Archive for July, 2012
Jesus…began to send them out two by two.” (Mk. 6:7) We are stronger together – with a partner and a community of faith. You too, are sent to your neighbors, your town, your relatives, and the world to heal, to love, to forgive.
Teach your child (or a neighbor child) a value this weekend but do it without saying a word. Consider faithfulness to a promise, self-control, goodness, gentleness, modesty, chastity. Which of these fruits of the Holy Spirit is the biggest challenge for you?
A relationship needs time and attention to flourish; this is no less true for our relationship with God. How do you know if you are finding enough time for God in your life? Stacey, a working mother and professional lay minister, shares how she makes sure to give enough time to God.
(Reader’s Tip) “My husband leads me to seek God and I lead him to see God in our family.”
Baby Kraft’s arrival could be any time now! As Justin and Sara make their final preparations, they look ahead to the joys, but also the sacrifices, they anticipate a new baby will bring.
Have you developed any parting or reconnecting habits that confirm your love? A goodbye kiss or welcome home hugs are common. Perhaps you save the first 5 minutes of reconnecting to check in. Try to think of something creative (even crazy) to make it special today.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” BUT “Out of sight, out of mind.” Which adage resonates with you more? Do you need to make any adjustments to balance your alone vs. together time?
How important are family meals? Research shows that children as well as parents value this time to sit down together. It can be a challenge to schedule this daily ritual, but the benefits are huge.
How can a couple discern God’s will when making moral decisions? That’s a critical question in any marriage. Moral decision-making is a process that includes prayerful reflection, conversation, and evaluation before reaching a conclusion. Here are some specific steps.
Your family is a system. This means that when one person changes a behavior – for good or for ill – it impacts everyone. If you smile, do a favor, give a compliment, it lifts everyone’s spirit. If you complain or nag, it pulls your beloved down too.
415,487 Catholic marriages in the United States in 1972 dropped to 168,400 in 2010 (a decrease of 60 percent!). This mirrors a decrease in the number of marriages in the entire U.S. population, a decline of over 50% from 1970 – 2012 (The State of Our Unions 2011, 60). Among the Catholic adult population, 53% [...]
(Reader’s Tip) “In each challenging situation I strive to remember that this man is God’s amazing gift to me, and that God trusts me to love him with the same love God has for us.
“(F)or when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10) Sometimes spouses can be a thorn in each other’s side. Annoying as this can be, it can also be a path to self-correction and humility. Name your own weakness and strength.
On the seventh day God rested. Have you and your family had any refreshing rest this summer? Enjoy a day of no work beyond what is needed to eat and be safe. Sunday would be a natural.
Prayer is essential to Christian life, and the Catholic tradition offers various ways to pray. Many Christians have benefited from contemplative prayer, which is less about saying things to God than listening to what God is saying to us.
(Reader’s Tip) We keep “Thankful” cards by our bed and each night write down one things we’re thankful for. At the end of the month we share the top five.
For the faithful Catholic mother who seeks to raise her children in a devout household, the author offers support and ideas. Motherhood, she says, is not a condition to be endured but a vocation to be embraced.
Sara experiences a scare as her pregnancy draws to a close. She writes: “For the first time, I saw a glimmer of why mothers sacrifice so much for their children.”
Josh identifies a common communication pattern that often drives conflict between men and women. He offers some simple advice to keep the conflict from escalating.
What’s one thing you wanted to change in your beloved this past week? No matter how annoying it was, can you let it go? OK, you can mention it once, but then decide to give your spouse a gift of your amnesia.
(Independence Day) How much independence is good in a marriage? Certainly husband and wife should not depend on the other for their identity or self worth, BUT interdependence is better. What do you depend on your spouse to do around your home?
The Third Option is a marriage program that helps couples work out difficulties. It has the unusual policy of allowing just one partner to attend. This comes from the philosophy that if one person changes for the better, the other might follow.
Want to change your spouse? Change yourself. You might like to make your beloved perfect (in your eyes), but you’ll have more success changing a weakness in yourself. One person’s change sometimes prompts another’s.
The celebration of American independence reminds us of the many freedoms we enjoy but sometimes take for granted. One of them, religious liberty, has been in the news in recent months. What does the Church teach about “our first, most cherished liberty”?
“(A)s a matter of equality your surplus at the present time should supply their needs.” (2 Cor 8:13-14) Considering your resources, find someone who has less today. Give them some of your surplus – money, time, or talent.