The attack on marriage is really an attack on the human person, and his dignity, for the devil seeks to pervert our true purpose, to pervert God's holy design. For many of us, we cannot march in protests or write dozens of letters or call numerous times to urge legislators to vote for the Truth. But one thing we can all do is pray and fast. We have designated one day each week to fast for these intentions:

1. That marriage may be preserved, promoted, and understood as God's plan for creation.

2. For all marriages that they may reflect the love of the Trinity.

3. For broken marriages that Christ bring healing and conversion to the spouses' souls.

4. For those who are married, for the sanctification of their marriage and their spouse. For those who are single, for their future spouse and vocation.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 5 Fast


"Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
 A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace."
(Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
There lies a great difficulty in retaining one's former fervor when he begins to live out his vocation.  He recalls a time when no task was too great to be performed for his beloved.  New found excitement squelched fatigue and eagerness to please trumped any selfish thoughts that may have arisen.

Unfortunately the physical and mental tolls of each day threaten to dampen one's zeal quickly once the courtship has ended.  The realities of married or parish or community life soon set in, and the beloved is lost among the jungle of endless duties.  One continuously gives to others all day, feeling quite exhausted as a result.  The words of St. Paul ring a familiar tune: "For I am already being poured out like a libation. . . " (2 Tim 4:6).  But then, the time  with one's beloved is at hand and the question arises: "Will this be a moment of great joy or another time to burdened by a want?  Does one see his beloved now as just another person who is ready to lay another burden on his shoulders?  Or does he see his beloved as he always has from the first, a treasure to bought no matter the cost.  In doing the latter he follows the advice given in the Imitation of Christ:
"A considerate lover regards not so much the gift of Him who loves him, as the love of the Giver."
Love is an act of the will not of the emotions.  Passing passions cannot excuse the refusal to offer a sacrificial gift of oneself.  It takes great courage to give these little self-denying gifts with a smile and not with a sigh.  But how important they are!  It is an easy trap to fall into, to believe that because the other understands our stresses, and knows of our love, a person need not do more to express that love when the day has taken its toll.  Yet, sureties of love are always necessary in any relationship to maintain and strengthen its foundations.  Do not allow your love to grow cold with fatigue but keep it warm with the fire of sacrifice.  Perhaps the sacrifice may not only be in giving but in not receiving what one desires.  Let not your heart grow weary! God will fill the void when necessary.  When one serves another, he serves Christ; when he empties himself out, he is filled by His Love and Grace.

When one has a servant's heart, he does not see others taking what is his (time, energy) but instead freely gives what has been freely given to him. To thus live one's life takes patience, perseverance and endurance but it brings only peace and a greater desire to love more fully.