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Not the Destination...

Marriage is a journey, not a destination...

Rethinking the Beatitudes

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I believe the beatitudes are a model or pattern for spiritual maturity with one building on another and ultimately looping back again in a continual path toward spiritual perfection. Rather than looking at them separately as if describing different types of people in the Kingdom of God, they lay down a blueprint for how to become a disciple. This seems to make sense within the greater context of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.

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Who Are You?

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There is a great temptation to find our identity in what we do, rather than who we are. We are conditioned to do it nearly automatically, as if it’s just second nature. We tie our identity to our jobs or our majors.  Some people tie their identity to their sexuality. Others find their identity in their physical or intellectual abilities. Some people even find their identity in ministry, in the things they do for God. Within marriage we can find our identity in our spouse or children. Finally, many find their identity in what they have done or have had done to them. They can’t let go of past sins, addictions or wounds.

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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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Loving God through Marriage

Loving God through Marriage

I struggle with loving God. Not because I don’t want to, but because I find it hard to figure out how. 


I struggle with thinking that the only way to love God is to participate in reverent Masses and have long hours in contemplative prayer. Well, with 3 kids under the age of 5, Mass is usually anything but reverent and prayer is almost never long and contemplative. So, I often feel like a failure when it comes to prayer.

In my mind, I know that if I wanted to spend long hours in prayer I should have become a nun. But marriage is my vocation, yet often times I feel like my vocation (particularly children), seem more like an obstacle to holiness instead of a path to it.
Now, I’ve read St. Therese’s Story of a Soul, and I’m familiar with her little way in that ordinary acts done with love are more important than great acts. But no offense to the wisdom of St. Therese, it just seemed like a cop out to my feeble human mind.
"Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ,” are the words of St. Therese, and I didn’t get it for a long, long time.

Then, one day it hit me while my family was at the park. I was watching my husband play on the playground with our children: chasing them around, helping them down the slide, pushing them on the swings.  And I just felt more in love with him! I felt loved in how he was showing love to the children we created together. So then the light bulb went off: of course that must be how God feels about us! When we love our spouses and kids, we are loving the Creator in whose image we are made.  As St. Therese said, “My vocation is love.” And love comes in lots of different forms!

Having that experience with my own family helped me realize that while time aside in prayer to God is important (vital!), I truly can love God through my vocation. By laying my own wants aside to serve my husband, getting off the computer to sit down and play trucks with my sons, or having one more tea party with my daughter, by doing these things, I am loving God. If all would make use of the ordinary duties and trials of their state in the way God intended, they would all become saints." Sister Miriam Teresa DemjanovichAnd now I can remember that day in the park, how I felt about my husband, and be reminded that’s how God feels about me.

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

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Latest Blog Posts

In our mission statement at CatholicMarriagePrep.com we say: “Agape Catholic Marriage Preparation invites couples to a deeper relationship with each other and with Christ, one couple at a time.  Online, on-demand instruction rooted in Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, combined with personalized mentoring from a trained married couple, builds a foundation for a strong, healthy, Christ-centered marriage between a man and a woman.”  Who does that best serve?   From the very inception of CatholicMarriagePrep.com serving military couples has always been on our hearts, even offering a military discount.

Tara Brooke
28 June 2022

Wow!!!  Yes, that is the correct word to begin this blog post!  I think I am still in shock!  On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus our country just experienced the overturning of an almost 50-year-old law regarding abortion.  Roe vs. Wade was overturned!  

One You May Have Missed

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Quite possibly my favorite line in our marriage prep program is when we describe the fall of Adam and Eve and how sin damaged the partnership that God wanted from them. Well, not exactly the part where they sin, but what comes next: We are not stuck in sin! Jesus saves us and restores us in God’s original plan through the Sacraments.

 

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