Category: Marriage

Fruitful Love Symbolizes God's Inner Life, says Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia
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Fruitful Love Symbolizes God’s Inner Life, says Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia

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The night before Pope Francis officially released Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), I was chatting about it with Fr. Dave Dwyer on the Busted Halo radio show. Revealing that he had been able to get his hands on an advance copy, Fr. Dave told me, “You’re going to love it. He says a lot […]

Pope Francis Praises Personal Freedom in Family Life
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Pope Francis Praises Personal Freedom in Family Life

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The four keys to a lasting marriage are faithful, free, fruitful, and total love, as we explain in our newly released book on Catholic marriage. Pope Francis stresses these same four themes in his recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love). Our last article looked at what the pope had to say about the first key, […]

Truth, Treason, and Marriage
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Truth, Treason, and Marriage

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The early part of the first century A.D.: Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ Herodias harbored a grudge against […]

Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia Praises Faithful and Forgiving Love
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Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia Praises Faithful and Forgiving Love

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Reading the full text of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, I experienced the odd sensation that the Pope and I must have been poring over the same exact Church documents for the past two years. The themes of faithfulness, personal freedom, fruitfulness, and total gift of self are woven throughout the Pope’s exhortation, and of course […]

Latest Pope Francis Controversy and Why Non-Catholics Should Care
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Latest Pope Francis Controversy and Why Non-Catholics Should Care

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Non-Catholics may be wondering why Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia or The Joy of Love, has Catholics in an uproar. Has the Pope changed Catholic doctrine? Has he left the doctrine officially intact, but changed pastoral practice so much that the doctrine is annulled? Now that I have taken the weekend to read it, […]

All Love Bears Fruit
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All Love Bears Fruit

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Fruitfulness is one of the essential gifts of marriage. We’re all familiar with God’s words to Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gn 1:28). God’s directive to the mother and father of all humanity refers to physical fruitfulness. But Jesus in the Gospels speaks about […]

Natural Family Planning as Self Defense
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Natural Family Planning as Self Defense

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My comment was met with a blank stare, a look of confusion. Fortunately, it only lasted a few awkward seconds. I was visiting my nurse practitioner for a nagging abdominal pain. Having concluded that I should have a CT scan (a detailed, in-depth x-ray) she had asked me if there was any chance I might […]

How to Have a Happy Marriage (Even When You're Busy with Kids)
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How to Have a Happy Marriage (Even When You’re Busy with Kids)

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Marital satisfaction tends to take a dip once that first baby comes home from the hospital (or out of the bathtub, birthing center, etc.). This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. Let’s face it. Kids, particularly newborns, are difficult. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying, or a grandparent. But you can maintain a happy marriage […]

Coming Out Christian
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Coming Out Christian

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  Some years ago I proudly came out of the “monogamy closet.” (See comments here.) Now, after over 42-plus years, my monogamy condition is unabated, in all its forms. I don’t “self identify” as a monogamist. I am a monogamist. Major mass media and Hollywood have had no effect on my ailment, and more than […]

How to Defeat the Enemies of Natural Marriage
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How to Defeat the Enemies of Natural Marriage

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One of the best talks at our Australia conference was given by Vice Vincent Batarelo (pronounced Vee-che), who led the fight in Croatia to defend natural marriage. Dr. Batarelo was also a natural to invite to our conference, since he was born in Sydney to Croatian immigrants and grew up Down Under. After he completed […]

UN Report: “There Is No Definition of the Family”
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UN Report: “There Is No Definition of the Family”

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A draft UN report says the family should be understood “in a wide sense” and tries to open the door to recognize same-sex couples in international law and policy. “There is no definition of the family under international human rights law,” according to a report on “protection of the family” prepared by the UN staff […]

Rejecting Abortion, Affirming Life
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Rejecting Abortion, Affirming Life

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Thousands braved severe weather last week to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C., giving a vital public witness to the sanctity of life. In this column, however, I will reflect on a very personal situation with my wife’s first pregnancy six years ago, when abortion was presented to us as an option. Our […]

