Monday, September 13, 2010

Special Date Night Invite

Women of Faith:
Specifically this week to those of you that are married or who have friends that are married—

Dear God: We praise your inspiration in our marriages. Please bless all couples and show us your way to holiness. Amen.

Stan & I would like to invite all of you to bring your spouse to Date Night, a “Couples of Faith” marriage enrichment program on September 26 at St. Pat’s in Tama at 5:30 P.M. We will have food, fellowship and share in faith some “not so new” tools for marriage—the tools given to us in the Bible.

Whether you have been married 1 day or 50+ years, no matter what Christian church you attend, regularly or irregularly, and whether your marriage is full of joy or needs recharged the evening will be worth your time.

Please share this message with your married adult children and your friends who I may not know, or with those you know who were unable to attend a Cluster of the Saints Mass this weekend.

For those of you who attend other churches or who were out of town we introduced the program Sunday morning by showing the promotional video at this website:

Stan’s and my message of invitation, tie in to the Sunday reading and statistics follow:

If we told you that 6 out of 10 of you would get cancer in the next 5 years, to what lengths would you go to prevent that cancer. If we than told you that if you attended church, your chances of getting cancer would lessen to 1 out of 250, or that if you prayed daily with your spouse your chances of avoiding cancer would be cut to 1 in 1110 (One thousand, one hundred, ten)!! Would you begin coming to church? Would you begin praying daily?

These are the statistics for divorce in couples who attend church together and who pray together. In contrast to the 6 out of 10 marriages that will end in divorce—a devastating 3600 couples DAILY; only 1 couple in 250 who attend church together have their marriages end in divorce; and more importantly only 1 couple in 1110 who pray together daily will have their marriage end in divorce.

These statistics are not “Catholic” statistics—they are for ALL Christians who attend church together as couples, and who pray daily together as couples. Catholics do not have a “better chance” at marriage than any other couple, likewise this program is not just for Catholics—we are inviting couples of ALL faiths to join us.

One other statistic we should share is that 80%, 8 out of 10 of all couples who “cohabitate” (live together before marriage) will have their marriages end in divorce. This is a statistic to share with those who are already in this situation or who are thinking about it. As the video said—as married couples we owe an apology to our friends who have chosen this route for implying that marriage is something to be avoided or that is not a fulfilling sacramental unity.

In the first reading, Ex 32:7-11, 13-14 Moses asks God "Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people. Our culture is a culture of death; abortions and divorce rates higher than ever, and are ever increasingly considered acceptable by our society.

The question should probably now be, “ Why, O lord, “shouldn't” your wrath blaze up against your people?!”

Pope John Paul 2 said "as goes the marriage, so goes the family, as goes the family so goes the community, so goes the state, the country and the world. And that is exactly what the devil wants - to break up our marriages, our families, our communities, our country. Sound familiar?
The devil wants to get his foot in our door and take over your family and ours.

How do we fight the devil, the evil of our society?

We go to school for 12 years and some go to 4 years of college, so that we can get great jobs and make a lot of money, but who prepared us for the most important jobs we'll ever have?
Marriage, raising children and spiritual warfare in our homes are our most important jobs!

Who gave us the educational tools for these jobs and showed us how to live out the covenant we made with our spouse and with God?

Whether your marriage is good, great, or terrible, we will all benefit from the "couples of faith" marriage enrichment program!

Why? Because we are all teachers of the faith and role models for each other and if we can share and learn new tools to live out our own marriage commitment, and reach out and teach others who may be struggling in their marriages, then it will be worth your time and ours.

Mathew Kelly said "A tree with strong roots can withstand any storm.” The question is not "will there be a storm in your life, the questions are "when will the storm come?” and “does my marriage have strong enough roots to withstand the storm?” And do I have the necessary tools to withstand the storm and to rebuild the damage that the storm creates?

Today’s Gospel talks about the joy of finding one lost sheep Lk 15:1-32 or 15:1-10. Imagine how the Lord will rejoice in the one marriage that is saved and the marriages that are strengthened from "couples of faith" program. And imagine our own rejoicing when we are able to live our marriages for what they are intended to be, not what the culture says is acceptable.

God is the author of marriage, He is the key to a faithful, fruitful and fulfilled marriage and marriage is our path to holiness. Do you know what God has to say about the purpose of marriage? Did you know that God has a plan for marriage?

God has given us the tools to help us in our marriages… but without knowing what those tools are, we can’t know what we don’t know.

We are here today to ask you to join us in helping to prevent divorce; to join us in making our marriages stronger and in turn to rejoice in the building of our parishes, families, and our community.

Please give Stan or I a call for details. (Daycare will be provided. Please RSVP for this service).

Blessings on your marriage and families,
Stan and Charlotte

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