Not the Destination...

Marriage is a journey, not a destination...

Sts Louis and Zélie Martin: “An ordinary life lived in an extraordinary way”

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On Friday July 12th, we celebrate Saints Louis and Zélie Martin.
Everybody in the Catholic Church knows of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the youngest Doctor of the Church who died at age 24 in a Carmel in Lisieux, France. But very few know about her parents, Louis and Zélie.
Louis and Zélie were canonized on October 18th, 2015, by Pope Francis on Mission Sunday, in honor of St Thérèse, their daughter, Patroness of Missionaries.
They are celebrated together on their wedding anniversary: July 12th. 
Their canonization is the very first joint canonization of a married couple.

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A Marriage Made In Heaven

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The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “God himself is the author of marriage.” (CCC #1603) This means that the very idea of marriage has its origin in heaven, within the mind and will of our Father. It is from this divine source that marriage is given its dignity as an institution, confirmed by Jesus as a sacrament. Therefore the principles and foundations of marriage extend beyond just the earthly bonds between man and woman.

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The Contraception Roller Coaster

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When I was in high school, my family took a long weekend in Colonial Williamsburg Virginia one September. After seeing the historic sites, we spent a Monday at Bush Gardens amusement park. Since school had already started, the park was empty even though the weather was sunny and warm.  I was excited to go thrill-seeking on the roller coasters, and it was Apollo’s Chariot that was the biggest rush for me.

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Something Old, Something New…

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My wife, Lisa, and I are celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary this month and I’m in a reflective mood. Twenty-five years is a long time, it’s a quarter of a century. I’ve spent more than half of my time on this earth as a married man and father (our oldest is a twenty-four year old honeymoon baby). It’s amazing when I stop and think about the last twenty-five years. 

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Love Cannot Be Forced

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I had a very strange thought standing in my kitchen the other day. It was Lent, and I was hungry but I was fasting. In that moment when I wanted food, I said, “This is for love of you, Jesus.” Then all of a sudden this gratitude for free will washed over me. I still recall what that felt like because it was so unusual.

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Have You Entered Into Marriage Freely?

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On your wedding day, you are asked, “Have you come here to enter into marriage without coercion, freely and wholeheartedly?” If you have, you can proceed to the exchange of consent, which is when the marriage actually takes place. This consent must be free, because as I wrote last week, no one can force you to love another person, just like God can’t force you to love him.

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Chastity Is For Everyone (Even Married People!)

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One of the highlights of my summer was going to a Mass of Consecration for a Virgin. My friend from college, Andrea, was making her vows as a consecrated single. It was definitely one of the most beautiful Masses I have ever been to: dozens of priests in attendance, a heavenly choir, and the beautiful witness of a virgin. In a white wedding dress, Andrea exuded a joy and peace that is only experienced when someone gives everything they have to follow Christ.

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