Archive for December, 2012
Take a break from the holiday rush. Make popcorn and hot chocolate and snuggle together with a classic Christmas movie.
Josh and Stacey are considering a new school for Oscar. As they ponder their decision, Josh writes: “There is no one here to guide us, and we can only try to inform ourselves and make a reasoned judgment. It is not easy, and it feels like the stakes are high.”
Does your spouse get left overs? Not for dinner but your left over energy? When you meet at the end of your work day (whether at an office or home) find a way to pause and refresh your tired spirit. Fifteen minutes can often do it (a nap, prayer, shower…).
This feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is especially celebrated in Mexico. You don’t have to be Mexican, however, to appreciate that Mary appeared in the skin and dress of the common people. What image of Mary appeals to you? Your spouse?
Ever heard of limerence? It’s a physical feeling of infatuation for another, like a crush. Although limerence can lead to committed love, it typically has a shelf life of 2-3 years. That’s why couples must transition to a more lasting love. Nurture romance but rely on enduring friendship.
What does it mean to be the “domestic church”–the church of the home? Justin and Sara offer some practical ideas for the Advent and Christmas season.
Sit down with your spouse and look at some of your favorite photos from the past year. Was there an unexpected blessing? Give thanks.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more.” (Phil 1:9) Although these are words from St. Paul to the Philippians, receive these words today as addressed directly to you from God. God wants your love to grow. Cooperate.
Immaculate Conception. “Rejoice, Mary…The Lord is with you…You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son.” (Luke 1:28-31) If you are a parent, ponder when you first learned that you were pregnant. Pray for women with difficult or unexpected pregnancies today.
Scripture “is filled with migrating people who journey toward God,” said Archbishop Wilton Gregory in a speech encouraging strong support for comprehensive immigration reform. His speech, given at a conference sponsored by the U.S. Catholic bishops, highlighted the bishops’ concern that “family reunification remain the cornerstone of our nation’s immigration policy.”
The love between husband and wife expands when shared with others. Consider adopting a family for the holidays, or participate in your parish’s Giving Tree.
Stacey reflects, “The season of Advent is a beautiful counterpoint to the busyness by providing us an opportunity again each year to make sure we are on the right path to draw closer to God. But in marriage and family life it isn’t just about us. It is also an opportunity to make it easier for those most dear to us to draw closer to God as well.”
St. Nicholas (the precursor of Santa Claus), whose feast is celebrated today, is not only a saint for children. He was known as a secret gift-giver. Send your beloved on a treasure hunt today. Hide something precious or silly and give clues till it’s found.
Many parents put a small treat in their children’s shoes the night before St. Nick’s Day, December 6. Consider putting a treat in your spouse’s shoe (a Hershey kiss, a love note, a coupon for a favor like a backrub or a chore you’ll do for your spouse the next day).
Will a wife and husband who together create a meal for the two of them not only stay together but enrich their relationship in ways that contribute to their long-term happiness? This priest/chef/author offers tempting recipes plus discussion-starters to help spouses rekindle their marriage.
Each day Sara passes by the gas station where a $300 million lottery ticket was sold. She muses on what she and Justin could do with all that money, then reflects that they’ve already hit the lottery with Gus.
Reconciliation is crucial in every marriage. Does your parish have an Advent Penance Service? Make plans to receive the Sacrament of Penance before Christmas.
To get into the Advent spirit of waiting for Jesus, try using your address book to pray for people alphabetically at dinner. With 23 days till Christmas and 26 letters in the alphabet, if you pray for people whose name begins with A today you should finish close to Christmas.
(Advent begins) “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life.” (Lk 21:34) It’s fine to have fun, but how do you know if your drinking has crossed the line? Ask your spouse.
Parents spend a lot of energy on their children. To avoid parent burnout, however, sometimes we need to be a parent to ourselves. Take a break this week. Try to squeeze an hour or two out of the week to pamper yourself. Ask for help from your beloved if necessary.