Novena and Lenten Reflection: Week Eight
Eighth Week: Keep the Fire Burning
You may have chosen the Wedding at Cana as the Gospel for your wedding:
“There was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.' And Jesus said to her, 'Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servers, 'Do whatever he tells you.' Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, 'Fill the jars with water.' So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, 'Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.' So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, 'Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.' Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.”
Pope Francis commented on this Gospel:
"… Marriage is a celebration – a Christian celebration, not a worldly feast! … What happened in Cana 2,000 years ago, happens today at every wedding celebration: that which makes your wedding full and profoundly true will be the presence of the Lord who reveals himself and gives his grace. It is his presence that offers the 'good wine', he is the secret to full joy, that which truly warms the heart.
Is it possible, that in your marriage, the Lord has reserved the best wine for last?
Anyone who is bored in marriage just isn’t paying attention
- A colleague’s husband
In this chapter we conclude the last of the seven conversations. As you’ve followed along with practice and implementation of Dr. Johnson’s EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) practices, you have experienced healing, renewed connection, and stronger intimacy. It is up to you to continue on your positive relationship journey. If you are not actively pushing forward then you are moving backwards; there is no standing still. Dr. Johnson provides a “road map” for couples on how to take their loving relationship into the future:
“Danger-Point Detours”- We can create detours to avoid tension and negative patterns, i.e.: Demon Dialogues, if we can find those triggers within our relationship.
“Celebrating Moments of Connection”- Recall and celebrate the big and small moments in your daily lives. By recounting these moments, you will draw closer to one another.
“Marking Moments of Separation and Reunion with Rituals”- Using rituals or daily routines will help keep you grounded. They remind you of your connection and love for each other amongst our crazy busy lives. Create rituals such as greeting each other with a hug and kiss whenever one person leaves or arrives, in the morning roll over and squeeze your beloved saying “good morning” before you get out of bed, set a weekly date night at home or out on the town, etc.
“Safety-First”- Learn to create a safe and trusting environment prior to discussing sore spots to help defuse any tension and argumentation.
“Creating a Resilient Relationship Story”- Create your loving relationship story. Build your own story of insecurity, disconnection, and fear. Continue your story with love, empathy, and forgiveness. Share it with each other regularly of how you can overcome conflict together.
“Creating a Future Love Story”- Dream together! Build up on your story, speak and share with each other your goals and dreams for the future. Where do you see the impact of your relationship, children, finances, in the next 5 to 10 years? The power of the spoken word is truly incredible.
With diligence and intentional effort you too can have the beautiful and breathtaking love story you always imagined that God intended you to have.
The Sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Listen to your children. Give them your time, even the time that you have reserved for yourselves. Show them your confidence; believe whatever they tell you, even if sometimes they try to deceive you. Don’t be afraid when they rebel, because, at their age, you yourselves were more or less rebellious. Go to meet them half-way and pray for them. If you act in this Christian manner, they will come to you with simplicity, instead of trying to satisfy their legitimate curiosity by taking it to some rough or vulgar friend. Your confidence, your friendly dealings with your children, will receive an answer in their sincerity in dealing with you. Then, even if there are quarrels and lack of understanding, they will never amount to much; and this is what peace in the family and a truly Christian life mean.
At the same time, they [parents] should help their children to direct their efforts and to carry out their projects properly, teaching them to consider things and to reason them out. It is not a matter of imposing a line of conduct, but rather of showing the human and supernatural motives for it. In a word, parents have to respect their children’s freedom, because there is no real education without personal responsibility, and there is no responsibility without freedom.”
- St. Josemaria Escriva
For the Married (together if possible):
Lord Jesus Christ, children are Your gift to us. Grant that we might receive them gratefully as gifts, while especially striving to remain open to how You speak to us through them. With both their strengths and weaknesses, help us to embrace them with love and patience, accepting them as You also mercifully accept us. May we teach and correct them lovingly, always remembering that we have the responsibility of forming them in the freedom of the children of God. Amen.
For the Engaged and the those seriously considering this commitment of married love (together if possible):
Lord Jesus Christ, help us to appreciate deeply our status as adopted children of God. Help us to call upon God as Our Father with great tenderness and confidence. By learning to treasure our own dignity as God’s children, we will also know better how to love and form the children that You wish to give us, in the same Spirit that has made us all Your brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father. Amen.
All close by praying:
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we give our hearts to you.
Offer one Hail Mary together, inviting Our Blessed Lady to pray for you.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 2:00AM