October 22, 2015

WHAT WE CANNOT DO ALONE, WE CAN DO TOGETHER!

[Ed note: I have received permission from the Universal Living Rosary Association and Fr. Ivan Kolodiy to reprint the portion of his commentary about marriage that was written for the October 2015 ULRA newsletter. It is a very timely reminder of our marital vows, marriage duty and of the Sacrament itself. Beautifully written, it is also a refreshing reminder that defends well the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony, when so many today seek its devaluation and destruction. 

Below the icon, Father concludes his commentary with an appeal to pray to Our Lady via the Small Paraklesis (Intercessory Prayer) to the Most Holy Theotokos, which "is chanted in times of distress and sorrow of soul." Father also encourages "...all of you who have sorrow in your life and difficult health issues, problems with your children and who need special protection, to flee to the arms of the Virgin Mary."

Please keep this holy priest of Byzantine Rite, Greek Catholic Church, in your prayers.]


WHAT WE CANNOT DO ALONE, WE CAN DO TOGETHER!

My dear married couples, you must remember that God has chosen you for the part you must play in your families and, since He has chosen you for this role, He will supply you with all the strength you need to do your job meritoriously and in a way that is pleasing to Him. You may count on His help to achieve happiness and holiness in the marriage you have legitimately contracted and from which you no longer can withdraw. All regrets as to what might have been had you not married, are idle and futile. The only thing that matters is that you make the most of your situation through good sense and the Grace of God. If you are not fully happy in your married life, it is not a sign that you were not destined for it. 

We are pilgrims in this life steering towards our Eternal Home and the more discomforts and annoyances we undergo, the less we should be disturbed by them. Blessed are they that fear the Lord! Worship God faithfully. Pray aloud as a family in the morning and evening, and before and after meals.The prayer need not be long, but it should be said regularly and constantly by the entire family. Abundant blessings will follow! The family Crucifix should be the most precious object and should form the most cherished and frequented shrine in the entire house. Before this Crucifix, the family pours out their grief and asks solace, courage and strength. In response to blessings, the family kneels before the Crucifix and speaks their appreciation and gratitude.

Other Sacraments are administered outside the Communion rail: Confession, Communion, Confirmation and Baptism. But, in Holy Matrimony, the Church throws open the gates to the sanctuary and introduces the candidates into the Holy of Holies, to the very spot where the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is offered. The bride and groom are to learn the greatest tragedy and the highest triumph of Love! Each one must die to himself and live for the other as Christ gave His Life for the Church. God appointed the husband as the leader of the family. The husband is the head of the wife. (Ephesians 5:22-24) Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church. Husbands, Love your wives. To the father of the family falls the obligation to organize religious life within the home. He should lead the family in prayer, and devote some time with his family to discuss Scripture thus bringing to them the spiritual food they need for union and strength. The special feasts of the Church should be celebrated in the home with hymns, festive meals and special prayers. Guard must be kept so that the family will remain chaste, moral and respectful of one another. The family is a domestic church. Following these principles, the household will have the greatest possibility of remaining faithful to Christ. 

Icon from the newsletter

"O our most blessed Queen, O Theotokos, our hope, guardian of orphans, intercessor for strangers, joy of the sorrowful, protectress of the wronged: thou seest our misfortune, thou seest our affliction; help us, for we are infirm; feed us for we are strangers. Thou knowest our offence: absolve it as thou wilt, for we have no other help beside Thee, no other intercessor, nor good consoler, except thee, O Mother of God. Do thou preserve and protect us unto the Ages of Ages."





Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved