Saturday, February 21, 2009

I went to a Catholic Men's conference today, and one of the speakers talked about being husbands and fathers into todays culture. He talked about the need for fathers to be involved in their childrens lives. He also talked about how husbands should love their wives. As I sat listening a scripture verse popped into my head and i really started thinking about what it meant and I think it might be my favorite verse in the bible about marriage. The verse is: 1 Cor 7:4 A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. This verse is profound. It is about spouses loving and trusting each other completely. So completely that they no longer have authority over themselves, but freely give that authority over to each other. It is about spouses trusting each other so much that they have nothing to hide from each other, and keep no secrets from each other. When this happens they think not of themselves first, but of their spouse. This is possible because the two are joined by God and become one flesh. If you think about this verse it is what two spouses promise each other as they stand on the alter before God and enter a Covenant.
What is a family? The Catholic family is often refered to as a Domestic Church. A family is in and of itself a community of people. As a community families grow together spiritually and share their faith with each other. They also pray together and love each other unconditionally. Just as within the Church most families experience hurt and brokeness from time to time, but ultimately are called to forgiveness and reconcilition with each other. As long as God is the center of the family these things are possible. Sadly enough just as with the Church occassionally some members schism or leave the family. Usually it is because they have put themselves and their needs before that of God. Maybe the child who wants to be his own person, or is filled with anger, or wants to rebel against his parents. Maybe it is the Husband or Wife who is bored, wants to find something better, or simply just has fallen out of love. We can find hope throughout scripture, and with the power of prayer. We must stand and defend the family in our society. Our greatest weapon is prayer.

The following are some beutiful exerpts of what it is to be a family, which are from "Familiaris Consortio The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World":

All members of the family, each according to his or her own gift, have the grace and responsibility of building, day by day, the communion of persons, making the family "a school of deeper humanity" (59) : this happens where there is care and love for the little ones, the sick, the aged; where there is mutual service every day; when there is a sharing of goods, of joys and of sorrows.

The first communion is the one which is established and which develops between husband and wife: by virtue of the covenant of married life, the man and woman "are no longer two but one flesh" (46) and they are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving.

Conjugal communion is characterized not only by its unity but also by its indissolubility: "As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate union, as well as the good of children, imposes total fidelity on the spouses and argues for an unbreakable oneness between them."

Being rooted in the personal and total self-giving of the couple, and being required by the good of the children, the indissolubility of marriage finds its ultimate truth in the plan that God has manifested in His revelation: He wills and He communicates the indissolubility of marriage as a fruit, a sign and a requirement of the absolutely faithful love that God has for man and that the Lord Jesus has for the Church.

The gift of the sacrament is at the same time a vocation and commandment for the Christian spouses, that they may remain faithful to each other forever, beyond every trial and difficulty, in generous obedience to the holy will of the Lord: "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."

Love for his wife as mother of their children and love for the children themselves are for the man the natural way of understanding and fulfilling his own fatherhood.

You can read more of Familiaris Consortio at

The following links are to some great websites that are really great resources for family and the domestic church:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When I Say I Do

This is an awesome song by Matthew West about marriage and the vows we take at the alter.
This song really truly captures how I feel about the vows I took with my wife.

When I say "I do"
by Matthew West
There must be a God, I believe it’s true
‘Cause I can see his love when I look at you
And he must have a plan for this crazy life
Because he brought you here and placed you by my side

And I have never been so sure of anything before
Like I am in this moment here with you --
And now for better or for worse --
it’s so much more than only words.
And I pray that every day will be the proof
That I mean what I say when I say I doYeah,
I mean what I say when I say I do.

You see … these hands you hold -- will always hold you up
When the strength you have, just ain’t strong enough
And what tomorrow brings, only time will tell
But I will stand by you -- in sickness and in health

‘Cause I have never been so sure of anything before
Like I am in this moment here with you
Now for better or worse it’s so much more than only words.
And I pray that every day will be the proof
That I mean what I say when I say I doYeah,
I mean what I say when I say --

Take my hand -- and take this ring
And know that I will always love you through anything – yeah…
And as the years march on, like a beating heart
I will live these words -- Till death do us part

‘Cause I have never been so sure of anything before
Like I am in this moment here with you
Now for better or worse it’s so much more than only words.
And I pray that every day will be the proof
That I mean what I say when I say I doYeah,
I mean what I say when I say I do

Friday, February 13, 2009

Beware of anti-depressants

Anti-depressants can devestate a marriage. There are different types of anti-depressants. I strongly encourage anyone who's spouse is thinking about taking one to do some research first. The particular kind I will talk about are called SSRI’s or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Some of the drugs in this family are Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, and Effexor. SSRI's increase a persons serotonin level, and this can cause all sorts of problems. Serotonin is a chemical that the brain produces, and the more the brain produces the happier a person feels.

