Category: Marriage

Birth Control:  Now That You Know, What's Next?
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Birth Control: Now That You Know, What’s Next?

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In part 1 of this discussion on rethinking your birth control, I defined what it means to be a woman. Not just a modern woman, but a whole woman according to God’s design. Part 2 detailed attributes of her feminine genius in the form of female fertility. The cyclic ebb and flow of her fertile […]

The "Orthodox Practice" on Divorce and Communion, Part II
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The “Orthodox Practice” on Divorce and Communion, Part II

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At the close of the Extraordinary Synod of Catholic Bishops last October, the Synod’s Final Report ( the “Lineamenta”) included a questionnaire on pastoral practices on family issues.   Among the questions was number 38.  It opened with the following premise: “With regard to the divorced and remarried, pastoral practice concerning the sacraments needs to be […]

"The Orthodox Practice" on Divorce and Communion:  Part I
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“The Orthodox Practice” on Divorce and Communion: Part I

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At the close of the Extraordinary Synod of Catholic Bishops last October, the Synod’s Final Report ( the “Lineamenta”) included a questionnaire on pastoral practices on family issues. Among the questions was number 38, which opened with the following premise: “With regard to the divorced and remarried, pastoral practice concerning the sacraments needs to be […]

Seven Things that are (Way) Better as a Catholic
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Seven Things that are (Way) Better as a Catholic

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Having spent most of my life as an atheist (I converted just 13 years ago), I have a good basis of comparison for the difference between Catholic and non-Catholic life. And without a doubt, these seven things are WAY better now that I’m Catholic! Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com.   1. WEEKENDS My husband and I spent three […]

Free to Love: Marriage Vows
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Free to Love: Marriage Vows

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Our marriage vows reflect the fidelity of God’s love for us. The obligations of the marriage covenant – fidelity, love open to new life, and lifelong sexual exclusivity – ask a lot of another as it assumes a lot about ourselves. Too often we make promises we don’t keep, overextend our commitments, or intend fidelity […]

What I Told My Bishop About the Synod
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What I Told My Bishop About the Synod

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Last week was the final deadline to submit comments to our local bishop about the agenda for the upcoming Synod on the Family, to be reconvened this October at the Vatican. The Synod’s working document, or lineamenta, asked 46 questions about the pastoral care of the family, which the laypeople of our diocese were encouraged […]

That They May Be One
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That They May Be One

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Marriage, being the most intimate of friendships, depends on trust. The friendship between spouses weakens if anything stands in the way of trust and, in weakening trust, the bond of marriage suffers. Each marriage is tried on the level of trust. Whether through past personal histories or present infidelities, illness or job loss, childlessness or […]

Transforming Prayer for Married Couples
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Transforming Prayer for Married Couples

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If someone told you that there was something you could do for as little as five minutes per day to virtually assure that your marriage would last unto death, wouldn’t you do it? Well this is it! Pray together daily. Marriage is not a couple, but a trinity. The third person is God. We need […]

Why Settle for Shades of Grey?
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Why Settle for Shades of Grey?

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Remember the scene in the movie The Passion of the Christ when the androgynous, almost-beautiful-but-not-quite Satan character is carrying a baby, and when the face of the baby is revealed, it turns out to be old, ugly, and creepy rather than a sweet baby face? This was confusing for a lot of viewers, and when […]

CL9e - hbratton notxt
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How to Celebrate St. Valentine’s Day Like Adults

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Men, you are being bombarded with advertising telling you that your wife would love to have a Teddy Bear for Valentine’s Day.  Here is a little flowchart to help you decide if you should get your wife a Teddy Bear.

