What are the enemies of your love relationship that needs the Lord’s protection? They might take the form of bitterness, jealousy, irritability, doubt and distrust, selfishness, or too-busyness. They creep into our attitudes, infiltrating our minds with negative thoughts and bad moods, interfering with our desire to give to our beloved the goodness in us, our very best, Christ within us.
The good news is: Jesus provides us with protection! He gives us weapons against every evil. He gives us himself as a shield.
When we imitate him, choosing to use his ways of handling relationships, he is our shield. This does not come automatically. In order to imitate him, and to understand his ways, we must become more familiar with scripture as well as Church teachings (because they are thoroughly based on scripture, with notations of scripture sources, giving us another avenue into the Word of God).*
One of the most powerful weapons he gives us is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Going to Confession opens us to receive special graces for healing and for resisting the return to sin.
Another weapon is prayer. When trials persist, we can ask the Holy Spirit of Christ to bring out of them a stronger, more unitive marriage and increased faith. And before new trials begin, in our daily prayers we will ensure success if we ask the Holy Spirit to help us recognize those behaviors and attitudes within us that are enemies of our relationship, and to strengthen us against those temptations before they become hurtful and divisive.
- What have I done recently that needs my sweetheart’s forgiveness?
- What enemy of unconditional, faithful love has been a real struggle for me to overcome. When will I take this to the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Strengthen your relationship:
What do you see in each other that imitates Christ? How does this protect your relationship? At the end of your discussion, pray together, asking the Lord to protect your relationship from anything that could harm. Ask for help in resisting the temptation of seeking your own agenda and desires without regard to how it affects your sweetheart. Pray that nothing will come into your hearts, minds and actions that could hurt your unity.
*Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, The Joy of Love, is the topic of a Good News Ministries video course that will begin on September 12. The course will be 3 short (5- or 6-minutes long) videos per week for 9 weeks, i.e., one chapter per week. I’ll pull out three important themes from each of the pope’s 9 chapters and apply it to the everyday struggle of discovering and believing that God truly does love us always, and how love can find the way through any trial or division. To register, go to http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-description-C05/
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© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries