Spiritual Retreats for Married Couples

Blog and Prayer Requests

New Book on the Foundations of the Catholic Church

Posted by marriageretreats on May 1, 2018 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The Foundation of Catholic Christianity - The First 400 Years

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CRG5824/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1525129814&sr=1-4&keywords=john+stangle

This new booklet of John gives exactly what the title says: a short historical-theological presentation of the beginnings of the Church in a very engaging and enjoyable style

New Saint Thomas Institute - for your theological formation

Posted by marriageretreats on March 23, 2017 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

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/ 

Atonement

Posted by marriageretreats on February 16, 2015 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

For a Lenten reading and meditation on the saving work of Christ there is a short collection of New Testament references on our page "Writings and programs" under the heading "Spiritual Healing": Atonement in the New Testament - the five aspects of it according Hans Urs von Balthasar

 

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

 

 

New Book about the Ministry of Hospital Chaplains

Posted by marriageretreats on September 1, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This new book of John is published on the adventures of a lifetime of ministry as Hospital Chaplain - offering a rare view into the world of Hospital care:

Chaplain Vignettes - Expect the Unexpected

 

Prayer for Peace

Posted by marriageretreats on May 28, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you." (Jn 16:23)

"Shalom! Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you" (Jn 14:27)

There are wars and dangers of new wars in the world. Witnessing all suffering and atrocities that our world is so full of, all Christians need to ask the Father for the precious gift of peace, lasting peace and good will for the entire world.

Encouraged by the words of Jesus in John's gospel, we can confidently ask for end of wars and for a new era of peace for all peoples.

 

Jesus promised that common prayer will have the efficacy of his own prayer to the Father:

"I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the

midst of them.”(Mt 18:19-20)

The Holy Spirit makes us one people and creates the presence of Jesus where two or three are gathered together in his name - we ask you to join us in prayer for peace in preparation for this Pentecost!

Pray a novena for peace - nine days of prayer beginning from May 31 to June 8, Pentecost - in the form you can do it: daily pray the Rosary to Mary Queen of Peace, or any other prayer you feel inspired. But pray with faith and insistence in communion with all who desire peace, and the Father will answer our prayers:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?

If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him." (Mt 7:7-11)

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

It is time to speak of God

Posted by marriageretreats on December 15, 2012 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (1)

A quote from one of Cardinal Walter Kasper's lectures, which I think is very inspiring in the present cultural-spiritual climate:

"It is time to speak of God, to testify and to think about God. If theology wishes to gain a hearing amidst the contemporary pluralist Babel of voices and opinions, it must firstly and above all know what it is. It can only have relevance if it steadfastly maintains its own identity, that is, as speaking of God in a distinctive and at the same time in an engaging manner. If it does not do so, theology and the Church will be relegated to the role of ethical or moral institutions which in the end no-one wants to listen to. If on the other hand it speaks in a new and fresh way of the living God who is love, then it will render a service to life, freedom, justice, solidarity and love, then it can serve the dignity of humanity and the truth of reality, and open up perspectives of hope in all the aporia of the present. " 

Read the text of the entire lecture entitled  "The Timeliness of Speaking of God -Freedom and Communion as Basic Concepts of Theology" (March 2, 2010)  or watch its video on the following web site : http://www.aquinas.emory.edu/kasper.html

Especially important what he says about the theology of the Trinity, of the 'God of Jesus Christ'.

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.

Edith Stein

Posted by marriageretreats on July 25, 2012 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I just finished Edith Stein – Self Portrait In Letters 1916-1942. (ICS Publications; Institute of Carmelite Studies Vol. V; The Collected Works of Edith Stein). I believe her letters can be very helpful, inspiring, and thought-provoking to members of NACC and all who minister as chaplains.

Edith Stein (Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) was born in 1891 in Germany. She was an intellectual leader and radical feminist in the women’s rights movement in Europe and was a philosopher par excellent. These letters, written before and after she converted from Jewish atheist to Roman Catholic reveal her greatness of intellect, her practical knowledge, and her vast relationships and communications with the important thinkers of her era.

What is of perhaps of greatest interest and usefulness to hospital chaplains would be her method of spiritual direction and counseling. What I find so important in her method, beside her very practical advice, is her continual emphasis of instilling a trust in God and in God’s Providence no matter how events turn out. And, even more, her revealing of her own desire that God’s will be done as being her will. Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta) lived her desire even as she was taken from her Carmelite monastery by the Nazis and gassed at Auschwitz for being a Jewish woman.

On a practical side, being short notes and letters the book can be easily set down and picked up again without losing continuity, surely a helpful thing for hospital chaplains. There is much more to be gleaned from the book than described above but this will depend on the individual interests and tastes of the reader.