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The Timelessness of Truth, Part 3 of 3

February 8, 2011

Over the next three weeks, I’ll be turning This Pilgrim’s Progress over to my grandparents, Linc and Jane. While preparing my grandmother for an upcoming move, my aunts uncovered the notes to a marriage talk given by my grandparents at some unknown date. Knowing that I have a passion for marriage and the desire to help others realize the fullness of God’s plan in the sacrament, they were kind enough to pass the notes on to me. I, in turn, have decided to pass them along to the audience of This Pilgrim’s Progress. The ideas herein are not revolutionary, but they are timeless and, at times, prophetic. I point to them as a reminder that, while the world around us changes, the essential truth of men and women and the mystery of marriage remains unchanged.

[Linc]
Up to this time, we have placed primary emphasis upon various aspects of understanding the nature of the husband and wife and the role of they play in the family. In addition, we must cultivate virtues to achieve a union of our minds and our wills.

One of the hardest things for most of us men to do is to stop being self-centered. Yet, to achieve a successful marriage we must do just that. We must subordinate our individual desires. We also must share our hopes, our dreams and our fears with our wives. And we must communicate and talk out our problems and achievements.

We also must be alert and sensitive to the moods of our partner. Ideally, we should strive to regain the affectionate relationship of our courtship days.

Consideration is the key to a happy marriage. We should avoid petty arguments and sarcastic remarks. We must learn to compromise and to meet our partner half way.

Our business interests and our work must be secondary to the happiness of our partner. Granted, this is easier said than done. I am sure that each of us, upon occasion, spends a weekend or an evening at the office, much to the chagrin of our wives and our family. At any rate, we should avoid becoming unduly involved in work and outside interests so that we have time for our wives and children. Similarly, the wife also has a great responsibility not to fill her life with too many activities or social obligations that take her away from the family for too great a time.

We should strive to spend our leisure hours together and to share in the same recreation. That is not to say, of course, that we can’t have some separate interests, and we should encourage wives to spend an evening out playing cards with friends. Men too, should be encouraged to spend an afternoon at the golf course or an evening at the bowling alley.

Despite the many activities and obligations, however, the husband and wife must devote themselves to the primary concern raising their children. While wives tend to take a primary role in caring for children, husbands should cultivate interest in their children from an early age. It is too late for the husband to be a pal when the child is in his teens. By sharing children and enjoying them, it will bring the husband and wife much closer together. If we fail to share them, it will open a rift between the husband and the wife.

I close by emphasizing the importance of families making time to attend Mass together and its impact on marriage. The Mass is a supreme act of worship, sacrifice and love. The husband and the wife should join each other in a special way in the sacrifice of the Mass. As the family is united in love, they become even more profoundly one by uniting themselves to Christ and His Mystical Body. Through attendance and involvement in the Mass, the husband and wife dedicate their whole way of life, and every action of the marriage state to God at the offertory. From the Mass, we take Christ with us into our work and our play, cultivating our love of God and our love of our marriage partner.

Marriage is a Sacrament of Unity. It creates a continuing state. Every act which we undertake with the proper attitude becomes a part of the sacrament, and a source of grace.

The Sacrament of Marriage is a wonderful source of strength. It will help us to meet the daily challenges of married life, and it will bring us closer together in a holy and happy alliance.

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