bible. Blessed Mother was willing to accept the will of God, regardless of the consequences and uncertainty of her future as an unmarried, pregnant teenager. Jesus, the Son of God, accepted His horrific agony and sacrificial death to be obedient and please His Heavenly Father. Obedient trust in the will of the Father was not easy for them and is not easy for married couples who endure difficult times in their marriages. Obedient love of the Father is what every sacramentally married Catholic is called to do. Catholic marriage is a binding, life-long, exclusive, fruitful relationship that is always centered in Christ but most importantly when times are difficult.

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Fathers

09-23-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

St Paul likens his ministry to the love of fathers for their children when he says, "We encouraged you, we comforted you, and we kept urging you to live the kind of life that pleases God, who calls you to share in His own Kingdom and glory" (1Thes 2:12). Fathers have a huge role to play in their children's lives and God the Father gives them the grace to fulfill this role through the sacraments. Fathers take their fatherhood from God the Father and through their very lives of love and sacrifice, train their children to know, love and serve God. Fathers provide and protect their family and like St Paul's example, encourage, comfort and urge their children to do what is right in the sight of God through obedience to the commandments and to the Church Christ founded on the Apostles.

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Making Decisions

09-16-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

"Love is not selfish" (1 COR 13:5). To insist on your own way is selfish and says to your spouse, "My way is better than your way…I am smarter…you don't count." Marriage is not a game with winners and losers. If you insist on your own way, having to be right in every discussion, you are going to win the discussion and lose the love and respect of your spouse. Your spouse has the right to share their perspective on issues.

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Families of Origin

09-09-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Have you battled over families of origin with deep anger but no resolution? You are not alone. We have all been hardwired by our family of origin, bringing what we learned as children into our marriage. We are to honor our parents according to the fourth commandment, to respect and help them when they are in need but we are not to repeat their toxic behaviors. You and your parents are not a sacrament. "A man is to leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and the two become one" (MT 19:5).

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The Desecration of a Sacrament

09-02-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

To desecrate means to violate the sanctity, treat irreverently in a way that provokes outrage in others. Catholics are horrified when they hear of the desecration of a Catholic Church or of a Sacrament.

The Sacrament many Catholics neglect to protect, reverence or appreciate is the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. It is the most desecrated of Sacraments, possibly because the definition of love and lust have become blurred. True love is selfless. Christ's death on the cross for His beloved Bride, the Church, is the most beautiful example of true love the world has ever seen.

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