Inviting Jesus into our family
" The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way." John 4:43-54
My husband and I married when I was 22 years old. At the time, I was evaluating the life around me as a young adult, and part of that adventure was "rejecting" the religion of my parents, and essentially needing to find it through my own choices. My husband and I were not practicing Catholics, and hence moved forward with our civil wedding.
Flash forward 11 years to the shock of finding out we had been living in mortal sin! I took this news extremely hard and spent many days wishing I could fix this and be in communion with our Lord. My husband was not on the same page, but understood its value to me, trusted God's judgement on the matter, and followed open-heartedly. The solution to Alex's and my problem lay squarely on receiving a convalidation.
According to church documents "A convalidation is the ratification of a legal but canonically invalid marriage. A convalidation is the vow of a couple who were married in a civil ceremony to make a commitment before God and Church of their intention to live the sacramental life of their union together." Without this convalidation we were not married.
Each church is going to approach the blessing of the marriage differently, some may require a retreat, others may want some sessions with a married couple sponsor. Alex and I met with our parish priest a few times to discuss marriage and family in the scope of catholicism and sociology. I wanted to share a few items that we were asked to read, as I think they are important for anyone as guidance for inviting Jesus into their family.
-Humanae Vitae -Arcanum Divinae -Familiaris Consortio -Genesis 1-3
-For Better and For Ever
My husband and I sat on our couch and read these documents back and forth to each other, making a real conscious effort to better our relationship. It was thrilling, beneficial, and intentional.
Reflect: Take some time over the next few weeks to read through this list of relationship guides. If possible, include your spouse in on the research. The positive messages of how to live the best possible life will not disappoint.
Act: I further encourage you to reach out to any friends or family that may have missed this step in building their family and show them Jesus' mercy is endless.
Prayer for Holiness
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love only what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me so, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. Amen.
Saint Francis Prayer
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. Amen