Marriage is a lifelong shared journey that begins with excitement and anticipation. There is a mingling of hopes, dreams and desires and the expectation for mutual fulfillment and happiness. The commitment is lifelong – “until death do us part”.
The newly married couple is embarking on a journey that will hold many turns, twists, and unfolding discoveries. Along the way there will be challenges and struggles – some anticipated and welcomed, others unanticipated and unwelcomed. Disappointments and disillusionment can set in. There will emerge the need to positively adjust, reconcile and equip with the happenings, choices and realities of married life together.
Marriages typically progress through predicable stages that are flavored by the uniqueness of each partner and their couple mix. Just as road signs forewarn of changing road conditions, bumps in the marital path that are ignored can become a rocky path, and left unattended can become pot holes, and eventually if left unaided the worsening conflicts and differences can lead to an impasse of crisis or brokenness.
The Good News for Catholic marriages is that the couple is never left to their own devises and wits. The saying “It takes three to get married, stayed married and thrive in Christian marriage” is realized as Christian couples turn to God, the third Person in their marriage union, during times of struggle or difficulty. Like the three ropes intertwined for strength and endurance, so is a marriage where the couple stays united in Christ.
The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is a truism that applies to the welfare of marriages. Whether for enrichment, endurance, or a lifeline, God is there for your marriage, and by extension the Catholic community wants to be there for your marriage. Here are some resources to help enrich, support or restore your marriage to the fullness of life that God intended for your marriage.
“It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to ‘receive’ the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ. This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ's cross, the source of all Christian life.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church
"We urge a renewed commitment by the entire Catholic community to helping those called to the vocation of married life to live it faithfully, fruitfully, and joyfully. We pledge to be a marriage-building Church, drawing strength from God’s grace while using creatively the gifts and resources entrusted to us. We call for a comprehensive and collaborative ministry to marriages." – US Catholic Bishops