Spiritual Retreats for Married Couples

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New Saint Thomas Institute - for your theological formation

Posted by marriageretreats on March 23, 2017 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (4)

The New Saint Thomas Insitute is an initiative of Dr. Taylor Marshall, a dynamic teacher of philosophy and theology.  The site helps in learning Catholic Theology, from the Trinity to the Sacraments, and offers an opportunity to earn Certificates in Theology. The presenter/author of the online Catholic classes is Dr Taylor Marshall, PH.D.

Dr. Taylor Marshall was an Episcopal priest in Fort Worth, Texas before he and his wife were received into the Catholic Church by Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth on May 23, 2006. Immediately afterward, Taylor was appointed by Bishop Kevin Farrel (then auxiliary of Washington D.C.) as the Assistant Director of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. He served under Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark and Msgr. William Stetson for the Pastoral Provision of John Paul II, the canonical structure by which Anglican clergy are received into the Catholic Church and then go on to pursue Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. After a period of discernment he felt to be called to be a married lay man.  He is the author of several books. He earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Dallas. The title of his dissertation is "Thomas Aquinas on Natural Law and the Twofold Beatitude of Humanity."

Taylor and his wife Joy live in Dallas, Texas with their eight and counting... children.

His personal site is :  http://taylormarshall.com/ 

Balthasar on Marriage

Posted by marriageretreats on April 23, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Balthasar interprets marriage as a life-giving form [Gestalt]:

"What could be stronger than marriage, or what shapes any

particular life-form more profoundly than does marriage? . . . When they make their promises,

the spouses are not relying on themselves—the shifting songs of their own freedom—

but rather on the form that chooses them because they have chosen it, the form to which

they have committed themselves in their act as persons. As persons, the spouses entrust

themselves not only to the beloved ‘‘thou’’ and to the biological laws of fertility and family;

they entrust themselves foremost to a form with which they can wholly identify themselves

even in the deepest aspects of their personality because this form extends through all the

levels of life—from its biological roots up to the very heights of grace and life in the Holy

Spirit. And now, suddenly, all fruitfulness, all freedom is discovered within the form itself,

and the life of a married person can henceforth be understood only in terms of this interior

mystery"

The Glory of the Lord, Vol. 1, Seeing the Form, p 27.

US couple testifies about the vocation of marriage to Synod of Bishops

Posted by marriageretreats on October 7, 2014 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The following news from the Catholic News Service made us happy.

The US couple chosen for introduce the work of the synod called for the clear understanding of marriage as vocation in the Church! Marriage as an ecclesial vocation still is not at all present in the usual parish understanding when speaking of and praying for "vocations" (always restricted to priestly and religious vocations). Here is the newsbrief from today:

U.S. couple at synod calls for 'robust, creative' family programs

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Existing diocesan programs and Catholic organizations aimed at helping Catholic families fulfill their vocation clearly are not strong enough to meet modern needs, a Wisconsin couple told the Synod of Bishops. "We must develop more robust and creative methods to share the fundamental truth that marriage is a divine gift from God, rather than merely a man-made institution," Alice Heinzen told the synod Oct. 7, reading a speech she and her husband, Jeff, wrote. The Heinzens, from the Diocese of La Crosse, were named synod auditors by Pope Francis and were chosen to introduce the work of the synod's afternoon discussion on pastoral programs designed to meet the challenges facing families. Alice is director of the diocesan Office for Marriage and Family Life; Jeff is president of McDonell Catholic Schools in Chippewa Falls. The Catholic Church, its parishes and organization need to review "the methods by which we teach our children about the nature of human sexuality and the vocation of marriage," Heinzen said. In addition, when Catholics talk about vocations and God's call to each of the baptized to serve the church and humanity, they cannot speak only of priesthood and religious life. "Marriage should be included in all programs designed to explore vocations."

Source: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/briefs/cns/20141007.htm

 

 

The married couple is the image of God

Posted by marriageretreats on April 11, 2014 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

This was the theme of the General Audience of Pope Francis on April 2, 2014.

The Holy Father very clearly stated what is the Catholic view on the dignity of human marriage and on the vocation of Matrimony. Since the profound cathechesis on human love and marriage of John Paul II this teaching was always very much in the heart of the Magisterium of the Church - but unfortunately did not become lived in the spirituality of ordinary parish life - at least not in most places.

It is wonderful that Pope Francis took up this theme for his cathecheses and stated the truth in a simple and clear way for all who listens to it: "This Sacrament leads us to the heart of God’s design, which is a plan for a Covenant with his people, with us all, a plan for communion."

Human marriage reveals God's plan about humanity to mirror God's life: "The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together. This is the image of God: love, God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman."

The Holy Father joins St Paul, who "emphasizes that a great mystery is reflected in Christian spouses: the relationship established by Christ with the Church, a nuptial relationship (cf. Eph 5:21-33). The Church is the bride of Christ. This is their relationship. This means that Matrimony responds to a specific vocation and must be considered as a consecration (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 48: Familiaris Consortio, n. 56). It is a consecration: the man and woman are consecrated in their love. The spouses, in fact, in virtue of the Sacrament, are invested with a true and proper mission, so that starting with the simple ordinary things of life they may make visible the love with which Christ loves His Church, by continuing to give his life for her in fidelity and service."

Yes, married life is consecrated life along with that of the religious brothers and sisters living the vocation of virginity!  So, when in your parish they pray for vocations, try to add, ask to be inserted a prayer for vocations for holy Matrimony, becuse the Church and the world needs the presence of couples consecrated in their love, living the vocation of marriage, maybe more than ever..

