Cultivating a Catholic Marriage Addendum I

Prayer has to be first and last. We have morning offering and spiritual reading at breakfast, and close with night. Sometimes we have had night prayer in the car on the go.

We wake up early and have our rosary together with coffee and candlelight. Even when travel separated us, we have kept this habit.

Before going to sleep we each say an Our Father, Hail Mary (Greg & Julie idea) thanking each other for the acts of love and kindnesses through the day.

My grandmother, 50 + yrs happy married never go to bed angry.  The OF & HM prayers before sleep is an excellent way to avoid bitterness in heart.

Each month we meet as a family on Google Meet for those who can for a rosary. Grandkids getting old enough to lead.

We took Dave Ramsey’s Course of many weeks on Financial Peace University. Tell how I thought it was an investment talk, apologized to Ted, but we stayed. Turned out to be a pivotal experience for us and our married children!

NAMI course Family to Family to understand mental illness. Very, very helpful. Ted & I had very little understanding of these phenomena.

Family retreats, TOTB lectures, Familiaris Consortio[1], TAHA offered a retreat a few years ago, and the Schoenstatt Sisters

When I was going through the Augustine Institute, Ted would proofread my papers (this kept us together spiritually). This kept us together. After an intensive in the summer, he would come up, we would go to Boulder, and the poor man would have his ears talked off over gelato!

Covid has thrown things out of whack need to get back into a retreat stream. All Catholics should make a yearly retreat and if one is married it is nice to do that.

  1. Exhortation Fulton Sheen’s Closing Remarks [NB the whole book is worthwhile but I find myself both repulsed and drawn to this pearl of wisdom. Flesh does not like suffering. Media makes married life look like one of vacations, wine, and laughter)

“The great difference between a Christian and pagan in suffering is that for the Christian all suffering is from the outside, that is, it is a trial permitted by God for self-purification and sanctification. For the pagan, suffering is on the inside; it is in his soul, in his mind, in his consciousness, in his unconsciousness; it is so much a part of him that it is a hell, though that hell often goes by the name of “anxiety” or “frustration”. The Christian receives suffering, he even speaks of it coming from the hands of the Crucified; the pagan creates suffering. Because he cannot see its place in the universe, because it negates his egotism, and because it cancels his love of pleasure, he begets an inferno within himself. The crosses from the outside are bearable; the double crosses inside are insoluble. In the latter case, the sufferer will betray his egotism with the query: “Why does God do this to me?”

The key to the solution of crosses of married life, if they come, is not in breaking the bond, for that is unbreakable. Rather it is the utilization of its suffering for self, for children, and for the spouse who, for the present at least, is the cause of the suffering. Christian love not only can make such suffering bearable; it can even make it sweet. [2]

[1]    accessed August 1, 2022

[2] Fulton J. Sheen, Three to Get Married (Scepter Press: New York 1951 original printing, 1996) 192-193

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