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I watched a French movie (the exchange of the princesses) which recounts a double-arranged marriage between the kings of France and Spain as they tried to end a bitter war of twelve years. It poignantly shows how even in the midst of the royal court and tense political situations, marriages still have the same fundamental problems and challenges. Indeed, with all the problems and attacks to marriage that come from outside the couple, the most important problems and challenges are within the individual. For marriage is founded on love - the highest calling of the human person and thus of marriage. And we cannot truly and fully give ourselves to our neighbor (love) until we have true and full possession of ourselves. Selfishness is poison to marriage, as it is poison to love.
Last week I went on pilgrimage to France, to see many holy shrines but most importantly for me, to see our patroness, whose relics were on display for over a week in the basilica made in her honor in the early 20th century. The only book I read while I was away was this: Therese by Dorothy Day. In her own assessment, she says with regret that this project revealed to her that she only has the ability to write about herself. However, I am truly enjoying it, and at times the beauty of Therese’s family life, which truly shines through, has brought me to tears. This girl could not have become a saint without her family.
Louis and Zelie Martin - Zelie died when Therese was 4-½.
Marriage is the most important thing in the world. Little Flowers grow in the garden of the family, which is founded on marriages that are healthy and holy. Virtue is grown where there is love and faith. The world ends this more than all the other causes that draw our attention because they seem more urgent but are truly less important and less impactful. The future of society rises and falls with the family.
All married couples must continue to grow and allow God to work in their marriages, and we all have the duty to support them. The Perfect must not be made the enemy of the Good. Sure, there are failures. Sure, things aren’t exactly as they should be and definitely not always suitable to our desires or tastes. Don’t let past imperfections impede you from doing as much good as you can now.
1 - Marriage in Christ Seminar.
2 - Five Love Languages.
3 - Date night - spend time together. Marriage is work, certainly, but if it is only work there can be little enjoyment. Children want (and really need) to know and see how much mom and dad love each other. That stable foundation of knowing that mom and dad are all in, no matter what, is the fence around the garden that allows little flowers to flourish. May the Lord Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist, help us all, especially marriages, grow more and more in living a lives for each other and thus giving new life to our world.