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PRAYER: MAY THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE BE PROCLAIMED WITH EVER GREATER LOVE

PRAYER: MAY THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE BE PROCLAIMED WITH EVER GREATER LOVE

“On every first Friday to commit as a day of fasting, penance and prayer (e.g. Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Adoration and 40 hours in October) for the intentions of the Universal Church and the Holy Father Pope Francis.

 

Let us pray

 

Father in Heaven, you have ordered the Sacrament of Marriage and the gift of life as an image of your Divine Life with the Son in the Holy Spirit. We pray that the teaching of the Church on the true meaning of marriage and human sexuality may be proclaimed with ever greater love, courage and hope in our world and be received in deep gratitude. Amen.

 

We ask for the intercession of all the Saints in Heaven. Our Lady, Mother of Nazareth – pray for us. Saint Joseph – pray for us. Saint Thomas More – pray for us. St Therese of Lisieux – pray for us. Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin – pray for us.”

 

(Confraternity of Catholic Clergy)

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in Prayers for Today

 

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PRAYER: MAY THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE BE PROCLAIMED WITH EVER GREATER LOVE

“On every first Friday to commit as a day of fasting, penance and prayer (e.g. Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Adoration and 40 hours in October) for the intentions of the Universal Church and the Holy Father Pope Francis.

Let us pray

Father in Heaven, you have ordered the Sacrament of Marriage and the gift of life as an image of your Divine Life with the Son in the Holy Spirit. We pray that the teaching of the Church on the true meaning of marriage and human sexuality may be proclaimed with ever greater love, courage and hope in our world and be received in deep gratitude. Amen.

We ask for the intercession of all the Saints in Heaven. Our Lady, Mother of Nazareth – pray for us. Saint Joseph – pray for us. Saint Thomas More – pray for us. St Therese of Lisieux – pray for us. Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin – pray for us.”

(Confraternity of Catholic Clergy)

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Prayers for Today

 

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INTERNATIONAL GATHERING OF PRIESTS PLEDGE THEIR FIDELITY TO CHURCH TEACHING

“Unwavering fidelity”

“An international gathering of English I speaking clergy has issued a statement pledging its ‘unwavering fidelity’ to the traditional doctrines of the Church  teaching on marriage and sexuality ahead of the family synod.

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, whose members came from America, Britain, Australia and Ireland, voted unanimously on a statement which said: ‘The fathers pledge their unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality as proclaimed in the Word of God and set out clearly in the Church’s Ordinary and Universal Magisterium.’

‘Importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments’

The British branch of the confraternity was established following Benedict XVI’s Year for Priests in 2010 with the aim of promoting ‘fidelity to Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Holy Father’.

The confraternity statement concluded by affirming the ‘importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments’, adding that ‘doctrine and practice must remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.'”

– This article was published in the Catholic Herald magazine, issue 6693. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link)

 

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THE INDISSOLUBILITY OF MATRIMONY

At that time: The Pharisees came to Jesus tempting Him and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Who, answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that He who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And that He said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. Therefore they are now not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

– Matthew 19:3-6

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

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“WE WERE MARRIED IN A HOTEL. MY MUM KEEPS ON AT ME TO HAVE THE MARRIAGE BLESSED IN THE CHURCH.”

QUESTION: “My husband and I were married in a hotel a few years ago. My mum keeps on at me to have the marriage blessed in the Church and I am beginning to think this would be a good idea. How do I go about it?

ANSWER: It is indeed a good idea to seek God’s blessing on your union. In fact, a Catholic must marry according to the form of the Church for the marriage to be valid in the eyes of the Church, so what needs to happen is for your marriage to be ‘convalidated’. This means that you take the vows of marriage anew in the form of the Church, and make a new act of consent to the marriage. Your parish priest will need to see you both, arrange some preparation, get various documents together, and seek the permission of the Bishop. Priests are used to this process and it is quite straightforward (presuming that neither of you has been married before.)

I understand that your husband is happy about coming to the Church for a blessing, so I expect that he would also have no objections to arranging for a convalidation. It would be a chance for him to meet the priest and perhaps find out more about the Catholic Church. In the case where a spouse is unwilling to take the vows anew, an application to the Bishop can be made for a retrospective decree of validation, though it is preferable to celebrate the convalidation if possible.

