Loading

Mass marriages

Marge Fenelon

Photo by Julie Gentry

The poor remodeler, he was so uncomfortable that I thought he might break into a sweat.

In fact, he might already have been sweating, but I dared not look too closely, lest my scrutiny escalate his discomfort. He’d come to bid on our kitchen reconstruction and walked into more than he’d bargained for. However, the job wasn’t the problem; it was our prayer corner that had him freaked out.

We have a prayer corner, which we call a home shrine in the tradition of the Schoenstatt Movement to enthrone the Blessed Mother in our homes. It’s placed in a prominent position in our open-concept home and has many of the symbols and sacramentals of a real church. It’s the center of our lives and because we’re around it all the time, it’s a normal part of our household – at least to us. Apparently, it wasn’t at all normal for the remodeler. He stopped talking mid-sentence when he entered the house and gave the home shrine a long, horrified stare. I was tempted to briefly explain our tradition, but I sensed that he wouldn’t be open to it. Rather, I decided to be very cool about it and let him have his space. I offered him a seat, and he haltingly accepted. He was sure to sit as far away from the home shrine and possible, and twisted himself so he’d be facing completely away from it. He couldn’t have been comfortable. I tried desperately not to smirk.

Granted, the remodeler may not have been Christian or perhaps he had a bad religious experience earlier in his life that caused his aversion to our devotion. If that’s the case either way, I feel sorry for him and pray that one day he’ll be able to open his heart to Christ. Still, his behavior reminds me of the way many of us live our marriages; any blatant demonstration of piety seems out of place and uncomfortable.

In fact, what our marriages need to be is a constant display of religiosity with a marked openness to the in-break of the divine at every moment. Our married life should be a reflection and continuation of holy Mass. During Mass, we offer sacrifice with Christ to the heavenly Father, we become intimately united with Christ and each other, and we receive life-giving grace and strength. In Mass, the Father is the center of all, as he should be in the rest of our married life. Every aspect of our day (yes, even the most private ones) should be a reenactment of the offertory, consecration, and communion of Mass. All that we have, are, and do, we offer to the heavenly Father. All that we have, are, and do is consecrated to him and thus made holy. Everything we have, are, and do becomes a means of unity with him and with each other.

Not all of us can attend Mass every day, but we can begin our days by spiritually attending Mass through prayer and spiritual communion. We can recall the offertory, consecration, and communion of the Mass and offer, consecrate, and communicate spiritually ourselves, our spouses, and our marriage, including all that we’ll say and do for the rest of that day. Perhaps we can stop here or there during the day to re-offer, re-consecrate, and re-communicate. This can be done quite simply, with a brief, spontaneous prayer such as, “Father in heaven, we offer all we do and say today as spouses to you, please accept it. We consecrate all we do and say as spouses to you, please bless it. We ask you to unite with us throughout this day and grant us grace and strength for our marriage. Amen.”  In this way, our marriages become a holy, sacrificial union that gives glory to God.

At first, this level of devotion may seem out of place and uncomfortable. If we’re serious about our striving, the discomfort will melt away and be replaced by genuine joy and fulfillment. The more we practice, the easier it will be and the more normal it will seem. Eventually, it will become an integral part of our lives.

This post originally appeared on Fathers for Good, a website of the Knights of Columbus.

Topics: Faith , Family , Home Management , Marriage , Relationships

Marge Fenelon is a Catholic author, columnist, and speaker. She's the author of When's God Gonna Show Up? and When's God Gonna Call Me Back? (Liguori Publications) and a regular columnist for the Milwaukee Catholic Herald. She and her husband, Mark, have four mostly-grown children and are members of the International Schoenstatt Movement. Visit her website at www.margefenelon.com

View all articles by Marge Fenelon

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

RECENT POSTS

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (50)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (3)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (18)  Church teaching (35)  Contraception (28)  Culture (124)  Current Events (99)  Dating (15)  Death (7)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (14)  Eucharist (4)  Exercise (3)  Faith (228)  Family (93)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (14)  Fertility (3)  Fitness (1)  Food (3)  Forgiveness (19)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (3)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (15)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (13)  Liturgical Year (11)  Marian devotion (9)  Marriage (37)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (3)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (6)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (60)  Movies (2)  Music (5)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (45)  Personal Growth (106)  Politics (4)  Pope Francis (4)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (34)  Pro-Life (29)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (9)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (11)  Religious Vocation (1)  Saints (17)  Scripture (7)  Service (8)  Sexuality (20)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (3)  Suffering (15)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  United Nations (1)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (7)  Women's Health (21)  Workplace (13)  Writings of the Saints (12)  Young Women (40) 

Nov
27

Liturgical Calendar

November 27, 2014

Thursday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 17:11-19

Gospel
Date
11/27/14
11/25/14
11/24/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 21: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/27/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 17:11-19

Homily
Date
11/27/14
11/25/14
11/24/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: