Wednesday May 23rd 2018

A WORD FROM YOUR PARISH PRIEST January 21st, 2018

We are already back into the full swing of things with the schools open again, and life getting back to normal after the Christmas season. Already this year we have lost some good and beloved parishioners, who have gone home to God. Each death of a parishioner brings sorrow to me, but I also know the joys of baptisms and weddings. Such is the rhythm of life. I would like today to reflect a little on the gift of married love. Despite the difficulties faced in any marriage, our parish is sustained by so many loving married couples and their families. Marriage is always built around faith, hope and love. It is Jesus who sustains all human love. As I do so frequently, I would like to offer you some words from Pope Francis on the gift of married love. This is not because I am being lazy, but because his teaching is always grounded in a deep spirituality. Here are some of his reflections on the married life:

Make Time For One Another, Even If You’re Busy

“Love needs time and space; everything else is secondary. Time is needed to talk things over, to embrace leisurely, to share plans, to listen to one other and gaze in each other’s eyes, to appreciate one another and to build a stronger relationship. Sometimes the frenetic pace of our society and the pressures of the workplace create problems. At other times, the problem is the lack of quality time together, sharing the same room without one even noticing the other.”

Sometimes, Just Listen

“Instead of offering an opinion or advice, we need to be sure that we have heard everything the other person has to say. … Often the other spouse does not need a solution to his or her problems, but simply to be heard, to feel that someone has acknowledged their pain, their disappointment, their fear, their anger, their hopes and their dreams.”

Accept Your Partner’s Shortcomings

“It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be. Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like.”

Be Generous With Their Imperfections

“We have to realize that all of us are a complex mixture of light and shadows. The other person is much more than the sum of the little things that annoy me. Love does not have to be perfect for us to value it. The other person loves me as best they can, with all their limits, but the fact that love is imperfect does not mean that it is untrue or unreal.”

Never Go To Bed Angry: Hugs Can Help

“My advice is never to let the day end without making peace in the family. And how am I going to make peace? By getting down on my knees? No! Just by a small gesture, a little something, and harmony within your family will be restored. Just a little caress, no words are necessary.”

Try To Find Your Partner Beautiful And Lovable … Even When They Make It Hard

“Loving another person involves the joy of contemplating and appreciating their innate beauty and sacredness, which is greater than my needs. This enables me to seek their good even when they cannot belong to me, or when they are no longer physically appealing but intrusive and annoying.”

Don’t Hold Grudges

“Irritableness or resentment is a violent reaction within, a hidden irritation that sets us on edge where others are concerned, as if they were troublesome or threatening and thus to be avoided. To nurture such interior hostility helps no one. It only causes hurt and alienation.”

Trust Is Key

“This goes beyond simply presuming that the other is not lying or cheating. … It means we do not have to control the other person, to follow their every step lest they escape our grip. Love trusts, it sets free, it does not try to control, possess and dominate everything. This freedom, which fosters independence, an openness to the world around us and to new experiences, can only enrich and expand relationships.”

Remember: Love Takes Work

“It is not helpful to dream of an idyllic and perfect love needing no stimulus to grow. A celestial notion of earthly love forgets that the best is yet to come, that fine wine matures with age. … It is much healthier to be realistic about our limits, defects and imperfections, and to respond to the call to grow together, to bring love to maturity and to strengthen the union, come what may.”

We ask God’s blessings on all our married couples and their families throughout this coming year.

Fr Gerard, CSsR

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