You tell me that your husband, though not Catholic, is baptised: that means that not only can your union be blessed, but you will also both minister to each other and receive the sacrament of matrimony. You will then be strengthened by the graces given in the sacrament. If you never knew that Catholics should marry according to the law of the Church, you are not personally culpable, but your current state is objectively contrary to the law of God and the Church, so it is important to arrange for the marriage to be ‘put right’ and for you then to return to Holy Communion.”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published as part of the feature “Catholic Dilemmas” in “The Catholic Herald” issue May 16, 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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“MY UNMARRIED FACEBOOK FRIEND ANNOUNCED SHE IS PREGNANT – IS IT OK TO CLICK ‘LIKE'”?

QUESTION: “If an unmarried friend on Facebook announces that she has moved in with her boyfriend I don’t click ‘Like’ because it seems to be a form of approval. But if an unmarried friend announces that she is pregnant, is it hypocritical to congratulate her?

ANSWER: Your raising this question is commendable because it demonstrates an awareness of the responsibility that we have to avoid co-operating in the wrong done by another person. Traditionally theologians have identified nine general ways to co-operate in evil: by counsel, by command, by consent, by provocation, by praise or flattery, by concealment, by being a partner in the sin, by silence and by defending the wrong done.

Although clicking ‘Like’ for a Facebook status is fairly trivial it can be a way of praising something wrong and so I agree with your decision to avoid clicking “Like” when an unmarried couple announce that they have moved in together. It is not always necessary to comment negatively on a person’s status but it might be necessary to say something if others draw an inference from our lack of comment. Even here we do not need to respond if people are simply attempting to draw us into an online fight.

In the case of an unmarried friend announcing a pregnancy, there are other considerations. In many cases an unmarried mother will be asked whether she wishes to continue with the pregnancy – in other words, whether to opt for the killing of the baby through abortion.

For someone who is young and in difficulties, considerable pressure may be brought to bear. In such cases we are right to congratulate a young mother on making the courageous choice of life for her unborn child.

In the case of a mother who is in a long-term cohabiting relationship we can still congratulate her on the conception of a child, though we may be in a position where we should encourage her to marry. Facebook is probably not the place for such a conversation to take place, and simply clicking ‘Like’ does not imply that we approve of all the circumstances of the pregnancy.”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published as part of the feature “Catholic Dilemmas” in the “Catholic Herald” issue March 7 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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IS YOUR MARRIAGE ON THE ROCKS?

“THINKING ABOUT SEPARATION OR DIVORCE?

Is your marriage or that of a relative or friend heading for divorce? Do you know how to save that marriage? Or do you feel helpless?

Retrouvaille (pronounced retro-vi with a long I) is designed to help troubled marriages regain their health.

It helps spouses uncover or re-awaken the love, trust and commitment that originally brought them together. The programme is highly successful in saving hurting marriages, even bringing reconciliation to couples that have already separated or divorced.

For confidential information about or to register for the programme beginning with a weekend on the 28th – 30th March 2014, email info@retrouvaille.org.uk; call or text 0797 338 0443 or visit http://www.retrouvaille.org.uk (external link).

 

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FOR YOUR DIARY: “CHOOSE LIFE CHOOSE LOVE” – CONFERENCE, LONDON

“CHOOSE LIFE CHOOSE LOVE

÷ A weekend conference on Beauty, Freedom and the Family ÷

• DATES: from Friday 28th February 2014 to Sunday 2nd March 2014

• VENUE: St Patrick’s Church
21a Soho Square
London W1D 4NR

Speakers include former MEP Dana Scanlon.

• More information: http://www.rcdow.org.uk (external link).”

 
 

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“YOU CAN FIND A BOOK STUPID, POORLY WRITTEN, DISHONEST – BUT WHY BAN IT?”

ST PAUL: “HUSBANDS, LOVE YOUR WIVES, JUST AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR HER.”

TRUE JOY FOR ALL WIVES: “LOSING HERSELF TO BRING TO LIFE THE PEOPLE SHE CARES ABOUT”

“When the Italian writer Costanza Miriano wrote a book on marriage she could not have imagined the kind of controversy it would cause across the Mediterranean in Spain. The country’s main Left-wing parties condemned the work, ‘Sposati e sii sottomessa’ (‘Marry him and be Submissive’), with some claiming that ‘it encourages violence against women’ and ‘degrades the image of woman’. Condemnation rolled from the Spanish parliament, notably from members of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and the United Left (Isquierda Unida), and there were even attempts to ban the book.

The title, of course, is taken from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: ‘Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church.’ Costanza is a mother of four and a national television reporter… In the eyes of some non-Catholics, Miriano doesn’t look like a typical Catholic woman. She is tall, blond, athletic and always elegantly dressed…

COSTANZA’S BOOK SEEMS MERELY A PRETEXT TO ATTACK THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Her first book was a great success in Italy, with more than 20 reprints. Yet it seems that almost no one protesting against the work in Spain has actually read the work, judging it merely on the basis of its title. She learned from a Spanish journalist who interviewed her that the main reason the book sparked protests is that it is published in Spain by Nuevo Inicio. The publishing house is owned by Archbishop Javier Martinez of Grenada, who has clashed repeatedly with the Spanish Left over abortion. So Costanza’s book seems merely a pretext to attack the Catholic Church.

