Most of us are looking for spiritual reading suggestions that will serve us well during the Lenten season. Of course, there are the tried and true recommendations – Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux, Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and others are amazing choices, and can certainly be read over and over again. But if you’re looking for something a little different this year, I have just the thing.
The Holy Family is the ideal to which all other families should subscribe, if they hope to find joy and fulfillment in this life.
Watch what you read. When it comes to sacred topics – particularly marriage – you may want to seek answers from among the great annals of wisdom available within the Church. For only in union with Christ can marriage achieve its true fulfillment.
Do you watch all the ads with the lovey dovey smiles and the flirtatious eyes, and try to remember what that felt like? Do you recall the giddiness of being young fresh and so in love that even folding socks together was fun?
In marriage, those small blessings we can offer our spouse tend to go a long way. Paula Zwenger captures their beauty in her poem, “This Man of Mine”
We learn through work that patience matters. That, eventually, given great effort day after day, year after year, we’ll see results. Through our experience in work, we can deduce that that progress in the spiritual life is slow, but that it will pay off. We learn that we don’t necessarily have to see the big picture in order to know it’s there.
Most of us were born into an unholy family. Actually, that family – unholy as it may be – is the best way for each of us to make our way in this world, the greatest vehicle known to man for our sanctification.
You’ve been dreaming of this day for so long, and now it’s only a heartbeat away. No doubt at least one of you has spent countless hours working out every microscopic detail to ensure that your amazing day is everything you’ve imagined it to be. But while all the particulars have their place, your special day will be gone in the blink of an eye. After that, you will stand hand in hand, looking down the winding road that is your future, ready to travel every step of the way together. “If true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this vale of tears.”
They say that visual images can become powerful conduits of change. Maybe a few great movies can set the stage. Rev us up. Inspire our wills to engage in something greater than ourselves. And if not, well, at least we’ll have enjoyed two hours of great entertainment!
As Christians, we are called to
be Christ to the world. Where is that calling more important than at the center of our own world, in our own home, with the person closest to us?