Novena and Lenten Reflection: Week Nine
Ninth Week: Healing Traumas and Deep Connection
The Scriptures for the Nuptial Mass have much to offer those living the Sacrament of Marriage. In his Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul talks a great deal about the Sacrament of Marriage and why it is important to both husband and wife and the Church.
St. Paul describes the virtues necessary to live a married life: humility, gentleness, patience, unity, and charity. These are necessary virtues for living
“the call you have received.”
Marriage is a great responsibility in the life of the Church because your family affects so many others in the community. St. Paul said,
"Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace: one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all."
The call to unity is the essence of the Nuptial Mass and the Sacrament of Marriage. Two Christians, side by side, are already united to Jesus Christ and the Church through their Baptism. In the Eucharist, they intimately share in divine life and are drawn deeper into the Body of Christ. And in the Sacrament of Matrimony itself, the spouses minister the sacrament to each other and an indissoluble covenant is brought about through the entirety of their lives. Married couples are called to become one:
one home, one family, one flesh, one heart, one mind
. Christian unity, like communion with God, does not cancel out individual personality. Rather, marital unity leads you to your ‘true self’. In marriage, there are experiences of dissonance and conflict; but these trials build strength in the relationship if resolved with faith in God and trust in each other. With God’s grace, prayer and both spouses’ healthy perseverance, any division can be overcome.
“Talking with my wife is a relief from the things that happen here… like that first breath you take when you have been underwater for too long.”
-Joel Buchannan, U.S. soldier in Iraq, Washington Post Magazine, February 12, 2006
Thank you for joining us throughout the season of Lent to grow and strengthen your marriage or prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. We will conclude this series with revisiting the topics of healing traumas and emphasize the power of love and connection.
When we are open with our partner about past traumas and wounds it can ease our pain, give us hope, and bring us comfort to know we will be accepted for who we are. It is much easier to open up with our loved one if we have a secure platform and connection in place. Whereas, if we are emotionally disconnected and isolated “you are in a free fall” (page 235). Using the tools you have learned over the past few weeks will not only strengthen the connection you have with your partner, but equip you to heal from past traumas and recognize opportunities to cope more effectively with future challenges.
We have heard time and time again of the ageless wisdom that the meaning of life is love; how we love and how we receive love from our Father in heaven and share it with His creation. Sadly, we live in a culture of separateness, insisting that healthy people don’t need anyone. We were created for relationship and it is woven into our very core. We need to actively commit to constantly seeking our partner in a loving and open way so that we can reap the benefits of a lasting connection. Despite the hardships to overcome selfishness, it is a worthy lifelong pursuit to love, the path to true joy.
The Sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Couples should be convinced that they are really and truly called to take part in the fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of all men. For this reason, there is perhaps no better model for a Christian couple than that of the Christian families of apostolic times: the centurion Cornelius, who obeyed the will of God and in whose home the Church was made accessible to the gentiles; Aquila and Priscilla, who spread Christianity in Corinth and Ephesus, and who cooperated in the apostolate of St Paul; Tabitha, who out of charity attended to the needs of the Christians in Joppe.
And so many other homes and families of Jews and Gentiles, Greeks and Romans, in which the preaching of our Lord’s first disciples began to bear fruit—families who lived in union with Christ and who made him known to others; small Christian communities which were centers for the spreading of the Gospel and its message; families no different from other families of those times, but living with a new spirit, which spread to all those who were in contact with them.
This is what the first Christians were, and this is what we have to be: sowers of peace and joy, the peace and joy that Jesus has brought to us.”
- St. Josemaria Escriva
For Married (together if possible):
Lord Jesus Christ, You will that our marriage be truly apostolic, that is, a relationship so loving and joyful that we naturally reach out to others in order to share what You have given us. Grant us true joy in You; grant us true joy in each other; grant us Your peace. Then we will more fully live the sacrament of holy matrimony, the more we draw souls to You by the witness of our married love, which is a true reflection of the surpassing love that You have for Your bride, the Church. Amen.
For the Engaged and the those seriously considering this commitment of married love (together if possible):
Lord Jesus Christ, You call us to live a life of Christian witness in the world, reflecting the joy and peace that comes from belonging to You and to Your Church. Grant that our married love may radiate outward to many souls, inspiring them to come to You and to the Church. May we prepare for this by living authentically Christian lives right now— lives of generosity, self-restraint, and purity—so that by our example, the light of the Gospel may shine brightly before all. 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 14, 2019 at 2:00AM