Don't be Duped

01-28-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

“We do not fight flesh and blood, we fight principalities” (Eph. 6:12). All arguments, disagreements, conflicts and wars are from the destructive enemy. Conflict has a basis in one of the seven deadly sins with pride as the root: “My way; I deserve that; my idea; my money; I will get even; I’m right; I’m angry with you; I don’t love you anymore; I fear you don’t like me; I won’t say I am sorry; it’s not my fault.” Sixty-six percent of first marriages fail because the evil one is allowed to manipulate the feelings of the couple into angry arguments, fights and hurt feelings. If you argue and can’t get along with your spouse, you are in a very dangerous place as the evil one wants to destroy your sacramental marriage. No one wants to be duped and yet we are used when we let the evil one provoke us into fights and arguments with our beloved. It always goes back to pride, self- love, fear, getting even and hurt feelings.



01-21-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

"Encourage and help one another" (1Thes. 5:11). Catholic marriage is unique and should be lived differently than a secular marriage. You and your spouse are the sacrament bound together by the divine love of Christ so your relationship needs to reflect Christ's divine love. Sacramental marriage is not a game or a competition where there are winners and losers. Sarcasm, yelling, criticism, complaining and disparaging talk are not part of a holy sacrament. The world and our toxic culture reject Christ, His Church and the supernatural character of the sacraments. Therefore, Catholic marriage needs to look, sound and feel kinder and more loving than marriages that are not sacramental.


Perfect Love

01-14-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Jesus said, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5: 48). Many married couples embark on marriage with the hope of having a perfect wedding, marriage and family. Perfectionism is a priority in their lives as they try to control the world, spouse and family. Jesus' call to perfection has to do with holiness, a desire for personal holiness based on a disciplined obedience to the will of God rather than control of spouse. Jesus wants to help us with our quest for perfect holiness so He gave His Church the needed tools to help us. He awaits us in reconciliation to provide the graces needed for holiness to help let go of anger, pride, fear, bitterness, disappointments, past hurts and all issues that lack love and exert control.  


Marriage is Hard Work

01-07-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Sacramental Catholic wedding vows are a very serious covenant between God and couple. Unlike civil contracts that can be broken when one or both of the parties decide it's over, in a Catholic wedding, the couple pledges their faithful love for life, "In good times and bad, sickness and health." This vow is made in the holy space of a Catholic Church in the presence of God, family and friends. As a covenant, it is binding, exclusive, indissoluble, faithful and mutually self-giving. Contrast this with the civil marriage where couples marry in a variety of outdoor venues or hotels, writing cute vows such as, "I will love you until   butterflies don't fly" or "I will always love your cutesmile."


Feast of the Epiphany

01-07-2018Holy Catholic MarriageLani Bogart

Today, on the Feast of the Epiphany we might wonder about the unusual gifts the Magi brought for a newborn baby? When we hear about these gifts, we're meant to ask, "Who could this child be?" Gold is for royalty – will he be a king? Frankincense is used in worship. Is he a priest? And myrrh is used in burial rites. How and when will he die?

What can we learn from the Magi who were not from Israel? They followed the light of the star on a very long journey to worship the child Jesus. They studied the ancient prophecies, they were overjoyed at seeing the star, and they brought their best gifts for Jesus.


The Seven Deadly Sins

12-31-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

Jesus was tempted by the evil one. Demons begged Jesus to leave them alone as they knew their time of torturing and enslaving a person was finished when He saw them. Jesus gave His Church the tools to be free of demons and their enticements to sin and, instead, grow in holiness. These tools are the Seven Sacraments. The Church has identified seven deadly sins so we can be aware of their danger: pride, greed, sloth, lust, anger, gluttony and envy. These sins can destroy a person and their sacramental marriage.


Submit Yourselves to One Another

12-24-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

St. Paul instructed us how to live as faithful, married Christians when he wrote, "Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ" (Eph. 5:21). Christ so loved His Bride, the Church, He died for her. This is the kind of love a husband is to have for his wife. A husband is to love his wife so completely that he displays the depth of that love by dying to his own body, selfish desires and independence: his very life he gives to her. A wife is to love her husband completely, knowing he will do nothing to hurt her: her very life she gives to him. They are of one mind, heart, flesh and spirit. Both are to help each other grow in holiness as they proceed on their combined mission of sanctification through love, service and prayer.


Love is sacrificial service

12-17-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

Christ said He came, "To serve not be served" (Mt.20:28). The Gospel accounts are full of all the times He served each person who came to Him. Jesus Christ, who is God, walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead and fed thousands of people. Yet, He humbly knelt before a tax collector and simple fishermen to wash dirty, smelly feet like a common slave. Jesus was always showing us through humble service how to love by serving. Self-love always stands in the way of extending our self when we feel justified due to being too tired or too busy to stop what we want to do and serve our spouse. Love is sacrificial service, not affection and fun. Doing what we want does not help our personal sanctification process as does placing the needs of our spouse before ourselves.


Do you love your spouse as much as you love yourself?

