The family is under violent attack!
The stability and the future of the society depend on the stability of the
family. God created man and woman to fall in love with each other, to cement
their love and union with the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and then the most
exalted gift of Holy Matrimony is the birth of the child.
Parents collaborate with God in
bringing forth new life; this we call PROCREATION. God indeed is the Creator and Lord of the
universe. However, He calls man and woman to be united in Matrimony to
collaborate with Him in bringing forth this new life. In the moment of
conception God Himself intervenes infusing an immortal soul in that new human
being that will live for all eternity. How sublime and noble is the Sacrament
of Holy Matrimony and the formation of the human family!
We would like to offer a few concrete
and concise suggestions so as to foster Holy Matrimony—between man and woman
until death do they part. We hope and pray that Traditional marriage and family
as ordained by God would receive renewed vigor and hope for the future of the
child, the society and the salvation of the world and large.
PREPARATION. Athletes prepare before entering into
performance. Future Doctors spend many years in preparation for their mission
of sustaining life and healing sicknesses. Future priests spend long years in
the Seminary studying Philosophy and Theology and Church discipline. Future
Olympians prepare years before the Olympic Games actually start. Should not
future married couples spend time and effort in studying the nature of
marriage, the family, possible obstacles in the path so as to live out to the
fullest extent possible their vocation of marriage? Parishes should provide for
their prospect couples three invaluable tools: 1) Marriage-mentoring couples to
give them spiritual and practical advice of how to live out marriage. 2) (NFP)
NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING. Couples should
learn seriously the method and technique of Natural Family Planning. One of the
principal reasons for tension in marriages, a dying of love and eventually
separations is the contraceptive mentality. A woman who is forced by her
husband to use contraceptives often feels used as an object and this causes
much tension and bitterness in her heart. Couples should definitely learn NFP—the
natural means to avoid children only if they have just and sufficient reason as
Blessed Paul VI reminds us in his encyclical Humanae Vitae. 3) ENGAGED COUPLES RETREAT. Making a weekend Engaged Couples Retreat can
prove exceedingly useful for future marriage and family. If this retreat is well-organized and
well-done, then the couples will be given the tools to live out their marriage
peacefully, faithfully, harmoniously and with abundant blessings upon their
GENERAL CONFESSION. Highly recommended for a couple shortly
before receiving the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is to make a General
Confession of the sins of one’s whole life.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola strongly exhorts those making the Spiritual
Exercises to make a General Confession of one’s whole life. Equally important
is that of a couple about to make the most important decision in their lives to
start with a clean slate by confessing all of their sins, purifying their
consciences, immersing themselves in God’s infinite mercy and experiencing the
peace that goes beyond all understanding. New beginnings and a new life can be
experienced by making a General Confession.
What a tragedy indeed it would be for a couple to receive the Sacrament
of Holy Matrimony in the state of mortal sin! Many marriages most likely
experience constant tensions due to the couple starting off on the wrong foot
by not being in the state of grace! The
Father of the Prodigal Son is always waiting for us with His arms opened!
CHRISTOCENTRIC COURTSHIP AND
MARRIAGE. Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen of happy memory was one of the
first tele-evangelists in the United States.
A great preacher and teacher he was; furthermore, Sheen was a prolific
and profound writer. One of his classics on marriage is titled “It takes three to get married.” Who are these three? Quite simply they are
the husband, the wife, and the third and most important is Jesus. Jesus is the
super-glue that holds all marriages together.
SACRED-HEART TRANSPLANT. Next, married couples should have frequent
recourse to the Sacraments, but especially the greatest of all of the
Sacraments—the Most Holy Eucharist. In
every Eucharist, consecrated Host, Jesus is truly present in His
totality---Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. In the Body the noblest organ is
the heart. Therefore, every time we receive Holy Communion we receive the most
Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a spiritual HEART-TRANSPLANT. There is no more
efficacious manner to fortify love between a married couple then to receive
Holy Communion together--- if at all possible, even on a daily basis! If done
both husband and wife can love each other with the love of the most Sacred
Heart of Jesus. How sublime but how true!
CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART
OF MARY. Man and woman that make the decision
to marry until death do they part and to be open to having children and bringing
them to heaven should invite Our Lady, Mary most Holy, the Mother of God, to be
constantly present with them! They should consecrate their purity and their courtship
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the day of the wedding they should present
the bouquet of roses before the image of Mary and consecrate their marriage and
family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Then during the whole course of their
married life they should make the firm decision to pray the most Holy Rosary to
the Blessed Virgin Mary every day of their family life. Saint Pope John Paul II
in his spiritual masterpiece “The Blessed
Virgin Mary and the Rosary” exhorted forcefully that the most Holy Rosary
be prayed especially for two intentions: 1) World Peace, 2) For the
Family. The famous “Rosary priest”
Father Patrick Peyton coined these immortal sayings: “The family that prays together stays
together…” and “A world at prayer is a world and peace.” In conclusion, let us
do all we can to foster matrimony and family. The future of the world passes
through the family. May the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph be our
guide and strength!