Ultimate recipe for a divine Catholic marriage: Part 1

Quote of the Day

The state of marriage is one that requires more virtue and constancy than any other. It is a perpetual exercise in mortification.” – Saint Frances de Sales, as quoted in A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints by Paul Thigpen.

Today’s 99-Word Contemplation

Oh, how I love her hazel eyes. They look at me as if I’m the most enchanting thing she has ever seen. I love her bigger-than-life smile that confirms her abundant heart. I pray to the Lord that he allows me to feel her warm and healing hand on my cheek when I draw my last breath. I love her intelligence, her drive, and her commitment to serving the most impoverished peoples around the world. But most of all, I love her for always positioning God above all things. In doing so, she ensures our marriage is divinely blessed.

Today’s Reflection

Next summer, my wife and I will be marking one off the ole bucket list. To say we are excitedly awaiting the day we christen our Subaru for the adventure would be an understatement!

We will be packing the suitcases, loading the camping gear and adult beverages in the cargo topper, filling up the cooler with our favorite road-appropriate beverages, airing up the custom-fit air mattress that hugs the back of our Outback like a glove, and hitting the open road as if it were a piñata full of sweet surprises swinging from a tree.

Yes, we sometimes sleep in the back of the Outback – it’s very comfortable, adventurous, and saves a ton of money.

If only you could see the smile on my face right now as I think about it!

For the last year or so, a visual reminder of our dream getaway has been hanging on our office wall. As you can see in the picture above, our map of the United States is full of pushpins with the various locations we plan to visit on our cross-country trip next summer. Each pushpin represents a dream within our grasp. Connecting the pushpins is a long string of yarn that brings to life a visual image of the crisscrossing journey that lay ahead as we depart our home in southern Indiana for the month-long expedition.

The long road that will lay ahead of us will certainly be challenging to navigate at times. There will be marshlands and swamplands, deserts and forests, mountains and plains, and oceans and canyons. And don’t get me started on all those small-town diners we’ll be enjoying each evening as we search for places to camp out under the stars!

There will be a whole host of breathtaking unknowns just waiting to delight us with their uniquely magnificent wonders. All of God’s creation will be praising Him exactly as they were created to do, undoubtedly overwhelming our senses and creating memories that will last each of our lifetimes.

The roadmap of dreams pinned to our office wall reminds my wife and me of a much grander journey we are already on, however. This journey is called marriage. And talk about twists and turns that make navigation difficult at times, they are guaranteed on this excursion, too. But we are determined to see the journey through to its end.

ANSWERING GOD’S CALL TO MARRIAGE

Marriage is one of the Roman Catholic Church’s seven sacraments. These seven sacraments are placed into three categories: The Sacrament of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation); the Sacrament of Healing (Anointing of the Sick, Reconciliation); and the Sacrament at the Service of Communion (Holy Orders, Marriage). Each of the seven sacraments were established by Jesus Christ and, when we participate in them as honorably, they provide us with grace and draw us closer to God.

Marriage, as a vocation, requires one’s primary focus to be that of ensuring you doing everything possible to guide your spouse to heaven via your own thoughts, words, actions, and passions. My wife reminds me, with a hint of sarcasm I might add, that this requirement is hard work.

Like our roadmap, then, a good Catholic marriage persistently plots the way forward through one life-experience to the next until the final objective is obtained – your safe return home at the end of your journey. In the vocation of marriage, this means until your safe return home to your Heavenly Father where your eternal journey begins. Here, there will be streets of gold with no difficult navigation for you to maneuver around.

Thus, when you reach heaven, you will no longer have need of your roadmap (i.e., your marriage) as your spouse has fulfilled their vocation’s intended purpose of getting you safely back to your Creator.

This is difficult to fathom for some couples because they are so in love with their spouse here on earth that they dream of spending eternity side-by-side with them. Or, conversely, incredibly easy to imagine for some couples dare I say.

But in heaven, while you will certainly continue to love your earthly spouse, you will be in the very presence of God and will experience a newfound sea of reciprocated Love that you were never capable of experiencing or even imagining on earth. Our Creator’s love will permeate you completely and eternally. After all, He created you for the sole purpose of loving him and spending eternity with him. His Love will satisfy all your needs.