12-10-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

Christ condensed the Ten Commandments into two: "Love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. This is the greatest commandment and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt 22:37-39). Your first and most important neighbor is your spouse. Do you love your spouse as much as you love yourself? Our world would change for the better if every Catholic married couple lived these two commandments and taught them to their children through words as well as actions. Children would then live in a home in which parents spoke of God as the real, living, loving head of their home. Parents would speak with love and gratitude for God, His great commandments of love, the holy Catholic Church, the sacraments, the love they share, their marriage and the great gift of children as the most important blessings in their lives. Children would be given peace of mind and soul knowing how secure they were in the love of God as well as the love of their parents. It is this kind of stability that allows children to flourish.


Allow God to build and guard your house

12-03-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

"If the Lord does not build the house the work of the builders is useless; if the Lord does not protect the city, it does no good for the sentries to stand guard" (Ps 127). Allow God to build and guard your house by living and keeping the priorities in the right relationship for a strong, healthy, Catholic marriage. Rebuilding your life and marriage means replacing self-love with love for God and spouse. Remember, Jesus is present in your marriage and it is His divine love that binds you together in your chosen vocation and sacrament. Increased personal and couple prayer along with serving your spouse are core aspect to having Jesus build and guard your marriage. The evil one does not want you loving God, having a happy, holy marriage, going to reconciliation, praying as a couple and desiring personal holiness. Expect these changes to be difficult. Your vocation is your sacramental marriage and is for your sanctification. This is not an easy process, but it is necessary as God wills each of us to be sanctified in order to be with Him in heaven for eternity.  


Priority #5: Everything Else

11-26-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

The fifth priority of a holy Catholic marriage is "Everything else." Distractions take you away from your priorities of living your love for God first, your beloved spouse second, then children and last the necessity of work. These distractions are very seductive and may creep into your life as seemingly good things such as electronics, movies, TV, sports, gaming acquaintances, hobbies or people demanding large chunks of time and attention. Distraction can rule life and home and destroy peace such as an interfering relative that does not respect the boundaries of your family, volunteering that vies for first priority, a controlling boss who doesn't respect time off or a best friend or fellow workers who may or may not be married and want to play, go out for drinks after work or always looking for fun to take you away from you Catholic priorities.  


Priority #4: Work

11-19-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

The fourth priority of a holy Catholic marriage is work. God worked for six days and then He rested. God gave Adam the job of tending the garden, which was not a job involving toil. However, after the fall, Adam's work became toil teaching him   discipline, obedience, self-control, perseverance, order and organization. Scripture gives accounts of working saints: Joseph with carpentry, Paul with tent making, Peter, James and John with fishing and Luke with medicine. In the ancient monastic tradition, monks combined work with prayer to give glory to God. They understood the balanced combination of work and prayer controlled selfish tendencies and was essential to spiritual growth. Work, as a gift, can provide for the betterment and security of the family. However, like all gifts, it can be misused and can replace the love of God, spouse and children for the love of success, greed, prestige and position. Death bed realizations of a life misspent are painful. However, if you are working two jobs right now just to have your family survive the economic crisis, God bless you because that is self-sacrificing love and not greed.  


Priority #2: Live our Love for our Spouse

11-12-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

The second priority of a holy Catholic marriage is to live our love for our spouse. In the Holy Sacrament of Marriage, the couple is the Sacrament. The most beautiful example of love the world has ever known was Christ laying His holy life down for His Bride, the Church. Christ gave us the example of the essence of marriage, which is self-sacrificing love. Catholic marriage is lived when both spouses willingly die to their own personal selfishness for each other by placing their spouses' needs before their own. Love is self-sacrificing and self-donating for the good of one's beloved spouse. The ultimate good is God in heaven and Catholic spouses sacramentally bound together in the divine love of Christ need to help each other grown in holy love. We are all given mission fields just like the Apostles. Our first mission field is our spouse and our children. Decide that loving and serving your spouse will   become a priority in your life.    


Priority #1: Live our Love for God

11-05-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

The first priority of a healthy, happy holy Catholic marriage is to live our love for God. "Seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be given to you" (Mt. 6:33). When a bride and groom walk into a Catholic Church to be married they come as separate, independent people in love but when walk down the aisle as husband and wife they are bound together by Christ's divine love. They are forever a threesome consisting of Christ, husband and wife, bound together in love.

At Cana, the bride and groom served their simple wine which did not last. But due to Christ's presence, the water became abundant, exquisite wine. Jesus' presence in a sacramental marriage turns the simple love of a husband and wife into abundant, exquisite and lasting love. Christ is present in your sacramental marriage always renewing, healing and offering His perfect love to you.  


Holy Catholic Marriage

10-29-2017Holy Catholic Marriage

Would you like to have a healthy, happy, holy marriage in which you love your spouse more with each passing year? Businesses and occupations have a list of priorities to achieve success. However, many people are unclear of the five priorities for a strong, successful Catholic marriage that, if adhered to on a daily basis will produce and maintain the kind of marriages Christ desires and spouses pray for.