Speaking of the fragility of human condition in keeping this wonderful bond of conjugal love alive amid numerous difficulties, the Holy Father gave the advice never to miss to have a gesture of reconciliation before the end of day, whatever was the cause of quarrel.

He later added:  "They are three words that must always be said, three words that must be in the home: please, thank you, sorry [permesso, grazie, scusa] — three magical words. Please, so as not to be invasive in the life of the spouse. Please, but what does this seem to you? Please, allow me. Thank you: to thank one’s spouse: thank you for what you did for me, thank you for this. The beauty of rendering thanks!"

Please, read the entire text of this Audience on marriage here

 or watch it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DShLGm-AQSs&feature=share&list=UU7E-LYc1wivk33iyt5bR5zQ&index=15

A good help for personal prayer

Posted by marriageretreats on August 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

We have found a very good little booklet by Ralph Martin, entitled How Can I Pray?.

We recommend this short writing that is very practical treatment of the issues that arise when one wants to have a personal prayer life, or for a couple who desries to insert some prayertime in their daily rythm of life.

 Written in direct and understandable way, with Scriptural quotations it can be used by anyone. We mostly recommend to read it at the beginning of a spiritual retreat or exercises in daily life.

The booklet is out of print but you can read on the web site above or download as a Word file from here.

Joachim and Anne - first married couple canonized

Posted by marriageretreats on July 26, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Saint Joachim and Anne are celebrated as models of grandparents, since they are the parents of Mary, Mother of Jesus. We want now to honor them as the first canonized married couple, and so examples of holy married life and ask their intercession for vocations of holy matrimony. All the more since there is great need for couples who live a life of service and love in mutual selfgiving and prayer that sanctifies our world and renders holy the ordinariness of everyday life.

We know very few facts about the life of Joachim and Anne, the only recorded stories being from apocryphal literature, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Protoevangelium of James.

"The Protoevangelium gives the following account: In Nazareth there lived a rich and pious couple, Joachim and Hannah. They were childless. When on a feast day Joachim presented himself to offer sacrifice in the temple, he was repulsed by a certain Ruben, under the pretext that men without offspring were unworthy to be admitted. Whereupon Joachim, bowed down with grief, did not return home, but went into the mountains to make his plaint to God in solitude. Also Hannah, having learned the reason of the prolonged absence of her husband, cried to the Lord to take away from her the curse of sterility, promising to dedicate her child to the service of God. Their prayers were heard; an angel came to Hannah and said: "Hannah, the Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world". The angel made the same promise to Joachim, who returned to his wife. Hannah gave birth to a daughter whom she called Miriam (Mary)." (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01538a.htm)

Joachim and anne are usually presented in icons at the moment of their meeting at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem in a loving embrace, described in the Protoevangelium:

"And, behold, Joachim came with his flocks; and Anna stood by the gate, and saw Joachim coming, and she ran and hung upon his neck, saying: Now I know that the Lord God hath blessed me exceedingly; for, behold the widow no longer a widow, and I the childless shall conceive. And Joachim rested the first day in his house."  ( http://www.aug.edu/augusta/iconography/protevangelium.htm)

(The name of the icon above is "The Conception of the Theotokos" - Theotokos is the Greek titile of Mary as Mother of God, and it is depicting the encounter of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate)

This is also the third year of this blog that began under the patronage of Joachim and Anne.

New, revised edition of our Manual

Posted by marriageretreats on July 10, 2010 at 5:16 PM Comments comments (0)

We announce that the new, revised edition of our book is available – for a new, lower price (and for now, it is eligible for FREE Summer Shipping from Lulu.com).

It has also a new title:

 

“Spiritual Exercises for Married Couples: Finding Our Way Together: a Retreat for Companions”.

 

Here is the link to the book:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/spiritual-exercises-for-married-couples-finding-our-way-together-a-retreat-for-companions/11720017?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1  

 

Or, you can get to it by visiting our “Store front”:

 

 http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=587013

 

 

 

Faith and Reason

Posted by marriageretreats on September 15, 2009 at 5:51 PM Comments comments (0)

Here is our old Blog Faith and Reason - now in archived format because Geocities canceled the blog service in last July. Still, you can access some of the postings for reading and find some interesting ones. If so, comment here about it.

Have a good browsing time!



The wrong issue to pursue

Posted by marriageretreats on August 20, 2009 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (1)

 

The question of federal funding of abortion is the wrong issue taken up by pro-life activists and it is the wrong issue to pursue.

The very crowd that wants to drive people into the private insurance companies' hands are driving them into private insurance policies that do cover abortion. An abortion cost $300, giving birth costs $3,000. Which procedure would the insurance companies prefer to pay for? And the costs of medical care for the woman and child post birth can cost tens of thousands of dollars over the next few years.

Why all the worry about subsidies funding abortion when nearly all citizens that pay insurance companies for insurance fund abortions! That includes Catholic Orders, Catholic institutions, Catholic business men, and Catholics who work for health insurance companies. The federal funding abortion question seems to me to be mainly an obstruction to divert people into the private funding of abortion and its huge profit potentials!

While there is a hope that the administration sincerely wants to reduce the number of abortions - and doctors of the public health care might advice pregnant mothers about the possibilities to get help to raise their child, private insurers by the very nature of their enterprise are driven with the intention to make their bottom line better, that is to increase the profits and to decrease the expenses - the money which is paid for care - so they are motivated much more to fund abortions that are 100 times less expensive then births (not to speak about the health cost of raising a child).