Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, February 24, 2012

Feast of Saint Victorinus, and Six Companions

Good morning. The lesson for this third day of Lent 2012 is about not being a showboat. Jesus in today’s Gospel addresses the issue of fasting and the tendency for some to be rather ostentatious about their fasting, or charitable giving, or their prayer life. In many ways this tendency toward attention seeking seems to be what fuels a great many things in our present day culture. At the very least it seems to be the impetus behind the whole social networking craze. The crux of the message from Matthew’s Gospel this morning is that we should be about our Lenten activities of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer for the love of God and not for self aggrandizement.

This whole thing of public display causes me to consider an interesting phenomena which occurs amongst married couples. It is often the case that couples I see in counseling will share how their partner treats complete strangers nicer than they sometimes treat them. Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW author of Divorce Busting and  The Sex-Starved Marriage says “I have so many couples tell me they’ve had an enormous, nasty fight, and then they go to the grocery store together and one of them will say to a stranger cutting in ahead of them in line, ‘Oh, that’s OK, please go ahead.’ All too often, we don’t treat our spouse half as well as we treat strangers.” John Gottman, PhD author of  Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last notes that "One of the first things to go in a marriage is politeness. In some ways this simply reflects increasing comfort. But it leads to taking one another for granted, and it can lead to rudeness. The difference between the conversation of spouses and people who are strangers is that the married couples are far less polite to each other than to the strangers."

It is most unfortunate that we do not always afford our spouse the same kindness and patience we offer to complete strangers. Let’s treat our spouse with the same kindness and politeness that we would give a stranger; better yet, let’s commit ourselves this Lenten Season to letting our spouse know that they are really important to us. It’s a rather simple, but truly rewarding concept, let our spouse know they are number one. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good lives, gifts, and works of St. Victorinus, and Six Companions, Martyrs.

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