THE BEAUTY OF TOTAL LOVE

Costanza is a clever, funny and humble woman who has written a book addressed to women who are scared of getting married, and also for wives who have forgotten the true meaning of Christian marriage.

‘Submission’ for the Italian writer, as for St Paul, does not mean slavery but service. ‘Men tend towards egoism,’ she says, ‘and women can overcome this negative inclination of men not by complaining, shouting or beating her fists, but by showing him the beauty of a total love, the sacrifice of his own selfishness.’

WOMEN ARE TO REGAIN THEIR VALUABLE POSITION IN SOCIETY

The book has earned plaudits at the Holy See. The Vatican’s semi-official newspaper ‘L’Osservatore Romano’ hailed it as a ‘little manual of evangelisation’. In the book, Costanza attempts to reassert the true value of woman in the world, starting from her role in the family. Her capacity to be ‘submissive’ corresponds to her ability to sustain the world by succouring and supporting her children and husband. Without women and their role of wife, mother and worker, the family – and therefore society – could not flourish. In order to rediscover this truth, Costanza argues, women need to focus on the service they are called to in marriage, ‘to be welcoming, but not because a man forces her, but because that’s what we love to do.

Even women who believe that abortion is a right, if they are mothers, and if you ask them what was the happiest day of their lives, do they not say: ‘When I became a mother’?’ Costanza asks. So what should women do to regain their valuable position in society and in the world, ‘losing herself to bring to life the people she cares about’? And what is a husband’s duty?

AND WHAT ABOUT A HUSBAND’S DUTY?

Costanza has written a second book, which should be published in Spain imminently. It’s called ‘Marry Her and Be Ready to Die for Her’. This nods, of course, towards another phrase of St Paul: ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.’

Costanza says: ‘At the bottom of every human being there is a sense of emptiness that is filled only by giving oneself completely to someone. This is the way to happiness.’ A wife submissive to a husband, ready to give his life for her: that’s the message of Costanza’s two books. Surely this is hardly an outrage to women.

Commenting on the negative reaction to her book in Spain, Costanza reflects: ‘Nobody is obliged to buy a book. You can find them stupid, poorly written, dishonest, but why ban them?’

The efforts to ban the book have, of course, backfired. Costanza has not only fought off attempts to restrict her free speech, but also has a new bestseller – this time in Spain – on her hands.”
– This article by Laura Gotti Tedeschi entitled “The world’s most ‘dangerous’ Catholic writer” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue January 3 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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ADVICE, PLEASE – “NOW THAT ALL OUR CHILDREN LEFT HOME, MY WIFE AND I SEEM TO BE ARGUING MORE”

“QUESTION:

Now that our youngest has left home, my wife and I seem to be arguing more. It is nothing serious but we are struggling to find ways to improve our relationship.

ANSWER:

As in our relationship with God, marriages often go through different stages which present new challenges. For many years the care of your children has been a major focus in your lives. That care is a great and blessed work for which you can rejoice in the Lord.

There are no perfect parents (and no perfect children), but alongside the humble recognition of your weakness, you can rightly be joyful at a task carried out with integrity. Your children will still need your support and encouragement – and, please God, before too long your love for them will be rewarded with the blessing of grandchildren.

Now, being thrown back on each other, so to speak, you find that you have each changed through your experiences and there is a new task of living in Christian love without the daily care of others in the home. Our weakness and tendency to sin means that the cross is at the heart of every relationship. We wound each other by greed and selfishness, even if only in small ways, and we need to overcome this primarily by charity.

In worldly terms, people speak of gratuitous acts of kindness which make the world a better place. As Christians, we can speak of supernatural acts of charity: those small deeds, to which we are not obliged, carried out with the motive of the love of God. Such deliberate acts of charity bring peace and tranquillity. The spiritual and healing power of such Christian charity is immense, both in its positive enhancement of a relationship and in its protection against evil.

If you are looking for some sound support, the programmes of Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille have helped many couples. In a nutshell, Marriage Encounter is for couples with good marriages who want to make them even better, whereas Retrouvaille is for couples who have problems and need marriage help. You could look at both and consider which might be the most appropriate.”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published as part of the feature “Catholic Dilemmas” in “The Catholic Herald” issue November 22 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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