Some Advice & Perspective on Marriage with the Saints

In our post on Monday, we talked about The Heart Your Husband Needs. Today we’re building on that momentum and taking some marriage advice from the saints!

St. Josemaria Escriva

“Those who are called to the married state will, with the grace of God, find within their state everything they need to be holy.”

I love this. Marriage is a journey, and like all journeys, it’s got its ups and downs. God calls each of us to our own specific vocations—and he provides us the grace necessary for that, regardless of what it is. For us married folk, that means that every challenge is sanctifying. May these words help us remember that in our times of struggle.

St. John Chrysostom

“The love of a husband and wife is the force that welds society together.”

This is one of my favorite quotes from a saint on marriage. It’s so simplistic and straight-forward. Upon analyzing it, though, it’s SO. TRUE. We are the communities in which children are raised and taught the ways of the Church and the ways of the World. If we’re training the future and modeling marriage, then we’re definitely a force. Society isn’t to be without parents, who spawn those who comprise society.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

“Great are the joys in marriage, as there is the lifting of progressive veils, until one is brought into the blazing lights of the Presence of God.”

If we could somehow help move the cause of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen ahead by way of petition or something like that, I’d sign it. For sure. He was way ahead of his time. The joys of marriage (so far) have been great, and we are jazzed to continue to be in their presence. But more importantly is when we fall asleep in the hope of the resurrection and wake in the awesome light that is God which is made possible simply because we have lived our marriage out in sanctifying grace.

St. Francis of Rome

“A married woman must, when called upon, quit her devotions to God at the altar to find him in her household affairs.”

I can hear people’s feathers being ruffled with that quote in the same way that they would’ve been if I’d written a post defending Ephesians 5 (ooh, a future post idea!). But…let’s look at it. We’ve said before (and quoted St. Therese’s Little Way as well as the words of St. Teresa of Avila, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. Gianna) that sometimes acts of love are acts of service that we hate…like dishes, cleaning out the fridge, and doing laundry.

St. Augustine of Hippo

“As love grows in you, beauty grows, too. For love is the beauty of the soul.”

In all fairness, this isn’t specifically related to marriage. I think it’s very applicable to it, though. Our love multiplies over the days and months and years of our marriages. The outward reflection of that love is the beauty modeled to the world, from our souls, and it grows exponentially. Seek always to grow your love.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

“Love, to be real, must empty us of self.”

Preach it, Mother Teresa! We’ve heard since marriage prep that marital love is sacrificial. Therefore, we must be emptied of ourselves completely and fill that emptiness with love for our husbands and children. Honestly, guys, if that’s how it’s described, sign me up right now. I’d love nothing more than to look back on this life and know that rather than emptiness, I’m filled with the joy of my loved ones.

What are your favorite saint quotes? Share with us for awesome Catholic inspiration!

 

Kristi & Rachel

 

PRAYER REQUEST: Hey, you guys. Rachel’s been under the weather for the better portion of the month. She’s under excellent care with lots of support, but she’s having a really rough time right now and could use your prayers for healing so she can return to us. In your charity, if you don’t mind, please pray for her. Thanks!

 

My True Feelings about Confession: an Interview with Little Miss on Confession

Today we are once again participating in the CWBN Sienna Sisters Blog Hop series entitled “My True Feelings about Confession.” I love confession. If you’ve been with us for a while, you already know that. If you’re new to the blog or want a refresher, check out Reconciliation: God’s Mercy Made Tangible. You may recall that Little Miss recently made her first reconciliation.  Since you’ve already heard my take on this awesome sacrament, I decided to ask Little Miss to share her true feelings about confession. Spolier alert: I love that she—an innocent child—can see the beauty within this sacrament, as I do.

An Interview with Little Miss on Confession

K: Tell me how you felt after you made your first reconciliation.

LM: I felt like the greatest person in the whole entire world, because I was free of sin. I don’t know why, I just did. It must’ve been the Holy Spirit.

K: Do you look forward to going to confession again? Why?

LM: Yes, I do. Every single time I do. Because of what I just told you—I mean, it just feels great to get all the sins out. I felt like a whole new person. It’s kind of crazy, but it’s actually really, really awesome at the same time. I think I would actually be really sad if confession didn’t exist.

K: Did you know some people are afraid to go to confession? What advice would you give to someone like that?

LM: No. Um…I’d just say…I don’t know. Um, I guess I would say not to be afraid because it’s the greatest thing in the world.

K: You keep saying that it’s “the greatest thing in the world.” Can you describe it in other ways? Like, what is confession better than?

LM: Anything…in the world, really. Except for God. I think it’s even better than his beautiful creations—except for, like, the Holy Family and angels.

K: Wow. Even better than his creations? I know you love sunrises and sunsets. Confession is better than those?

LM: Yes.

K: Let’s say you had a friend who was about to make her first confession after ten years. Let’s say she’s nervous and a little scared to go to confession. What would you tell her?