Okay, so now you know that the vocation of marriage is a sacrament of the Catholic Church (as well as the vast majority other Christian Churches) and that it requires a lot of hard work aimed primarily at the goal of getting your spouse to heaven. Know also, then, that Satan understands well when a couple is working hard to serve God and will do everything in his power to destroy their relationship. Why do you think divorce rates are so high?

You must have a powerful vocational recipe that will nourish you and your spouse’s spiritual muscles in order that you will both be able to kick Satan’s ass when he dares to come hanging around you in any of his deceiving disguises or fallacious opportunities. And come around he will, trust me!

That said, there remains one question that looms ever so large:

What are the essential ingredients in an ultimate recipe for a strong, healthy, and lasting Catholic marriage?

Let’s take a peek inside our marital recipe book and find out!

INGREDIENT #1: A NOURISHING SPIRITUAL LIFE
(The meat and potatoes of our recipe)

Let’s begin our search for the ingredients included in our recipe for a strong, healthy, and lasting Catholic marriage with the most obvious ingredient – a wholesome spiritual life built on the foundational guidelines of God the Father, the moral teachings of His son, Jesus Christ, and the day-to-day counseling of the Holy Spirit.

A cornerstone of a building is the first stone set. It determines the position of all the pieces to be laid thereafter. A wholesome spiritual life is the essential cornerstone of a strong and happy marriage. The “Meat and Potatoes” of our recipe if you will, providing you the protein you need to ensure your spiritual muscle grows stronger and stronger over time. It makes sense then that this would be the first and most important ingredient in our marital recipe.

Discussed below are eight means by which you can exercise and develop your spiritual muscle and ensure that your marriage is fortified by a strong foundation as set in motion by your cornerstone. Follow these and you will be well on your way to keeping the evil one at bay when the comes knocking at your door trying to wreck your marriage.

Go to Mass together (more than once a week)

The Sabbath Day is a holy day of rest and it is to be treated as such as instructed by God (see Exodus 20:8-11). As a result, Catholics are required under penalty of mortal sin to attend weekly Mass with very few exceptions (e.g., illness, required work assignment, a dispensation ordered by the diocese or archdiocese, etc.).

In other words, do not miss Mass without a damn good reason. Period.

But here is a juicy bit 0f our recipe’s divine truth for you to chew on: Going to Mass more than once a week will boost your chances for a strong, healthy, and lasting Catholic marriage. It is pretty simple logic really. The more time you spend with God, the more understanding and growth you will enjoy both personally and as a married couple. And by all means, go with your spouse every opportunity your schedules permit. But go alone if you must. It is that important.

Did you know you find Jesus in the Living Word at Mass? It’s true, and experiencing Christ in the Living Word regularly builds your faith in your walk with Him. It also prepares you to receive the Holy Eucharist where you consume the Real Presence of His Body and Blood via the Bread of Life. This re-presentation of Christ’s Passion during every Mass is a true and acceptable sacrifice to God in memory of His Son’s redemption of the world on the Holy Cross.

The Eucharist as Food

While this topic is worthy of a much larger discussion, allow me to briefly approach three key ways in which the Holy Eucharist as food (i.e., the Bread of Life) strengthens your spiritual muscle and, as a result, must be considered a vital element of your cornerstone of marital spirituality.

First, receiving the Holy Eucharist helps you to avoid sin and the near occasion of sin. It also washes away venial sins so they are less likely to pile up and become habits (which can quickly turn into mortal sins if not kept in check). Therefore, the more frequently you consume the Holy Eucharist the more spiritual strength and fortitude you build to utilize in your fight against Satan and his minions.

Second, receiving the Holy Eucharist unites you with Christ both spiritually and physically. When you receive the Holy Eucharist, you are sharing in Christ’s Passion. Think about that for a long moment. God loves you so much that He allows you to share in His Son’s suffering so that you may also share in His Son’s resurrection. This allows for faith, hope, and charity to become parts of every thought, word, action, and passion you experience in life as you do your best to imitate Christ.

