Archive for the ‘Spousal Care’ category

Wives, Husbands, Christ and the Church…

August 25, 2012

…are the subject of the second reading at Mass this Lord’s Day.  Fr John Riccardo preached briefly on that reading at Mass this evening.  He’s an expert, having earned an STL from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.  His 133-page dissertation was on this same passage from Ephesians 5.

Fr Francis Martin also handles it quite effectively.  (If you’re not familiar with Fr Martin, don’t be misled by his seemingly unprepared, stumbling start.  The dude reads directly from the Greek, man!  And shares his world-class Scripture scholarship with us via a very a low-budget operation.)

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Advice for Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2010

…what all the married women who responded were hoping for was concentrated time with their husbands.

Read the rest of the input from Catholic women.

New book arrival

September 17, 2009

The UPS driver arrived the other day with another great book,  the long awaited (at least for me)  ‘Kinship by Covenant’ by Scott Hahn.  This is essentially the distillation of his Ph.D. thesis which is that life lived under Biblical covenant cannot be separated from life lived in relationships dictated by familial terms and ties.  It is the family which is central to the Bible’s view of life for the simple reason that the family is central to life itself.

I’m so excited by this book, that I have put off the other 11 I am supposed to be reading (cough cough) to focus on this one.  From time to time I will post some quotes and ideas from the book as they come up.

First off, what is meant by Covenant?  The root word is latin meaning “to come together” or “to agree”.  An english definition is that it involves a formal, solemn and binding pact between two or more parties.  Sounds like a contract, right?  But in biblical terms covenants involve a lot more than contracts.

A contract is made with a promise giving your word, signing one’s name to the line.  A covenant is made by giving an oath.  An oath transforms the promise by invoking God’s name for assistance or blessing.  In court, we don’t promise to tell the truth, we take an oath to tell the truth, putting our hands on the bible, not by signing our name to a paper (“So help me God”).    When you take an oath you put yourself under divine judgement and is thus much stronger than a promise (“I’ll be damned”).  Breaking an oath involves than just breaking a promise — it draws down curses upon you for profaning the name of God which you have invoked.  Doctors, policemen, soldiers, all take Oaths whereby they swear to fulfill their duties to the community.

Another difference between a contract and a covenant is that it is not an exchange of property or services — but it is an exchange and gift of persons.  When a man and woman marry they declare their union until only death shall they part.  A prostitute sells her body to the highest bidder and then moves on.  A contract makes the relationship between people one of customer, employee, or client; where a covenant makes the relationship between them one of spouse, parent, children, or sibling.  Covenants are made to create sacred familial bonds where none existed before.  This is what is meant throughout scripture when describing the covenants “I will be their God and they shall be my people….I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters” (2 Cor 6:16-18)

The underlying principle of family solidarity is that One is born of a covenant and into a covenant, and wherever one moves in life, one makes a covenant or acts on the basis of an already existing covenant.  The covenant is the presupposition of all life… the creator of rights and duties.

As an exploratory aside until the next post, think about the ideas of divorce, premarital sex, and homosexual ‘marriage’ in terms of how they can or cannot constitute a covenant, and the consequences thereof.

St. Josemaria Escriva on fatherhood

April 15, 2009

Right now I am reading “Opus Dei – an Ojective Look” by John Allen.  I hesitate to quote anything by John Allen because he so rarely makes citations via endnotes or footnotes.    But in the book, he tells this story, pertinent to us:

“The questioner then wanted to know what Opus Dei should do about the ‘filth’ that was coursing through the culture, in the form of sexual promiscuity, pornography, and so on.  Escriva’s advice? “First, be a good husband to your wife, and a good father to your daughters,” he said.  “Take care of your interior life.  Do that first, and think of these other things later.”

Food for thought.