Tag: "marriage"

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: A Message to the Engaged

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Talking about engagement in his last General Audience in May, Pope Francis continued his 2015 cycle of catechesis on the family. “The covenant of love between man and woman, a covenant for life, is not improvised,” said the Pontiff, “it is not made from one day to another.” The Pope’s articulation reminded me of something […]

Time to Fertilize: A Marriage Metaphor
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Time to Fertilize: A Marriage Metaphor

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My friend Todd, a landscaper, likes to say, “Stop looking at your neighbor’s yard and fertilize your own.” This is in reference, of course, to those who think the grass is greener everywhere except under their own feet. Couples too often look at their own complicated, messy lives and wrongly presume it’s better with someone […]

Family Graces: Joy in Parenting
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Family Graces: Joy in Parenting

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Despite the message our culture sends, marriage and parenting aren’t the frightful things they’re often made out to be. The hardships that come in family life are outweighed by true and lasting joy, when we keep the proper perspective – perspective being the key word here. Parenting isn’t easy, but it makes us into the […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Six Words to Transform the Family

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On May 13th, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by reflecting on three phrases: “May I?”, “Thank you”, and “Pardon me”. These simple phrases are difficult to put into practice but “when they are ignored, their absence can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse. If […]

Getting to Yes: Courtship, Not Just Dating
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Getting to Yes: Courtship, Not Just Dating

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When my family migrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1986, I didn’t want to go. I wanted to finish college at home and settle down with whomever God picked out for me to marry, after a courtship of at least five years. But God laughed at my plans. I met my future […]

The Commitment Differences: 5 Reasons Faith-Filled Marriages Work
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The Commitment Differences: 5 Reasons Faith-Filled Marriages Work

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Countless articles, memoirs and studies explore why so many marriages in our society deteriorate and ultimately fail. Just recently, a blog post at USA TODAY by Anthony D’Ambrosio gained attention for identifying the top five reasons that marriages don’t work: intimacy issues, financial strife, failure to truly connect, desire for attention, and an obsession with […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Building a Godly Marriage

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Pope Francis calls three realities of creation a masterpiece; man, woman, and the family, which is the love between man and woman. To write a gloss, brotherly love is good, and even the love for a child is good, but it is the love between a man and a woman which results in a marriage […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Alliance of Man and Woman

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Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family on Wednesday in his general audience by explaining the central aspect of the family:” that of the great gift that God made to humanity with the creation of man and woman and with the Sacrament of Marriage. This catechesis and the next are concerned with the difference […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Called and Consecrated
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Called and Consecrated

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When I was growing up, we were urged to pray for vocations. That meant to pray for more priests and nuns. After all, they were the ones especially called by God. The rest of us had to figure out for ourselves what to do with our lives, what school to go to, who to marry, […]

Wedding Rings and Christmas Tree Ornament
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When Hollywood Celebrated Christmas and Marriage

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I don’t see a happy ending to this story.

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 […]

Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman
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Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman

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When I was a child I always said I wanted 9 children. In fact, I said I wanted 9 boys! I would tell people I wanted my own baseball team, not a softball team, a baseball team. Family was important to me and I hoped and prayed that one day I would find someone who […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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