LM: I guess the same thing I’d say to someone if it was their first time making confession, except I’d try to comfort her a little more, because she’d be embarrassed about it, I think.

K: Okay…so what would you say?

LM: I think I’d just say, “There’s nothing to worry about. I felt the same way before I made my first confession, and then afterward, I felt like the greatest person ever, so take my advice. Oh, and there’s not going to be cake and punch after every time, but there will be after the first time.”

A Family Affair

In our house, we push the ideas of forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation (see For the Love of All Things Holy about one way we push those ideas) in all things that we do. We actively practice this because Christ actively practiced it. For our family, we don’t just apologize, we ask for one another’s forgiveness and we grant it freely. There are, of course, additional conversations that coincide with that depending on the issue.

It stands to reason, then, that we make going to confession to receive God’s mercy a family affair. We love to go together, pray our penance together, and then feel “like the greatest” as a family. It resets us with God and it resets our demeanor with one another.

Especially during this penitential season of Lent, receiving the sacrament of penance is wonderful. It’s freeing, therapeutic, and helps you grow closer to the Living God. Both Little Miss and I urge you to go to confession soon.

CWBN Blog Hop My True Feelings about Confession

Kristi

P.S. Little Miss was nervous for this to be posted, but so excited to share her perspective with our readers. Would you share your thoughts on this post with us?  Don’t forget to check out the other blog posts in the CWBN Blog Hop here.

The Heart Your Husband Needs

You know how people without children often have loads of solid parenting advice? I like to call this the Peanut Gallery effect. I’ve been a mom (pregnancy to present) for over eight years and I’ve got plenty of on-the-job experience with this. No one knows the heart your child needs like you do. It didn’t occur to me that there’s a similar phenomenon where unmarried people (i.e., me for a good amount of my life until recently) judge and advise the married. For instance, I may have looked at how one married friend treated her husband and thought she handled it wrong. I may’ve even mentioned what I’d do in her situation. To her, and on behalf of all married people who’ve received such input, allow me to apologize.  No one knows the heart your husband needs the way that you do.

As I’m typing this, my poor sweet Superman is laid out in the bed after a long day’s work in a city quite a distance away trying to come back from nausea and a headache. He came home, kissed us on the head, and went straight to bed. As I brought him water, offered to get him anything he needed, and caressed his clean-shaven head, I realized that what he needs from me in this moment is absence. He needs solitude. He needs permission to sleep and do what he needs to do without feeling guilty about neglecting family responsibilities. That’s what I’m giving him (and if I’m not mistaken, he’s now OUT like a light).

The Heart Your Husband Needs: You Know Your Marriage

Past, unmarried me might’ve thought that actions such as this show wifely neglect. How short-sighted is that? How is listening to your husband’s need and then responding to it neglect? Obviously, the answer is that it isn’t. It’s the opposite. Please, don’t allow the naysayers to sway you. You know your marriage. He knows your marriage. God knows your marriage. Unless there’s domestic violence, emotional/psychological abuse, or something else dangerous going on, nobody else gets a say in your marriage.

The Heart Your Husband Needs: Wisdom from St. Francis

“Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis brings forth a whole lot for reflection in that one sentence within his renowned prayer. This month has had a lot of conversation (so far) about the beautiful sacrament of matrimony and how to practically live it out. This quote is a perfect summation for what we’re called to do. I have to try to show my love for Superman more than I seek Superman’s signs of his love for me.

The Heart Your Husband Needs: Trust Your Instincts

Trust your wifely instincts, my fellow Catholic wives. You are perfectly suited to provide exactly what your husband needs. Today mine needs rest and permission to disappear. Tomorrow, he might need an ear or a shoulder or a warm embrace. Whatever it is, I will make sure he gets it. I’m perfectly designed to read his needs and provide them; and so are you for your husband.

Please don’t listen to the world. I mean, in reality, listening to the world is NEVER a good idea. We’ve been given a wonderful guidebook in the Bible and excellent examples in married saints (like St. Joseph, St. Monica, Sts. Zelie and Louis Martin, Sts. Priscilla and Aquila, and St. Gianna Beretta Molla, for example) and those celibate saints who had much to say on the topic of marriage (St. John Paul the Great, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Valentine (who witnessed to the beauty of marriage)). If we’re listening to anyone other than ourselves on how we live out our marriages, let it be them.

Have you stopped to think about the heart your husband needs from you lately? Maybe it’s a listening heart. Perhaps it’s a service heart. You know what he needs, though. May you find it easy to provide it to him.

 

Kristi

FIAT: Faith in All Things Hanging Out with Little Miss

Happy St. Patrick’s day! My family is Irish on both sides and Deep South Georgian on the Catholic side. That may not mean much to you immediately, but Savannah clings to every potential drop of Irish blood and does St. Patrick’s Day up HUGE. That’s my family. As you know, recently, my family has been reshaped and has blended new members in. Today on the podcast, I’m hanging out with Little Miss, my seven year-old daughter, to talk about some of the changes that have gone on in our home since the wedding.

