By Katie Taylor
National Marriage Week calls us to double down in prayer for and with our spouse, because the attack against the family, your family has never been greater. How are our marriages sanctifying us, how are they building up the whole body of Christ, and how are they worshiping God? These are the Sacrament’s three purposes (see Familaris Condortio, 56).
Contrary to the cultural desire for marriage to always be easy, marriage is continually purifying my selfishness and pride as I learn to listen, love, and sacrifice for my spouse. Allowing marriage to be a source of sanctification gives hope in the difficult days since God has created this person for my sanctification.
On Mission Together
In building up the Body of Christ, we are on a mission together. We are called to be fruitful, sometimes this in physically children, but additionally fruitfulness is found in our work, service to the Church, and love to others.
As Pope Saint John Paul II discussed, the family’s fruitfulness leads to human advancement and the world’s transformation by living in union with Christ, nourished by Liturgy, self-oblation, and prayer (see 62). How is your marriage transforming the world?
Praying as Couple
To achieve this goal, we need to be rooted in prayer. How are we praying as an individual, family, and couple? We need all three! I can honestly say that praying together makes a radical difference in my marriage. In prayer, we can learn to be vulnerable with our spouse and ask for help.
It is excellent to start with just scheduling a recited prayer together to create a habit. Working towards asking each other, how can I pray for you? Sending prayer requests and praying over each other at the start and end of our day. But the more profound transformation in our relationship has been found through praying with Scripture together. This prayer practice allows the conversation to include and be led by God and his Word. Are you reading Scripture with your spouse? If not, it’s never too late to start!
Heavenly Father, my marriage is yours. Help me embrace it as a gift for my purification. I take responsibility for helping my spouse achieve eternal salvation and commit to praying for and with him as much as possible. Please help transform me to better reflect your love to him and, in turn, the whole world.
Call to Action
Commit to praying with and for your spouse. Ask what you can pray for them about, send a prayer request to them, and commit to learning how to pray with Scripture with your spouse. If you already pray together, reaffirm your couple prayer routines, schedule, and habits.
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Image courtesy: Katie Taylor