Third, receiving the Holy Eucharist unites you with Christ via His Holy Catholic Church. Christ’s bride is the Church (see Ephesians 5:23). He consummated his marriage on the Holy Cross. It was there that He transformed his bride. Comparably, when husband and wife become one flesh, they emulate Christ as He became a one-flesh union of every Mass.

Nothing is more important than the combination of attending Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist. They are truly the meat of our recipe for a strong, healthy, and lasting Catholic marriage. You might consider the remaining six means the potatoes of Ingredient #1: A Nourishing Spiritual Life. And who doesn’t like a few potatoes with their meat, right?

Go to adoration

Cardinal Robert Sarah, who was appointed prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014, writes in his book, The Power of Silence,

“Silence is more important than any other human work, for it expresses God. The true revolutions comes from silence; it leads us toward God and others so as to place ourselves humbly and generously at their service.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah

Silence during adoration can bring a calm that will allow God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit with an ease that cannot easily be accomplished while you are busy going about your daily routines. It also brings a peace to your heart that generalizes to all aspects of your life, including marriage. Remember, Cardinal Sarah teaches that silence (such as you experience during adoration) allows you to place yourself in a position in which you are primed by the Holy Spirit to serve others. Your service to others should begin with your spouse.

Adoration affords you an opportunity for a clarity of mind which can only be fully appreciated by God’s abundant grace. Your Creator made you for one purpose and one purpose only: to love Him so that you spend eternity with Him. Adoration allows for time to remember that your list of priorities should always place Him first above all things, including your spouse. For when you put God first, His blessings will be poured out upon you and your marriage and your marriage will become truly sacred.

St Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Him.” During the silence of adoration, your restless heart longs to be closer to God. As a result, you may examine your conscious more thoroughly and find yourself longing to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation more frequently. This is a beautiful affect of adoration. Your restless heart is calmed by result of His merciful and eternal Love for you, personally.

Participating in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament also helps you to grow more in love with God on a very personal level. You inch your way back toward that Heavenly Father and child relationship you were created to delight in. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is quoted as saying “Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to Adoration.”

Follow her counsel and go to adoration. You will fall in love with God more deeply than you ever imagined possible.

You will find adoration to be a different experience every time you participate in the spiritual exercise. This is because God never changes, but your needs do change. Therefore, go to adoration and wait patiently and silently for Him to respond. He knows your needs before you ask. You can be assured the Holy Spirit is there with you waiting to speak to your heart.

Pray the Holy Rosary

Mary, by her simple “yes” to God’s request to bear His son, became the bride of the Holy Spirit and the mother of Christ. Christ is the Son of Man (and the new Adam). Concurrently, Mary set the perfect example for all of us by becoming a humble servant of God the Father.

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)

Right about now you may be asking, “Hey, how can Mary be the bride of the Holy Spirit when she was the spouse of Joseph?”

Good question. Let’s briefly examine the theology behind this thought,

St. Joseph was, of course, the husband of Mary in the ordinary or literal usage of our idea of marriage (i.e., civilly married according to the law of the time). But, in order for Mary to conceive with the son of God, she would necessarily be required to wed the Holy Spirit so that the union between the two, and the product of the conception, Jesus, was ordained by God the Father to be God the Son.

In other words, Mary had to accept God the Father’s request to marry the Holy Spirit in order to ensure that their son, Jesus, was conceived and born to this world without sin. This truth is absolutely vital to Jesus’ ability to forgive all sins on the Holy Cross.

By espousing the Holy Spirit in Holy Matrimony, Mary did just that – she ensured that Jesus was born without original sin. So, while Joseph was Mary’s earthly spouse in the sense that they partook in a civil marriage, she was in fact the spouse of the Holy Spirit as chosen by God.

If your head is spinning right about now, you might want to hold on to something. There’s more . . .

