“Be holy as your heavenly Father is
holy.” These words of Jesus, taught in the context of the Sermon on the Mount,
is a universal command! This must be carried out according to one’s specific
vocation of life.
What are some specific ways in which
men who have chosen the married state can live out this universal call and
command to be holy as our heavenly Father is holy?
In this short essay we will focus on
the Husband’s relationship to God and his wife. Once married, the hierarchy of
importance for the married man must be the following order: God, wife,
children, then parents and relatives.
When this order is turned topsy-turvy, then confusion and problems
inundate the family! Following are five building blocks to construct a solid
and holy family.
PRAYER FOR SPOUSE. A holy and noble husband should be a man of
prayer. He should pray fervently and frequently for the totality of his family;
however, first on the list should be for his wife. He should daily pray for her daily
conversion, sanctification and eternal salvation.
PRAY WITH THE SPOUSE. Not only should he pray for his spouse, but
he should have the habit of praying with his wife. Frequently,
“Macho-type” men ask their wives to pray for them and at times say that
they pray in private but excuse themselves from praying in common with their
wives. Wrong! St. Joseph shines as a brilliant example to follow! No doubt, this great saint offered fervent
and frequent private prayers, but he also would pray with his wife---the
Blessed Virgin Mary.
PRIME-TIME TO PRAY. Prayer can be considered both the easiest of
all activities, but at the same time the most difficult. Why? We can pray at any time, in any place and in
any words we choose---- easy, at least it seems! However it is difficult because the “4”d’s
that prevent us from praying: the devil, distractions, and daily-duties. All of these tend to suffocate and crowd
prayer from our lives. Therefore, spouses should prioritize “Prime-times” of
prayer together: Morning prayers upon waking, Meal times, the most Holy Rosary, and if possible
attendance at Holy Mass and Holy Communion together. When husbands take the
initiative to pray together this serves as a type of “Super-glue” to unite them
in a harmonious and cohesive whole. How true resound the words of the
Rosary-priest, Father Patrick Peyton: “The
family that prays together stays together.”
OFFER MASSES FOR THE WIFE.
Wives that take their spiritual
lives seriously would rejoice to their heart’s content if on their Birthday as
well as on their Wedding Anniversary their husbands would have the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass offered for their intentions. Indeed all prayers are good
and pleasing to God if offered with purity of intention and for a noble
purpose. However, the greatest prayer underneath the sun is by far the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass. One Mass is worth
more than all of the private prayers put together. Why?
Mass is OPUS DEI--- the very work of God Himself. Husbands, the next
time your wife’s birthday arrives as well as your wedding anniversary, why not
have a pre-planned Mass offered for the treasure of your life, your loving
CONSECRATION OF THE FAMILY TO THE
IMMACULATE HEART OFMARY AND THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS! Fathers are called to be the “Head” of the
family, as well as “The Priest of the family”.
What a sublime and supernatural gesture for the Husband to take the
initiative to have his wife, and children and the whole family consecrated to
the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This would entail a bit of work: purchase
the material (books or pamphlets), obtain the images of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, invite the priest to enthrone the
images as well as the specific time. How many wives would be exultant with
overflowing joy seeing their husbands take the initiative to consecrate their
lives and family to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
The Husband is called
to be the Head and Leader of the family; if you like, he is called to be the
“Priest” of the family. This means that he is called to a deep prayer life that
he manifests in private prayer, but also in family prayer, still more, in
finding a time and place to pray with the treasure of his life his wife! How
true: “The family that prays together