Our Lady of the Rosary Novena
Day Three, October 1
Today’s Topic: Marriage and Chastity
Intercession: For holy and life giving marriages to thrive here in the Diocese of Toledo.
Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: “The family founded on marriage is an irreplaceable natural institution and a fundamental element of the common good of every society” (Pope John Paul II, Address to the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council of the Family, November 20, 2004).
Strong marriages – marriages in which a man and a woman stay together for their entire lives – are good for society as well as for the couple themselves. They serve as examples to the community of the virtues of love, fidelity, and perseverance. They demonstrate the capacity of the human being to live up to his or her promises.
As Catholics, an understanding of God’s plan for marriage and family is an essential part of living the call to holiness. Catholic spouses are blessed with the certainty that the sacrament of marriage provides the graces necessary to become sanctified as husband and wife, father and mother. This grace endows the marriage covenant with strength and fortifies it in moments of difficulty. It also carries over into the domestic church, the home, where the family grows and becomes a witness to God’s love for others.
God’s plan for marriage is not restricted to Catholics, however. It is rooted in the nature and identity of man and woman created in God’s image. The dignity of marriage with its specific purpose and characteristics is a good to uphold and defend to the benefit of all people.
Act of Reparation:
Give up all electronics today. No tv, no social media. Just be completely present to your spouse or family.
Choose one of the following questions to reflect on by yourself and/or with your spouse:
(1) What are the three ways marriage is good for the entire society?
(2) How does your marriage contribute to your own capacity and growth as a person? How does this in turn contribute to the benefit of your family and society?
(3) In what ways do you recognize the benefit to the common good of a stable marriage between man and woman?
One step further: Every couple will experience at some point in their marriage times of pain and dissatisfaction. It is to be expected that imperfect people lead to imperfect couples. Perfection and impeccability are not what make for good marriages. A good marriage is one in which husband and wife continue to try and try again. They don’t give up on themselves or on one another (or on God!). Marriage is a lasting commitment to be tenacious in this ongoing relationship to one another. The ability to forgive and start again is the most eloquent expression of faithful love.
In a “throw-away” culture of hook-ups, co-habitation, and pre-nuptial agreements, the commitment to anyone “until death do us part” can be perceived as irresponsible at best or terrifying at worst. Many people desire lasting commitment but at the same time fear it or fear rejection and failure. The Christian way of life challenges us to embrace the grace of God, which makes all things possible and satisfies the innermost desire of men and women for love that lasts. Visit https://www.foryourmarriage.org/ and make your marriage or current call in life the best it can be!
Excerpted and adapted from www.foryourmarriage.org, copyright © 2018, 2019, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.