A Catholic Marriage starts with the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony. The marriage usually takes place in a Catholic church among family, friends and parish community.
During a Catholic Wedding, the whole church community gathers to support and pray for the couple.
On our wedding day, I felt the presence of God. Yet I felt a mild fear. I did not know what lied ahead. I felt as though I was about to start an adventure, which had no turning back.
Our early years of marriage however, turned out to be a disaster. We had sicknesses, accidents, house, job problems etc causing pressure on our marriage.
The worst was that we were both acting immature. I expected a fairy-tale marriage with lots of romance. My husband was continuing life as in his bachelor years, watching his favourite sport programs on television.
It was hard adjusting and giving up our individual expectations. We wondered whether we had made the right decision as we were two totally different people. That is when we realised that we had to first rely on God’s help.
We had to remind ourselves of the promises we made on our wedding day – the vows we took in front of a whole church community and in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
We promised to be together in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love and honour each other all the days of our life.
Can we now break this covenant? “No”, because we remembered the Blessing given to us during the ‘Rite of Marriage’.
“You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide. Amen.”
Praying as a Couple
A Catholic marriage initially receives the blessings through the Sacrament of Marriage. We received the strength of God to keep going, when the going got tough.
Each day we made an effort to pray as a couple. Even during difficult times, we tried to put our differences aside and pray - asking God for guidance.
While I am writing this, we are twenty three years married and more in love now than ever before.
God’s blessings kept us together. Together with God’s love came the protection of the Holy Family. We relied on the prayers of Saint Joseph who is the protector of families.
Mary the Mother of God and our loving Mother, kept us in her loving care as she would protect her child and husband. This is the beauty of a Catholic Marriage – You can rely on God and his saints.
Challenges in our marriage came in all different forms, in all different styles and at various stages of life. Each challenge was a new one and we wondered whether there was an end. We soon realised that we did not have the power to handle most problems, but everything was possible with God.
When we receive Jesus through the Holy Eucharist we believe that the Holy Trinity is with us and that all power to forgive and overcome temptation is within us.
Forgiveness and Healing in Marriage
Although marriage is based on Love, those who are married know, that love is not always present. That is when we invite forgiveness and healing into our marriage.
Forgiveness and healing comes through prayer and frequent receiving of the sacraments - Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Jesus embraces us with love and gives us the grace to forgive. Jesus heals our wounds. The ability to receive Catholic Sacraments is another beauty of a Catholic Marriage.
Praying for your spouse everyday is another important thing in a Catholic marriage. Not only praying with them, but praying for them is important.
Specially if your spouse is struggling with temptation, or is in a sinful state, it is more important that you pray for your spouse. Although in such a state you might be hurting, yet, your prayers can be invaluable for the salvation of his or her soul. Saint Monica prayed for her husband right through her sufferings. She is a role model for married people.
The ability to pray as a family and celebrate Sunday mass as a family are additional joys in a Catholic marriage. In addition, you are able to guide your children in Catholic values and help others in the community.
Something important to remember is that in a Christian marriage there is always three people, You, your spouse and Jesus. If you keep Jesus in your marriage, you gain the wisdom and courage to handle any problem.
In conclusion, a couple that prays together is a couple that stays together. Prayer gives life into a Catholic Marriage.
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