Family Ties that Lift Us Up
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Family Ties that Lift Us Up

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Jesus’ invitation to discipleship comes with a warning: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mk 8:34). He made this statement shortly after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah, and he told his disciples what that role entails. The suffering involved in denying oneself and […]

The Holy Family: The Reason for Christmas
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The Holy Family: The Reason for Christmas

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Do you love Christmas? Before you answer, I don’t mean the nearly 4 weeks of frantic shopping or the crazy parties or the frenzied family gatherings or the warm, gushy feelings we get from receiving presents. I mean the real reason why we do those things in the first place. Do you love the real […]

Family in Full: Blending Backgrounds for New Family Traditions
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Family in Full: Blending Backgrounds for New Family Traditions

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It was Thanksgiving and my then-girlfriend was meeting my family for the first time. Much to my surprise, all five of my siblings were able to be there, and we enjoyed – or so I thought – our usual holiday dinner with the typical excited-aggressive talking that Italians tend to do. Later that evening, I […]

dating, marriage, love
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In Defense Of “Soul Mates”

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It has been said that: Real love is not all feelings. Real love takes work. Real love requires choosing your beloved on a daily basis.  These are all statements that I believe to be true. But, can I let you in on a little secret? I believe in soul mates. And [thankfully], I believe that I […]

Theology of the Body Revolutionized My Marriage
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Theology of the Body Revolutionized My Marriage

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I can’t fully explain it, because it wasn’t what my parents tried to teach me. But this is what I learned as a child: sex is dirty. I knew, in my head, that this wasn’t true, and that sex, in its proper context, was a blessed, holy thing. But even for good Catholic girls who […]

Book Review: Intimate Graces
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Book Review: Intimate Graces

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The Jubilee Year of Mercy is right around the corner. Why not take advantage of that year to work on your marriage? In Intimate Graces (Ave Maria Press, 2015), Catholic media maven Teresa Tomeo (Pastore) and her husband Deacon Dominick Pastore examine how practicing the works of mercy can bring out the best in marriage. […]

The Meaning of Human Sexuality
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The Meaning of Human Sexuality

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As the concept of gender grows ever more fluid (you can pick any one of 58 gender options on Facebook), it’s worth asking why God created humans as male and female. Bacteria have no gender and reproduce mostly by dividing their cells. Some species of fish are sequentially hermaphroditic, changing genders throughout their lifetime. Angels, […]

dating, marriage, love
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Let Your Spousal Love Grow

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This past summer, after nearly 16 years of marriage, my husband and I took our first bona-fide, airline-ticket “weekend away.” As you might imagine, it was quite a logistical undertaking for a family with four children. More than once I questioned whether we were being selfish for doing it at all. But something happened that […]

Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online
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Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online

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St. Philip Neri once told a woman that as penance for her gossiping, she should scatter a pillowful of feathers into the wind and then walk about the town collecting every feather. The task was impossible, of course, and it emphasized that we can’t take back our words once they’ve been uttered. That’s especially true […]

Talkin’ Marriage Online: The Trouble with TMI
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Talkin’ Marriage Online: The Trouble with TMI

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It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as […]

A Strong and Faithful Love: From God the Father to Our Own Fathers
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A Strong and Faithful Love: From God the Father to Our Own Fathers

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I once heard a story about a missionary who was working in an impoverished area where fathers were not a part of the everyday lives of the children. When she taught them the “Our Father,” they couldn’t understand what the love of a father was like. So, with the best of intentions, she taught them […]

The Wisdom of the Church’s Teaching on Marriage
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The Wisdom of the Church’s Teaching on Marriage

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From individuals, to families, to the general population at-large, marriage is essential to society. A committed marriage provides the best arrangement for the well-being of both spouses and children. Marriage provides a more stable environment for personal growth and development than any other living arrangement. Yet many families in today’s culture are rent apart by […]

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