As Catholic couples, we are so blessed that, because of the knowledge that we have of the sacredness of the bond of Holy Matrimony, once united, there is no turning back.
When we, as that old song says “lost that lovin’ feeling” we hang on. We work through our problems, we go through the stages, the ups and downs, the valleys and mountains together. As Father Fulgence Meyer says, our love grows ever stronger and deeper and, like the wedding of Cana, Our Lord saves the best wine for last….if we follow His path to true matrimonial love.
From Plain Talks on Marriage by Rev. Fulgence Meyer, O.F.M., 1927
And why is holy marriage celebrated in connection with the Holy Sacrifice which, as we know, is the re-presentation of our Lord’s death on the cross?
For this significant reason, that our Lord’s death on Calvary was at the same time the greatest tragedy and the highest triumph of love.
From it the candidates are to learn, the very moment of their marriage, that their life, too, will be one of great and at times tremendous sacrifices, which for their virtuous endurance will draw on all the resources of their love, and that by this very endurance their mutual love will best show it’s genuinity and celebrate its finest triumphs.
For true love reaches its zenith not in the sweet exchange of vows and professions of love, nor of mutual caresses and endearments: but in the cheerful sufferance of labors and hardships, and in the glad submission to sacrifices and retrenchments for the sake of the beloved one.
The sooner the candidates of matrimony know this, the more they realize and the deeper they are imbued with this, the correct view of true love, the less disappointed and disillusioned they will likely be later on, and the more happy and blessed will be there married life.
Holy matrimony is singular also for the fact, that the parties to it are at the same time the ministers of it. The officiating priest is not the minister of the Sacrament, but only the official witness of the Church to its administration. The groom and bride administer it mutually to one another and to themselves at the same time by the marriage consent.
This reflection is also apt to give them a very high conception of the sacred contract they are entering into.
Jesus at a Wedding
Our Lord wrought his first public miracle at a wedding. He did this not by mere chance but designedly.
To save a young married couple from worry and embarrassment He changed water into wine; and the wine He provided was by far sweeter than the first wine they had had.
Thereby our Savior indicated, that He desired to be invited to every wedding of His followers; in other words, He wanted them to be married according to the laws of His Church, and in the state of sanctifying grace; and that upon their invitation He would be present not as an idle or uninterested spectator, but as the sponsor and guarantor of their marital happiness; so that in case the wine of their conjugal love would ever threaten to give out, or was actually exhausted, He could be counted on, provided they call on Him, to supply them with new love, which would often prove to be sweeter, stronger and more lasting than the first.
Many couples, whose union suffered reverses in the first years of their married life, have experienced this to their consolation and happiness.
And if there are among my readers men or women, whose married life is devoid of love and everything that approaches love, let them call with confidence upon the Lord for redress, and arrange with their mates to let bygones be bygones, to begin their married life anew in God, and with His help to render it a perpetual and blissful honeymoon.
The second wine at Cana was sweeter than the first, and it did not give out, but lasted to the very end of the feast.
The Lord is good to those who love Him. And a trustful prayer to Mary will induce her to repeat her wondrous intercessory feat of Cana in your and your spouse’s favor.
“The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.”
― St. Francis de Sales
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Timeless words from the pen of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen inspire the heart and imagination as readers embark on a Lenten journey toward a better understanding of their spiritual selves. Covering the traditional themes of Lent–sin and salvation, death and Resurrection, sorrow and hope, ashes and lilies–these 50 passages and accompanying mini-prayers offer readers a practical spiritual program as a retreat from the cares and concerns of a secular world view.
If you enjoyed learning about holiday traditions in The Christmas Book, you are sure to love its sequel, The Easter Book. Father Weiser has here applied his winning formula to an explanation of the fasts and feasts of the Lenten and Easter seasons with equally fascinating results.
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