Be United Through the Cross of Christ

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 12 May 2017 - 00:31:13 | by admin

Angie's parents have just rediscovered and sent us over a copy of this picture from Ireland.

It features Angie and I when we first became engaged to be married, and travelled with her parents to pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, in 2001.

As you can see, we were a tad younger and slimmer in those days!

By God's grace, we were able to build up our friendship, faith and love, during the time of our courtship, by going regularly together to Confession and Holy Mass; as well as praying together during our regular ''dates''.

In the age in which we are all living through, we would say that such practices - together with the willed decision to cooperate together with Christ in living a chaste courtship and marriage - are more essential then they ever were before. Pre-marriage and post-marriage catechesis urgently needs to express this to help couples and families stay together in these times. 

When we got married in 2002, someone gave us a blessed Crucifix and this became the focus of prayer in our home.

When we had our first real row (!) about a week after our honeymoon, we went to different parts of the new home to stew things over. As you do! About half an hour later, we each went independently to the foot of the cross to pray and ask for God's forgiveness. That is where we found each other again; at the foot of Christ's Cross. It was an important lesson for us both. 

As the years have progressed until the present, we have found it beneficial to also renew our baptism and wedding vows to Jesus and to each other at breakfast time. On the days when we omit this daily practice, over the porridge, tea and toast each day, things never seem quite right!

In recent years, praying the daily Rosary together each evening with a lit candle and the cross has also become very important to us.

I say all this not to boast, because, actually, these are the bare minimum things that Catholic families need to do in all times. Rather, I share these things because, in an age when Holy Matrimony is under such grave attack from outside - and even more tragically even from inside the Church - seeing this picture from Ireland has again reminded us of just how essential it really is to keep the Cross of Christ at the very centre of one's life and marriage.

This must be done through going regularly together to Confession and Holy Mass; and by praying the Rosary together as a couple, and with any children that God chooses to bless marriages and families with.

Sometimes in marriage one becomes the cross of one's spouse; and vice versa.

By contemplating the Cross together on a daily basis, couples can be reminded of the example that Jesus gives us, to show that all true love is self-sacrificial for the temporal and eternal wellbeing of the beloved. As couples and their children grow and (hopefully!) mature together, and joys, victories, sicknesses, sufferings and trials come and go, the spouses can find example, strength and grace for living in true love together, from the Crucified Christ. This is true, of course, because with Jesus, the Cross always leads to the Resurrection.

For those whose marriages have been broken by various circumstances and tragedies, or whose spouse has died or lost their memory, the Cross remains as an essential solace and source of strength.

We pray that all Catholic families will make the blessed Cross of Christ the centre of their hearts, marriages and homes.

Please pray for all married couples, and for those whose marriages have become broken, to draw fresh grace and strength from the victorious Cross of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

May the Holy Family - Pray for us all in these times!