Mary never had relations with Joseph, with most scholars agreeing Mary likely took a vow of virginity at an early age. Joseph, who many Church historians believe had been previously married and was considerably older than Mary, would have been aware of Mary’s vow and obviously accepted her pledge to God to remain ever virgin. Thus, Joseph would have also agreed, by his own free will, to remain celibate himself during their marriage to honor both her and God. Mary’s vow of virginity at an early age, by the way, was not uncommon among certain Israelite sects at that time in history.

Thus, Mary, as a humble servant of God and the spouse of the Holy Spirit, finds herself in a unique position to compellingly intercede on our behalf to her son, Jesus. This explains why praying the Holy Rosary is such a natural and honorable act of reverence for Mary, Joseph, and the Holy Trinity.

Prayerfully asking for Mary’s intercession, then, is an exceptional way of appropriately confronting the changes life incessantly throws your way.

As you make your way through the beads of the rosary, you often find peace and clarity of mind which draws you closer to her Son and brings healing to your soul.

And you can be assured that Jesus listens to His mother’s requests. He will not refuse her. Remember the wedding of Cana, Jesus’ first miracle? Mary asked Jesus to turn water into wine and He honored her request. He continues to grant her every appeal today. Jesus loves his mother so much she was assumed bodily into Heaven and coronated her its Holy Queen (see Revelation 12:1).

Praying the Holy Rosary regularly can clearly impact you personally. But please do realize it can also positively and powerfully impact your marriage, your family, your community, your country, and even the whole world by creating a servant attitude in your heart that manifests into inspired thoughts, words, and actions that transform lives and lead lost souls to God.

So, ask Mary for her most holy intercession. It is powerful. And don’t forget to ask her for the big things, too. You know, those things you think are impossible. Do not forget that our Lord is in the business of creating miracles. Do not sell Him short! If His mother asks him, her intercession will be heard and the intent of her intercession will be granted.

Finally, I would be remiss not to bring to your attention the following tidbit of information regarding the history surrounding Catholics praying the Holy Rosary and why it is believed to be such a powerful tool, the “weapon of choice” for the Catholic faithful. That said, tradition has it that Our Lady revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche the following 15 benefits for those who regularly pray the Holy Rosary: 

  • Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces. (Simple signs from God).
  • I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
  • The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
  • It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to the desire for Eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!
  • The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
  • Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of Eternal Life.
  • Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
  • Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.
  • I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
  • The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.
  • You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.
  • All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
  • I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.
  • All who recite the Rosary are my Sons, and brothers of my Only Son Jesus Christ.
  • Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

PRACTICE THE CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY TOGETHER

Working alongside your spouse while serving God will do wonders for your marriage, lifting it to new heights and giving it a renewed Christ-centered purpose. You will have the added benefit of spending more quality time together while imitating Christ in the most life-affirming and humble of ways.

It doesn’t get any better than this, folks.

Why do I say this? Because the corporal works of mercy allow you to mitigate the material and physical needs of others who need it the most. As an added bonus, they lend themselves well to undertaking them collectively with your spouse. By doing so, your spiritual muscles are literally growing stronger in tandem.

Recall Christ’s own words found in the Gospel of Matthew,

“… For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…”

Jesus Christ (see Matthew 25:31-46)

Let’s take a brief look at each of the seven corporal works of mercy and review a few ways you may be able to best utilize your servant hearts together as one flesh. Of course, you can add to this list with service ideas of your own. In fact, please do! God will bless you and your marriage for doing so.

  • Feed the hungry: Check on the elderly or homebound; donate food during the holidays to foodbanks or soup kitchens; contribute financially to trustworthy organizations (e.g., Catholic Charities or Food for the Poor); do not waste food.
  • Give drink to the thirsty: Donate to help build wells (so desperately needed in many third-world countries; Food for the Poor has a ministry for this, too); do not waste water.
  • Clothe the naked: Donate clothing to homeless shelters or to church collection centers; remember that you should also look for those without family or friends, who feel left alone (remember the good Samaritan?). Clothe them, too, with your love and attention.
  • Shelter the homeless: Volunteer at a homeless shelter; donate blankets, toiletries, etc. to various local shelters.
  • Visit the sick (and elderly): Donate blood; volunteer to deliver meals; give caregivers a much-needed break; become an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
  • Visit the imprisoned: Become involved in prison ministry if available through your Church; become a pen pal.
  • Bury the dead: Send sympathy cards and/or visit family members of the deceased; pray for the deceased’s soul; attend funeral Masses.

