Archive for December, 2010
A new report concludes that marriage is in trouble among so-called “Middle Americans”–the 58 percent of adults who have a high school diploma but no four-year college degree. Shifts in marriage attitudes, increases in unemployment and declines in religious attendance are among the trends driving the retreat.
Sarah hears a homily about learning to cultivate a sense of longing for God. She resolves to make some time for longing this week, even as pre-Christmas activities crowd the calendar.
“Persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12: 12) What if I (or we) haven’t been praying – at least not regularly? Does grace before meals count? What about Mass or other religious services? These are all good, of course, but try praying daily, maybe even together.
Do nothing without counsel, and then you need have no regrets. Sirach 32:19
Weekly Date Idea: As we approach the Winter Solstice, make some light together. Build a fire in the fireplace. Don’t have a fireplace? Light some candles, lay out a blanket and have an indoor picnic – or at least some popcorn.
Distract yourself, renew your courage, drive resentment far away from you. Sirach 30:23
Near Christmas religious customs sometimes come into conflict. If you and your spouse are from different faith traditions, think of this as an opportunity to learn how your spouse sees God. Highlight home prayer that transcends denominations. Compromise and learn.
From Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan Faith and hope find their fullest expression in love – love of God and love of neighbor.
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.” (Leo Tolstoy) How do your personalities or interests differ? What compromises have you worked out to deal with these differences? Which are still on the negotiating table?
From Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan There is no greater love within a marriage and family than for the spouses and children to lay down their lives for one another.
Have a tough decision to make? There are two extremes to avoid. Rationalization means you play loose with the truth and talk yourself into doing what you always wanted to do anyway. Scrupulosity involves following the letter of the law more than the spirit. Seek the golden mean.
From Address of Pope John Paul II at the Fourth World Meeting of Families Be leaders in the Church and in the world: this is a responsibility flowing from your celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony.
The holiday season is back. With family gatherings, high expectations and the pressure to make everyone happy, December can be the most stressful month of the year. How can couples keep their cool and make sure their marriage stays strong and that children see them at their best?
From Address of Pope John Paul II at the Fourth World Meeting of Families Show by your daily lives that despite numerous difficulties and obstacles marriage is able to be fully lived out… as good news for the men and women of today.
Committing to a life-long marriage is not just a matter of not getting divorced. It’s a commitment to the daily work of keeping the marriage alive so that divorce is not an issue. What habits help you connect with each other on a daily basis?
A bill to legalize civil unions has been approved by the Illinois Senate and House and the Governor is expected to sign it in early January. The Illinois Catholic Conference said it regrets the bill’s passage.
From God Is Love Love is never “finished” and complete; throughout life, it changes and matures, and thus remains faithful to itself.
“I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my lover – What shall you tell him? – That I am faint with love!” (Song of Songs 5:8) This may sound sappy to the modern ear, but imagine you and your spouse have been separated for awhile. How would you express your love?
As the children grow impatient for Santa’s arrival, Josh talks about Advent and Christmas traditions in the Noem household.
As Christmas approaches, Sarah’s life is a mixture of the routine and the new. Life with a six-month old is always an adventure!
Faced with a moral decision? Consider the STOP method: Study (read, get the facts, don’t rely on hearsay), Together (both partners take responsibility for the decision), Others (consult others with experience, even those you disagree with), Pray (for guidance and peace of mind).
From On the Family The true advancement of women requires that clear recognition be given to the value of their maternal and family role.
From On the Family In creating the human race “male and female,” God gives men and women an equal personal dignity.
Weekly Date Idea: Take an hour or two just to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas in your town. Admire the lights and decorations, watch the children as they climb on Santa’s knee, or catch a holiday concert at the local school.
From On the Family Above all it is important to underline the equal dignity and responsibility of women with men.