Archive for December, 2013
Fighting Fair Tip: Never say “Never” or “Always.” It may seem like your spouse always leaves the gas tank on empty, but there’s always an exception that blows your argument. Be more accurate by saying “often” or “sometimes.” It stings less and creates less defensiveness.
(Our Lady of Guadalupe) What’s the first image of Mary, the mother of Jesus, that comes to your mind? Is she of the same race and age as you are? Latinos celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe today. Have you ever pictured Mary as a different race than your own?
Josh and Stacey’s oldest son is 13, and sometimes feels like the world – and his parents – are against him. Josh writes that intentionally spending time together, especially playful time, goes a long way in fighting bitterness and building unity.
Advent is here. Sara and Justin write about their efforts to truly celebrate Advent and not jump right into the Christmas season. They say small things matter: the Advent wreath and celebrating saints in Advent, for starters.
It may seem unrealistic to “rejoice always” as St. Paul encourages us to do, but surely you can find one thing to be grateful for today or to rejoice over. Think hard.
Christmas shopping started? Done? Consider committing to at least one gift of service. It can be done as a couple or family during the 12 days of Christmas. (Examples: repair a broken toy, or clean a child’s room, visit a lonely person, clean up a park)
In this excerpt from the book “It Is Well” by Chris Faddis, the author writes about the last days with his wife Angela, who died of cancer at age 32. “Oh, that this ring could keep you here longer. It is a mark of our commitment; it is my promise to love you with my whole heart, and yet there is a love greater than mine that will take you soon.”
Some couples readily and happily conceive when they are ready to have children. Others wait, sadly, as months turn into years without a beloved child. Natural Family Planning can help infertile couples know the optimum time to conceive. Check it out.
“John (the Baptist) appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mk 1:3) In any marriage hurts are inevitable. It may not be major, like a sin, but often small, like a pinch. Is there anything to forgive today?
What’s your spouse’s primary love language? Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, or Physical Touch. (Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages) Is yours the same or different?
(St. Nicholas) St. Nick was a secretive giver. Is there anything nice you can hide for your spouse to find later in the day? A treat? A note? A chore finished? Be creative.
Did you know that husband and wife are the ministers of the sacrament of marriage? In this reflection, Josh Noem writes about what it means to live out the sacrament of marriage in daily life, and how that leads to true freedom. “Marriage and family life is a way for us to give our lives over to love 349 ways every day, and it gives us glimpses of heaven every single day too.”
December’s Saint of the Month is Bl. Ceferino Gimenez Malla. A married layman from Spain, Ceferino and his wife Teresa had no children of their own but adopted Teresa’s niece. Ceferino had a reputation for holiness and died defending a Catholic priest from soldiers.
Tomorrow is St. Nick’s Day which means that many parents will put a treat in their child’s shoe tonight. Even if you don’t have a child living with you, consider treating a child whose parents may not. Planning together for ways to help others can draw you closer as a couple.
“As Christians we are called to a certain level of detachment,” writes Justin. That can be a hard virtue to practice on Good Friday…or when your beloved football team loses in the last play of the game to your arch rival! Advent is a great time to evaluate our attachments, material and otherwise.
Surprise your honey with an early Christmas gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive—fix his favorite dish or give her a back massage.
What could relics – for example, a body part of a saint – possibly have to do with romance? The author writes about praying in front of a relic of St. Francis Xavier (feast day: Dec. 3rd) and what it taught him about marital love.
“Children benefit from our ‘presence’ more than our ‘presents’”(Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference). During this Advent ponder the tone that time with your spouse, children, and extended family will take during the upcoming Christmas season.
Note: the following is re-posted with permission from The Compass, the official newspaper for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Original link here. A video on YouTube is making the rounds on photography websites and blogs. I decided to join the discussion here because it relates to photography in a religious setting. In the […]
Note: the following is re-posted with permission from the USCCB Life Issues Forum. A friend who recently lost a child through miscarriage called to express disappointment that she didn’t know where to turn for the resources and support she and her husband so desperately needed. This heartbreaking conversation reminded me of another friend who miscarried […]
Marriage is a Sacrament! The celebration of Marriage is not just a religious ceremony. A marriage between two Christians is a sacrament, which means it is an encounter with Jesus Christ. In a particular way, the bride and the groom, in offering their lives to each other (symbolized in their vows), pledge their selfless love […]
Have you noticed that we often try to express our gratitude to someone by giving them a gift, i.e. something that costs money? Stacey reflects here on an experience that taught her that there’s no greater gift one can give than the gift of self. Free, but far from cheap.
If your parish or employer has a Giving Tree, take your children with you when you buy the gift. Or at least, let them help you wrap it. Your example of helping others will speak more loudly than any words.
In their new book, Tim and Sue Muldoon write that spirituality can be found “right in the messy midst” of home life. They encourage families to see their lives as a pilgrimage together, and they suggest reading Scripture together as a family as a way to foster each other’s faith.
(First Sunday of Advent) One way to prepare spiritually for Jesus’ coming is to try to correct a bad habit. Have you been overly critical of your spouse? Judgmental? Too preoccupied to really listen? Pick one fault and work on it.