Spiritual Reflection 2/14/21

The Secret of a Loving Marriage and Family

Marriage and family life are a blessing and a gift from God. In the fulfillment of this Sacrament, the marriage of a Christian man and woman is a sign of the marriage between Christ and the Church. While marriage is a special blessing for Christians because of the grace of Christ, marriage is also a natural blessing and gift for everyone in all times and cultures. It is a source of blessing to the couple, to their families, and to society and includes the wondrous gift of co-creating human life. Marriage brings much happiness and many joys, but every couple eventually must deal with problems in the home, as there is no perfect marriage and family. Problems like finances, communication, and conflict resolution are all important to work through to cultivate strong, loving relationships. There is a secret to totally resolving these and other difficulties that even the best resources of marriage counselors cannot help you with.

Do you want to know the secret for building the type of marriage and family relationships you desire? The secret is this: If you want to experience marriage and family the way it was designed to be, you need a vital relationship with the God who created you and offers you the power to live a life of joy and purpose. Jesus Christ said: “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” And Psalm 16:11 tells us that in God’s presence is “fullness of joy.” God gives us a biblical plan for making family relationships work and then He gives us the power to follow that plan through a relationship with Him.

To establish a relationship with God, both spouses and their children must admit that they are sinners and seek His forgiveness and peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They should also thank the Lord Jesus for dying on the cross to obtain forgiveness of sins and ask Him to make them the kind of persons He wishes them to be. Parents must assist their children in realizing God’s tremendous love for them and be dedicated to their Faith Formation and preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation and Healing. Until COVID-19 is under control, weekly, virtual Mass attendance accompanied by a fervent Spiritual Communion are acceptable. Post COVID-19, faithful attendance at Sunday Mass with the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ, along with occasional reception of the Sacrament of Penance must be faithfully observed, to deepen one’s relationship with the Lord.

Only when we give God total control of our lives and allow ourselves to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, are we equipped to maintain a vital relationship with the Lord. Fervent prayer and frequent reception of the Sacraments will enable spouses and children to live by the Spirit. When all family members trust the Lord with every detail of their lives, the Holy Spirit will gradually increase the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that dwells within each one. Embracing and living out the secret of establishing a vital relationship with our God by each member will truly revolutionize your marriage and family life. With God in charge, life becomes an amazing adventure!

May God love and bless you!
Sr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, IHM