Married on a Crucifix
Fr Michael Mullan, LC
Imagine a world without divorce. Imagine families without separation. Imagine no children or hearts torn apart.
People of one place in this world do not have to imagine.
In the town of Siroki-Brijeg in Herzegovina not one of the 13,000 inhabitants can recall a single divorce or broken family.
What is their secret? One look at their marriage rite says it all.
When the bride and bridegroom go to the church to be married they carry a crucifix with them. The priest blesses the crucifix and exclaims, “You have found your cross! It is a cross to love, to carry with you, a cross that is not thrown off but rather treasured.”
When they interchange the marital vows, the bride puts her right hand on this crucifix and the groom puts his right hand over hers. Both are united to the cross. The priest covers their hands with his stole while they pronounce their promises to love each other in good times and in bad.
Then they both first kiss the cross, not each other. If one abandons the other, they abandon Christ on the cross.
Afterwards, the newly-weds cross the threshold of their home to enthrone that same crucifix in a place of honour. It becomes the reference point of their lives and the place of family prayer.
In times of difficulty and misunderstandings, as all human relationships experience, they do not turn immediately to the lawyer or psychologist, they turn to the cross. They kneel, cry and open up their hearts begging for the strength to pardon and implore the Lord’s help.
The children are taught to reverently kiss the crucifix daily and to thank God for the day before going to bed. These children dream of enthroning one day a crucifix of their own.
The family is indissolubly united to the cross of Christ. Is this simply a morbid outlook on marital and family life? Or is it a piece of wisdom that few in our modern world can understand. Until our world does, it will continue to imagine and long for the unbroken hearth.
"The Sacrament of marriage comes as do all the sacraments from the wounded side of Christ as He lay ‘asleep’ in death, when Christ was pierced by a sword and blood and water and the Holy Spirit flowed out. At that moment the Church and all the sacraments came from the side of Christ as Eve was taken from the side of Adam. The Church is the Bride of Christ and the Catholic marriage is to be a living example of Christ and His Bride the Church. If the Catholic couple lives in a state of grace and has the sacrament of marriage they receive constant grace from God to love one another with the very LOVE of God. It is the vocation of the spouses to sanctify one another and be open to new life. According to Archbishop Sheen it takes 3 to get married: husband, wife and Christ. Marriage works in Christ.”
—my friend Kathleen Ann
“…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NKJV)
When you wake up each morning, God sends you a special delivery of joy. It’s like it comes knocking at the door of your heart every day. The problem is that some people never answer the door. It’s right there, month after month, year after year saying, “Come on! Let me in! You can be happy! You can cheer up! You can enjoy your life!” The way to answer the door is to get up and choose an attitude of faith and expectancy by declaring that “today is going to be a good day.” When you start the day like that, you are choosing to receive the gift of joy that God sent to you.
Today, make up your mind to answer the door to joy! Get up every morning and say, “Father, thank You for another beautiful day. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to enjoy this day because You are faithful. I’m going to brighten someone else’s life. I am choosing to receive Your gift of joy and passing it on to others because I love You, and I know that I am called for Your purposes!”
Upon Mega Evolving, Metagross’s Ability changes to Tough Claws, which increases the power of attacks that make physical contact. Its Speed is also increased greatly, and its stats are better balanced than ever! With increases in its Attack, Defense, Sp. Atk, and Sp. Def, this is a Pokémon primed for both offense and defense.
TOUGH CLAWS/????? GREATLY INCREASED SPEED?????? ????? INCREASED EVERYTHIGN??
HAS MANKIND GONE TOO FAR
Hello Fr Angel. What does it mean when someone says I believe in Jesus but not religion? A friend of mine used to go to a Catholic church but stopped going. Now he always says that.
It is a saying repeating over and over that “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Many years ago, Protestant preachers started telling people that religion was the materialistic and financial system that surrounded belief in God, and that religion was not good because it gets in the way of a personal relationship with Jesus.
The rationale for attacking “religion” and saying “I believe in Jesus but not religion” is supposedly found in the Bible, where Jesus criticizes putting human traditions and precepts above the law of God:
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9).
However, this is what is called attacking a “straw man.” It is attacking something illogically because what you are attacking is not wrong, or is not a threat to what you think is right.
The very first thing to do is ask, “Why are you saying that? What do you mean? I don’t understand why religion is a bad thing? Can you define what religion means to you?”
Then the person will say,
"Religion is buildings and property and churches. Religion is the materialistic structure. Religion is the authority figure, the preachers, the leaders who hold power. Religion is the money and pursuit of programs and prestige to look good before others. Most of all, religion is the code of rules and laws that don’t come from the Bible but are used to control people. Religion is the stuff that gets in the way of pure faith, because instead of just being friends with Jesus and having Him as your Lord and Savior, you are doing works of religion, and trying to be saved by your works, instead of being saved by faith in Jesus."
Now, the next question is very crucial. Simply ask the person: “Really? Wow? Yeah, it sounds like religion is really bad. But I’ve read my Bible and have never found religion defined that way. Can you please show me in the Bible where you’re getting all those ideas about religion?”
You see, the Bible almost never uses the word religion. Where we do see it used, it is not necessarily a bad thing.
For instance, look at this passage:
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:26-27).
So, contrary to the typical Christian who says that religion is the structure and man made tradition, but faith is the relationship with Jesus, the Bible says something very different. The Bible says that religion is actually the word for describing a relationship with God. And as a relationship, you can have “worthless religion” and you can have “pure religion” which pleases God. It depends on whether you are putting your faith into practice.
In other words, Christians often throw around the word “religion” and make it a dirty word, in contradiction to God’s Word, which says that religion is something that is good if you are authentic, and religion is bad if you preach what you do not believe deep down (hypocritical).
When a person says “I believe in Jesus but not religion” I just say, “Belief in Jesus IS religion.” Whether it’s good religion or bad religion depends on how you act and what you do. See James 1:27.”
God bless and take care, Fr. Angel
If we do what we do to glorify God we won’t be afraid of what people think because we’re not doing it to receive praise from men, but to give honor to our Father.
don’t mistreat people who are sincerely kind
don’t use them for their generosity
and for fuck’s sake don’t take them for granted expecting them to always be there because they’re nice
good-natured people can be worn down so much that even they can become jaded
treat these people right