Little Miss is super excited to be filling in for Aunt Rachel today. She’s wanted to participate in the podcast since its inception. So, please, ready your “she’s so adorable!” smile, grab a cup of something soothing, and join me and my Little Miss in a conversation about blending…and Blended…among other things. She also does her best impression of our usual podcast openings.

If the podcast doesn’t load in the media player above, please click here to download it.

We already had our St. Patrick’s Day tea party (yesterday), so here’s a picture of our table of deliciousness.

Hanging Out with Little Miss

Little Miss would love any input that you have to offer on this, her first podcast. Leave her some love in the comments below and have a fantastic weekend!

 

Kristi

Cool Catholic Women, Part II: Five MORE Super Amazing Catholic Bloggers

Well you guys…it’s still Women’s History Month! Earlier this month we posted about some pretty awesome Catholic women bloggers who build the kingdom of God. Women we’d invite to tea. Except we limited ourselves to five. Who were we kidding, right?! So here’s our second list of our teatime guests (see here for the original post).

FIVE MORE SUPER AMAZING COOL CATHOLIC WOMEN BLOGGERS*

*okay, we confess; it’s six.

  1. Allison Gingras— Allison is pretty cool, indeed. You can find her at Reconciled to You. She also hosts a radio show, A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras, on Breadbox Media (streaming online or available for free in the app store). She’s the main organizer for the Catholic Women Bloggers Network Sienna Sisters Blog Hop every month and she hosts the weekly #WorthRevist linkup on Wednesdays. Allison is also a mom, a wife, a lover of squirrels, a speaker, and a blogger. She’s currently leading the WINE—Women in the New Evangelization Lenten book study on Walk in Her Sandals over on Facebook (missed our podcast on this book? Check it out here!). She also takes your prayer requests online and brings them to adoration with her. We’re excited to sit down with her later this month to chat on her radio show.
  2. Hallie Lord/Jennifer Fulwiler— Yes, we’re totally cheating with this one, but since it’s number two it’s the appropriate one to list a duo…right? Kristi often jokes that Hallie Lord is her soul sister. Hallie can be found at her website of her own name and is an author, speaker, conference co-founder, mama, blogger, and radio hostess to a Sirius XM Satellite Radio show, Hallie Weekly. We love listening to her radio show. She always has something to say that ignites thought and inspires. Jennifer Fulwiler blogs at her website. She’s also an author, an atheist-turned-Catholic mama, and our third radio hostess for this post. She hosts the Jennifer Fulwiler Show (also on Sirius XM), which is always filled with hilarity and insights from a Catholic perspective. Together, they’re the co-founders of the Edel Gathering. Segue time: are you going? Catch up with the Hail Marry team there if you do!
  3. Sterling Jacquith— We discovered Sterling through a Catholic Mom Google Hangout videocast on marriage. She had some great things to say there, so we followed her over to her website, where she blogs, leads a Catholic Mom Challenge group, and posts a weekly podcast called Coffee and Pearls. She’s expecting another bundle of joy right now, but can be found on Facebook working with her Catholic Mom Challenge group. She’s also an author and a speaker. Definitely listen to her podcast episodes entitled I Just Want and Measuring Our Marriage. Really. Good. Stuff.
  4. Jenna GuizarBlessed is She is new for us. It’s a community of Catholic women of all kinds that was founded in 2014 by Jenna Guizar. She’s been able to accomplish some pretty cool things since then, as there are free daily devotionals offered and paid membership monthly virtual workshops designed to help you delve into the Word. Let’s be honest: we could all use a little help in this department. They’re hosting a retreat on April 1 in Austin as well as hosting brunches across the country, aimed at creating a real-life community. Our closest one is actually this coming Saturday, which is SO COOL! Kristi and our wonderful friend Bridgette are going (so look for a conversation about that experience coming soon!). In addition to all that, Blessed is She has regional Facebook groups for additional support plus prayer tools you can buy in their online store.
  5. Katie Sciba—We’ve linked this amazing blogger from The Catholic Wife before in our podcast about morning offerings and we just love her stuff! She’s got great tips for buying Catholic at the holidays, excellent insight on how to Catholic wife, and runs a Monday Morning with the Saints series with saint quotes and meditations. Katie is also a speaker and a vlogger. Check out her post on Lent for the Married (how timely!) and her vlog episode Stewardship, Spouses, & Service.

Even though our two lists are now comprised of eleven women, we know there are still a ton of them out there who are just as awesome and not yet mentioned by us. So we ask you: who would make your list of Cool Catholic Women? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #CoolCatholicWomen. Let us know what you think about our second list and the links we’ve shared, too!