Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, July 6, 2012

Feast of Saint Maria Goretti

Good morning. Marriage is more than a feeling. It’s more than playing house. It’s more than pursuing the dream. First off, marriage is a sacrament. It’s about commitment, it’s forever and it’s open to life. Marriage is a permanent, faithful journey one man and one woman take in pursuit of God. When a man and a woman enter marriage with true friendship, openness to forgiveness, and a willingness to stay clear of judgment, and a dedication to being loyal and fair with each other, they enter into marriage with a solid chance of making it work and even enjoying a lifetime of joy together. Our saint for today, Saint Maria Goretti has much to offer us in exemplifying the virtue of forgiveness and being nonjudgmental in our lives. 

However, there are times when even the best of marriages go awry. One reason is because despite our desire not to, we tend to judge one another and how we respond to such judgments is significant. Jesus addresses this whole issue of judgment in the Gospel for today in His calling of Matthew to be an Apostle. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” How often do we find ourselves thinking if our spouse would just change this or that about their self, life would certainly be a whole lot better. But wait! Is it at all conceivable that our spouse might likewise say the same about us? So, maybe fixing each other may not be the way to go.

Most of what couples come to find annoys them or they would like to change about their partner never goes away. The happiest couples come to accept these things about their spouse and avoid saying every critical thought that comes to mind. If you have ever been a part of a conversation wherein someone puts their spouse down in front of others in the name of getting a laugh, and you’ve seen how humiliating this is, then you can appreciate how ineffective it is to suggest your partner change using such tactics; in fact, in most instances a different approach to change is likely preferred. How we approach these matters is important; communicating our felt need for change in a loving respectful way may be called for from time to time, but we need to first ask ourselves “Is it really that important?” 

Keep in mind, most things will not change. And, ask ourselves do we need to change things or is it better to come to understand and accept that this is who they are. We should try to avoid commenting negatively about something that disturbs us or annoys us about our partner. Sometimes the best practice is to keep our mouths shut about what we don’t like, and instead express how much we appreciate those things we do like. We can tend to get much more mileage out of complimenting what we like versus drawing attention to those things we dislike, and keep in mind that compliments are foreplay. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Maria Goretti.

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