While elevated serotonin levels make a person feel good it can cause imbalances of other chemicals in the brain. It reduces dopamine levels and oxytocin levels. Dopamine helps give you the excited in love feeling. This happens mostly during the infatuation stage of a relationship. Oxytocin is a hormone the brain produces in both men and women when they make love and in women when the breast feed their babies. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps people bond or form emotional attachments.

SSRI’s affect oxytocin levels in two ways. First is by reducing the brains ability to produce it. The second way is because SSRI’s also reduce libido. Remember oxytocin is produced in the brain during love making. If a person using an SSRI isn’t making love their brain isn’t producing oxytocin and they aren’t able to bond. Further more when they do make love their brain isn’t producing very much oxytocin with which to bond. It can also cause a lack of bonding with ones children while breastfeeding and can cause frustration for the mother.

To conclude SSRI’s can make it difficult to have and maintain any emotional attachments, and can even erode existing attachments by changing the chemical balance in the brain. Sadly it is very hard to reason with someone on this type of drug, and so it is hard to get them off of it. They of cours feel the drug is helping them immensely because they feel good(because of the higher serotonin levels of course). I found the following on a website that almost sums it up for me: "I know of one couple on the edge of divorce. The wife was on an antidepressant. Then she went off it, started having orgasms once more, felt the renewal of sexual attraction for her husband, and they're now in love all over again."

Attached are a few links that offer more detail and corroborate what I have been talking about.

In the next link pay close attention to the comments after the story, as they are from people who have used or whose loved ones have used these drugs.

The next link is to a forum specifically with peoples stories about how their marriages were destroyed by these horrible drugs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Intoduction to my family and I.

Hi. My name is Mike, and I’d like to start off by telling you a little bit about myself and my family. My wife and I are both devout Catholics. I married my beautiful wife 4 years ago, and we now have two beautiful children.

We met and fell in love when she began volunteering for the youth group at our parish which I was already volunteering for. We talked and got to know each other and after about a year or so we started dating. As you can see by the pictures I’ve posted that my wife is very beautiful. I fell in love with her for more than that though. She was a very caring and loving person. She cared about everyone around her. She was just fun to be around and had a beautiful smile even when she still had her braces on.

We also had common interests such as we liked hiking and going on road trips. We always liked to visit the Catholic churches wherever we went. One of my favorite things that we did together was playing a game she had on her cell phone called pushpush, which is a strategy/brain game, and we would take turns trying to beat the levels. We also used to sit at the park until late at night just talking and getting to know each other.

Due to our faith we had a lot in common too, such as our belief in the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, our pro-life beliefs, our strong belief in all of the sacraments, and belief in the Churches authority. When it came to marriage we were on the same page too. We both believed in waiting for each other(by the grace of God we were each other’s first when we married), and we beleived in natural family planning(NFP) as opposed to contraception.

The most important things we both believed were that marriage was life long(Covenant), that we were open to life, and we believed in keeping fidelity in marriage. According to Canon Law intending those three things(Marriage as a Covenant/life long, being open to life, and fidelity in marriage) at the time of your vows is all that’s needed for a valid marriage.

I wanted to start this blog because I truly believe in the Sacrement of Marriage. I also strongly believe what the Catholic church teaches about the indissolubility of it. Sadly my wife and I are seperated, but I beleive with God's grace anything can happen and we could reconcile.

Every spouse is difficult to love at some time(s) in their marriage, and I have been no exception to that. For myself I know there are things that I failed to do and things that I could have done better, and I’m sure that is true for most people in a marriage. We are however called to love each other even in our failures, or when one spouse or the other makes it difficult.

In our society marriage is being destroyed. We have to listen to our call especially as Catholics and stand for marriage. We have to treat marriage as though it is a Sacrament and a Covenant, and not something disposable as society would have us believe.