This question was posed on Twitter by Mr. Jonathan Sullivan:
So how can
#Catholic couples make manifest the joy of the Cross in marriage?
Let me start by saying this is not going to be any sort of lofty theological post about marriage, but more of a common sense post about how to be joyful in your marriage.
1. The Sacraments. Frequent the sacraments of Confession and Communion.
- The time between confessions should not be more than a month and make it a family affair. The whole family (those who have made their first confessionÂ that is) lines up to go to confession on say the first Saturday of the month. Our family goes every two to four weeks. We also stick around for the Vigil Mass afterward because of the distance our parish is from our house. Sometimes we go to dinner after, as a family treat.
- As for Communion, that should be as often as possible. Daily Mass? Great! A few times a week, great! Weekly? Required. WhileÂ the reception of Holy Communion is not required weekly, if you are in a state of grace there’s no reason to not receive. However, the attendance of Mass on each and every Sunday is required. (Of course there are reasons you can be excused, but being on vacation is not one of them.)
2. Just be joyful. No it’s not always easy and there are sometimes circumstances that really do not allow for joy to be readily lived, however, we should to strive to do our best. Yes there are times when we are disappointed by our spouses, but those are times we should be offering prayers up for themÂ and not walking around with pouty faces.
3. I heard this oneÂ before I was married and it is simple: Never complain about your husband to your friends and family. Even simple things like “he doesn’t put his socks in the hamper” can lead to cracks in the happiness of your marriage. If there are things that you cannot resolve together, seek the counsel of your pastor or a priest you trust, avoid going to your friends or family, as they have long memories and will remember things long past the time you two have forgotten.
My job as Joshua’s wife is to work to get him to heaven and his job is to get me to heaven. Â Marriage is not easy, that’s why we need the grace from the sacrament to help us live the married vocation and why we need the help of the Church to lead us in that vocation.