Please note that the spiritual works of mercy should also be practiced but they tend to be more individualistic or private in nature when it comes to commissioning them. Therefore, they can oftentimes be more difficult to practice alongside your spouse. Regardless, they should certainly be a part of your regular service to others.

The seven spiritual works of mercy are:

  • Counsel the doubtful
  • Instruct the ignorant
  • Admonishing the sinner
  • Comforting the sorrowful
  • Forgiving injuries
  • Bearing wrongs patiently
  • Praying for the living and the dead

For more information regarding the spiritual works of mercy, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website at https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/the-spiritual-works-of-mercy.

Practice ongoing conversion

Conversion consists of turning away from your old life and moving forward toward God. Moving forward toward God brings you more deeply in communion with His Catholic Church. Conversion, then, involves a transformation of the heart that requires God’s ongoing grace.

The process of conversion is never-ending. It requires you to be vigilant and purposeful in your thoughts, words, actions, and passions if you are to see your heavenly reward along with your spouse. You should therefore work hard to ensure your conversion story is unceasingly a work in progress. Your personal experiences, expressed as your conversion stories for all who will listen, will win souls for Christ over time.

Allow your spouse to be your accountability partner. Always be open and honest with him or her in order to build the intimate trust that only a husband and wife can share as one flesh.

A word of guidance here for you husbands reading this: the Bible makes it clear that a greater weight of the responsibility lay on your shoulders. You are to lead your family as their spiritual head, loving your wife as Christ loved the Church (see Ephesians 5:23). So don’t be derelict in your duties guys!

Give your vocation prayerful consideration

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis writes: “Marriage is a vocation, inasmuch as it is a response to a specific call to experience conjugal love as an imperfect sign of the love between Christ and the Church. Consequently, the decision to marry and to have a family ought to be the fruit of a process of vocational discernment” (no. 72).

Given that marriage is a calling from God, you should enter marriage freely and with full and prayerful consent. Marriage is a lifelong commitment whose purpose, by the Creator’s design, is to do everything in your power to get you and your spouse to heaven.

If you are not yet married, prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as you consider the vocation. Ask our Blessed Mother to intercede in your discernment process as you pray the Holy Rosary. Go to Mass regularly and receive the Eucharis frequently. Sit in silence during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and listen for God to speak to your heart.

Take whatever time it takes to be sure that you are being called to the vocation of marriage before you take the big leap. Truly, your souls’ eternal destination may depend on it.

If you are already married, prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as you consider how to strengthen your relationship with your spouse. Ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for spiritual growth as you pray the Holy Rosary. Go to Mass regularly and with your spouse as frequently as possible. Receive the Holy Eucharist frequently. Sit in silence during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and listen for God to speak to your heart.

Cooperate with God

Remember, God is with you always. If you allow Him to do so, He will transform your hearts and your marriage. You need only to allow yourselves to listen to Him and be willing to follow Him wherever He leads you.

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you – oracle of the Lord – plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”

Jeramiah 29:11

Do not resist God as was the case written of in Acts 7:51: “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the Holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors.”

Trust God completely. Trust your spouse entirely. Trust that you have both been called to the vocation of marriage and that the Holy Spirit will guide you every step of the way. Accept and bear any crosses that come your way and grow stronger in Christ by carrying their weight. Rejoice together in spiritual victories, small and large alike.

Love God with your whole heart. Your spouse should come next followed by your family. Then comes your friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and those who are unknown to you (including aliens and foreigners) as they too are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.

Christ instructs us in Matthew 22:37-39, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (NABRE)

Time to add more ingredients

Okay, I feel like we have sufficiently prepared the first ingredient in our recipe for a happy Catholic marriage that navigates you and your spouse to heaven. You are well on your way to building a strong, healthy, and lasting Catholic marriage built on the foundational guidelines of God the Father, the moral teachings of His son, Jesus Christ, and the day-to-day counseling of the Holy Spirit.

