Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
WORLD MARRIAGE SUNDAY
This is not a typical week for the Church or our parish as we enter the events of Lent and Easter. World Marriage Sunday is today, celebrating the unity of marriage and its basic unit for society; Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day occur together (14th ); Lent offers a setting and a means that can draw us closer to God by alerting us to the distractions that endanger bearing the good fruit but that assists us in what leads to everlasting life; For Valentine’s Day, a heart expresses the place where that love can reign that softens the needs of self and raises awareness of the others.
Friday evening (16th ) offers a program at St. Cecelia’s Church that gives one a chance to step away from the business of life and enter a quieter atmosphere to reflect on our faith that is a wellspring for focusing our values and prompting us to seek that life which is everlasting: at 6:00 PM – Adoration/Confession; at 6:30 PM – Mass; at 7:00 PM – Stations of the Cross; at 7:30 PM – “Jesus Revealed” – a presentation journey that opens for us many of the books of the Bible (Old and New Testament) which give insight into the features of the coming Messiah that are found to be accomplished and fulfilled in Christ. It is a four part series: 1) Christ’s earthly life 2) Then explores his divine nature 3) Next, Jesus relationship with the Church 4) And explores Jesus personal relationship with you.
A Valentine Story for World Marriage Sunday – (long before on-line dating)
In 1920 a man placed the following ad in a newspaper: “Middle-ranking civil servant, simple, Catholic, 43, immaculate past, from the country, is looking for a good Catholic , pure girl who can cook well, tackle all household chores, with a talent for sewing and homemaking with a view to marriage as soon as possible, fortune desirable but not a precondition.” A woman named Maria Peintner answered the ad. She was 36 years old, a trained cook and the illegitimate daughter of a baker. She did not have a fortune but even so they married four months later. In spite of somewhat advanced years they had three children: two boys and a girl. The youngest received the name of his father, Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI. (It is recently reported that he is mentally sharp but has difficulty walking and needs a walker.) When Benedict became Pope he was shown the “wife-wanted” ad. He smiled and knew that his parents gave a beautiful testimony to married life. In his first encyclical, entitled “God is Love,” he described marriage as the pre-eminent figure of God’s love for us.
A married couple’s guide to building a marriage (Kevin and Katie Kelley): 1. Love must continuously be renewed. 2. Move from “I understand” to “Help me understand” – remind yourself that if you think you already understand how someone feels or what they are trying to say, it is a delusion. 3. “With our attitude, with our witness, with our life, we say Jesus is risen!” (Pope Francis). 4. The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity…. to apologize and to accept an apology. 5. The family is not closed in on itself but grows like a cell that lives as much for others as for itself.
God Bless You,