God's Gift: Husbands Should Reverence Their Wives
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God’s Gift: Husbands Should Reverence Their Wives

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It can be quite tempting for husbands to misuse their authority as the head of the household in relating to their wives. Within my own therapy experience, I have seen men misquote Scripture as justification for disregarding their wives’ opinions and wishes. The fifth chapter of Ephesians is a popular source for this kind of […]

Three Keys for Couples
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Three Keys for Couples

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Years ago, I shared a memorable conversation with Catholic author Taylor Marshall while we both worked at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. Taylor told me about some advice that, in his words, an “old, crusty Episcopalian priest” had given him shortly before his wedding: “The keys to a good marriage are threefold: to […]

Incest: The Next Frontier in ‘Reproductive Freedom’
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Incest: The Next Frontier in ‘Reproductive Freedom’

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Like a plastic Piggly Wiggly bag fluttering about in the alley, those untethered from God’s natural law are violently tossed to and fro by the gusting winds of moral relativism. Jenny Kutner is one such Piggly Wiggly bag. A 20-something assistant editor at Salon.com, she describes herself as “focusing on sex, gender and feminism.” By […]

The Inhuman Relationship of Mary and Joseph
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The Inhuman Relationship of Mary and Joseph

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Every year at Christmas time I think of the many people who experience a more acute loneliness that the season has a way of drawing out of those who are literally alone or feel alone, even among their friends and family. It’s an inescapable desire to have that one special person with whom you can […]

A Preachable Message: The Dynamics of Preaching NFP
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A Preachable Message: The Dynamics of Preaching NFP

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When was the last time you heard a priest give a homily that mentioned Natural Family Planning? If you are like me, the answer is never. Admittedly, it isn’t necessarily a topic that I would want discussed at a Mass where younger children are present, but there are many times when it would be appropriate, […]

Getting in Touch Again: Date Night
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Getting in Touch Again: Date Night

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Making date night work without too much work One way of being a better parent and spouse is making and keeping “date night.” Contrary to popular belief, this need not be (a) extravagant, (b) expensive, (c) so regular that it becomes boring (you can only do “dinner and a movie” so often), nor (d) require […]

Thank You: Two Words That Can Transform Your Marriage
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Thank You: Two Words That Can Transform Your Marriage

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Every night since we’ve been married, my husband crawls into bed, turns toward me, and says: “Thank you so much for everything you did for us today.” After a couple years, I asked Peter if he felt obligated to thank me every night. “No not at all!” he replied “You mean so much to all […]

The Law of the Herd, a Thanksgiving Story
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The Law of the Herd, a Thanksgiving Story

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I love the holidays. What an awesome opportunity it presents to get our large family together. One Thanksgiving a few years back, we were especially blessed to be in full force with all twenty-nine of us. The two military boys and eight college students had graced us with their presence. Additionally, several of the teens […]

Even When He is Silent, His Love Abides
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Even When He is Silent, His Love Abides

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Even with all I have lost in this life I still believe in love. Even when love seems silent, I believe in love. Even if God seems silent, I believe in Him for He is divine love, manifested to us in His Son Jesus Christ.[1] He abides with me. So too, my experience with human […]

Decide, Don't Slide: Marriage Milestones
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Decide, Don’t Slide: Marriage Milestones

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Report reveals the order of milestones, and how couples handle them, makes or breaks marriages Milestone moments make memories for married couples, even the ones made together before the big wedding day. You always remember who first introduced the two of you, where and when you first kissed, when you proposed, and what you first […]

Pope Francis on the Complementarity of Men and Women
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Pope Francis on the Complementarity of Men and Women

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The Vatican-hosted international interreligious colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Women started in Rome yesterday with an address by Pope Francis. The purpose of the conference, which ends tomorrow, is to show the beauty of the complementarity of men and women, which has existed across cultures and religions. The Holy Father began his address […]

Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis
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Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis

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Articles relating to the sanctity of marriage have been churning out from Catholic media sources recently. The identity of marriage as between a man and a woman has been outlined and explained. Volumes have been written about the sacredness of sex and the scandal of contraception. Catholic couples with even limited exposure to Catholic media […]

When Dad Loves Mom, Children Benefit
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When Dad Loves Mom, Children Benefit

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“Who has helped you the most in your fathering?” We asked that very question to thousands of men as part of our research. Some answered, “My father” or “My pastor.” But the most popular answer by far was, “My wife.” And when we asked, “Who helps you overcome struggles in your fathering?” the number one […]

Nine Words We Must Say Every Day
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Nine Words We Must Say Every Day

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When I was young child growing up in the 70’s, I remember seeing greeting cards and cheesy home décor with the quote, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” an oft quoted line from the melodramatic film Love Story. It never made sense to me. If that is indeed true, I would tell myself, […]

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