But, as with any wholesome diet, a few more ingredients are required to maximize our overall health. You know, the vegetables, the whole grains, and the fruits.

Up next . . .

Therefore, Part 2 of Ultimate recipe for a divine Catholic marriage will examine the importance of doing everything you can to ensure your minds are healthy (the vegetables), your bodies are healthy (the whole grains), that you develop healthy habits (the fruits), and that you do whatever it takes to recognize and eliminate any unhealthy habits you may have already developed (the rotten fruit). Together, when added with your spiritual nourishment reviewed today (the meat and potatoes reviewed today), you will truly have the definitive recipe for a happy Catholic marriage.

Until then, take your spouse out on a date, fall in love all over again, and discuss all the ways we have discussed in which you can strengthen your spiritual muscles together serving our glorious Creator. To God all the glory!

Today’s Supporting Scripture Versus for Additional *Contemplation (NABRE):

* When contemplating scripture, rest your thoughts and simply love, and allow yourself to respond to God’s love. That is, we are allowing the scripture to permeate us in order to grow closer to God.

Note: The New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) can be found online at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=NABRE

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  2. Ephesians 5:22-33: Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. ”This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.
  3. Proverbs 19:14: Home and possessions are an inheritance from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
  4. Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
  5. Colossians 3:18-19: Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them.
  6. Hebrews 13:4: Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. 
  7. Proverbs 31:10: Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value.
  8. Ecclesiastes 9:9: Enjoy life with the wife you love, all the days of the vain life granted you under the sun. This is your lot in life, for the toil of your labors under the sun. 
  9. Matthew 22:30: At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.
  10. Revelation 19:7: Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory. For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready.

Today’s Supporting Links for Additional *Meditation

* When meditating on scriptures, articles, and other forms of media, we are actively engaging in cognition (i.e., we are actively thinking). That is, we are studying the material in order to learn.

Get Your Spouse to Heaven! 5 Great Tips for Growing Holier as a Catholic Couple

Are We Married in Heaven? 

3 Stages of the Christian Spiritual Life 

9 Signs of a Healthy Relationship 

10 Good Catholic Prayers for Married Couples

Marriage and the Eucharist 

Catholic Wedding Readings for Your Ceremony

8 Reasons to Go to Mass

A Collection of Prayers for Perpetual Adoration

How to Pray the Rosary

Pray the Rosary with M0ther Angelica (All 4 Mysteries): YouTube Video

Food for the Poor

Catholic Charities USA

The Ultimate Guide to Catholic-Friendly Charities 2020

RECOMMENDED READINGS

EMBRACING GOD’S PLAN FOR MARRIAGE: A BIBLE STUDY FOR COUPLES by Mark and Melanie Hart

HEAD AND HEART: BECOMING SPIRITUAL LEADERS FOR YOUR FAMILY by Katie Warner

Intimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings Out the Best in Marriage by Teresa Tomeo (Pastore) and Dominick Pastore

MARIOLOGY: A GUIDE FOR PRIESTS, DEACONS, SEMINARIANS, AND CONSECRATED PERSONS, Miravalle S.T.D, Mark, Editor; Forward by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke

Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Dr. Edward Sri

The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved by Matthew Kelly

Three Secrets to Holiness in Marriage: A 33-Day Self-Guided Retreat for Catholic Couples by Dan and Amber DeMatte

THREE TO GET MARRIED by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY: WITH PREPARATION FOR TOTAL CONSECRATION by Saint Louis De Montfort

Today’s Prayer for Healing

We thank you, O God, for the Love You have implanted in our hearts. May it always inspire us to be kind in our words, considerate of feeling, and concerned for each other’s needs and wishes. Help us to be understanding and forgiving of human weaknesses and failings. Increase our faith and trust in You and may Your Prudence guide our life and love. Bless our Marriage O God, with Peace and Happiness, and make our love fruitful for Your glory and our Joy both here and in eternity. Amen.

Note: This prayer was retrieved from https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=1997

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