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HAPPY MARRIAGE
5/15/2006 9:00:54 PM

Q: What's the difference between a Christian marriage and other ones?

Father Ryan: I would say that it is the horizon that the Christian faith gives to marriage — a horizon that help me understand the design of God the Creator when he instituted marriage.

The knowledge of this design tells us that we are created in the image of God, with the capacity of love. Faith also tells us that we have the grace of a sacrament to help us live our lives in love.

When marriage or families express all this in their prayer life, then they can feel its efficacy. It is shown that the practice of religion is an important factor in keeping families together and growing in plenitude.

Q: What's the meaning and the significance of the sacrament of marriage?

Father Ryan: When a man loves a woman he will surely feel that he is not capable by himself of giving that woman all he would like for her in terms of complete happiness. Then he asks God for help.

Then God says to him: How nice, you and I love that same woman; we must make an alliance, a pact, to love her together.

This is the sacrament: God joins his love to our love. In this way every husband and every wife can say to each other: "I love you, with my human love, with all the characteristics proper to a human and sexual love, but my love has been enriched by the love that God has for you."

Q: What's the will of God for married persons?

Father Ryan: I would like to summarize in the following way: To care for each other in the everyday things live, to make that person as happy as humanly possible, to raise a family, and to help each other and their children to strive for and reach the final destination of heaven.

Q: What can the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph tell a wife and husband?

Father Ryan: That life is made up of the small things but that these ordinary things can be lived in an extraordinary way.

Q: What would you advise young couples heading for a new form of life with each other?

Father Ryan: I would tell them to make sure that they begin their married life well. I believe in the saying that a good start is half the journey.

Therefore they must be aware that the wedding is only the beginning. From that moment onward they must build a new unity, gradually leaving behind many of the things to which they were accustomed.

They must be very sincere and tell one another what is happening in their hearts, especially if they perceive any clouds on the horizon. They should not be frightened if such clouds appear, because it is natural to find some difficulties on the way.

Finally, if any couple has a problem that they are not solving satisfactorily, then they should look for external help as early as possible.

Many a marriage could have been saved if they had looked for help in a timely fashion. To look for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of wisdom



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