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For Your Marriage

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Four: Christ Gives Couples the Confidence to Say “Yes” Forever

Pope Francis:
“We must not allow ourselves to be conquered by a ‘throwaway culture’. This fear of ‘forever’ is cured by entrusting oneself day by day to the Lord Jesus in a life that becomes a daily spiritual path of mutual growth, step by step.” (Valentine’s Day Address to Engaged Couples, February 14, 2014)

Breaking open the theme:
Many in our culture today think that it is not possible to love another person for the entirety of one’s life. Some protest that love “dies out” and say you can move on and find another person. Pope Francis, however, says that the fear of lifelong commitment is resolved by relying on Christ. In the Our Father, we say, “Give us this day our daily bread”; for Christian couples, we must also ask, “Give us this day our daily love.” If a Christian couple entrusts their love to Christ, He will sustain and multiply it. “He has an infinite reserve!” the Pope said.

Juan and Louisa had been married for about fifteen years when Louisa decided that she just didn’t feel that “spark of love” any longer. She convinced herself that their marriage was doomed and it was about time to call it quits. As she came home from work that day and went to approach her husband about her decision, she found him praying by their bedside. He prayed, “Lord, I feel as if my wife doesn’t love me anymore. I just don’t know where to go from here…please take control of our marriage and help us to love each other as we once did.” Immediately, her heart was moved as she realized that a “spark” would not save their marriage, but Christ could.

Put it into practice:

  1. Pray: Pray a rosary together – or just a decade – and focus on how Mary relied not on her own strength but on God’s.
  2. Reflect: How can you rely on Christ in your love for your spouse?
  3. Do: Write your spouse a note about how your feelings for him or her have deepened over time.

Prayer for Married Couples
Almighty and eternal God,
You blessed the union of husband and wife
So that we might reflect the union of Christ with his Church:
look with kindness on us.
Renew our marriage covenant.
Increase your love in us,
and strengthen our bond of peace
so that, [with our children],
we may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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