“Marriage is to help married people sanctify themselves and others. For this reason they receive a special grace in the sacrament which Jesus Christ instituted. Those who are called to the married state will, with the grace of God, find within their state everything they need to be holy”
-Saint Josemaria Escriva
This weekend, my family and I are attending our fourth wedding of the year! Seems like every time I turn around I’m at a bridal shower, wedding, or a baby shower! It’s that time of life, I am told 🙂
The super-cool thing? This makes the fourth wedding this year of awesome Catholic couples we know beginning their journey towards Heaven together! (In fact, this weekend’s groom-to-be actually used the line, ‘”seek heaven with me’” in his proposal. Seriously. Awesome Catholic couple land is where I live.)
So Tyler and I began a little tradition this year of praying a novena for each of the couples’ weddings we’re attending beginning nine days before their big day.
We’ve been using Saint Josemaria Escriva’s “Novena for the Family” (and we’ve about memorized it by now!)
What I love about this novena is that it has short reflections for each day on the vocation of marriage and the family. In typical Saint Josemaria fashion, the reflections are succinct, but oh-so practical and rich.
I’ve said it before, but our culture is getting further and further away from understanding what marriage actually is supposed to be. It’s a party. It’s a way to celebrate your love. A way to make it “official” (whatever that’s supposed to mean). If the part of the vows that promises a lifelong union are even recited, they’re not taken seriously a few years down the road when things get tough.
But I truly believe that a Christian marriage—a truly Christian marriage at which Christ is the center, Heaven is the goal, and both spouses know and live this out—is one of the most powerful witnesses to the love of God that our culture is so thirsting for.
That’s why I’m excited about these new families, and it’s why I pray so earnestly for them. As Pope Francis says:
A family enlightened by the Gospel provides a school for Christian living! There one learns faithfulness, patience and sacrifice.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) May 10, 2014
No matter what our vocation is, we all belong to a family. So pray for families! Pray specifically for YOUR family! Know that I am praying for you, too.