Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Feast of Saint Cajetan
Good morning. We read in today’s Gospel about doubt and faith, and it is clear in today’s reading about Peter’s failed attempt to walk on water that doubt and faith do not work well together. We so often see this in marriage. Pope Benedict made note of this in his remarks to the youth during his visit to Malta in April of 2010. He assured them that it is important to resist fear and doubt, and that the path to overcoming our doubt is found in being committed. Pope Benedict said “To all of you who wish to follow Christ, as married couples, as parents, as priests, as religious, as lay faithful bringing the message of the Gospel to the world, I say, do not be afraid!” Where faith involves the sacrament of marriage we overcome our doubts through faith which we come to have by way of our experiences and through understanding God’s intentions for marriage. Sound preparation for marriage and ongoing participation in the Eucharist and prayer provides for maintaining our faith and we will be better prepared to deal with struggles as they occur in marriage. If we understand God’s intention for marriage we will be prepared to deal with problems when they occur.
Our current day culture offers very little support for ideas such as commitment and permanence, and even from within the pews there is often support and encouragement for backing away from making permanent decisions and lifelong commitments. When we encounter doubt, our faith will find a way. In addition to frequent participation in the Eucharist and prayer, it is important for couples to make a deliberate effort in providing for experiences which support their faith and commitment in one another. We should make a deliberate choice each morning to engage in behaviors which will support our relationship. Our Saint for today, Saint Cajetan, is quoted as saying, ““I do not desire anything more than the will of the Father being always done in me, this I pray, this I desire.”
So too in marriage, our faith and commitment for each other grows as our love for each other grows, and our love grows through making choices to engage in positive interactions with our spouse. Being together we come to know each other and over time our love for one another makes itself known. Over time the little things we do for each over time out weigh the occasional angry words or occasions of neglect. Thus it is with God, the more time we spend time together the less likely we are to doubt His love for us. Love isn’t something which just happens, we make it happen, but it requires deliberate choices on our part to make it happen. John Gottman, an author and renowned researcher in the field of marital success notes that success in marriage“is not an absence of conflict; it has to do with the success ratio.” Gottmann notes that in successful marriages there is an ongoing ratio of five positive interactions for every one negative interaction. Leave no room for doubt, do something positive for your marriage today. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Cajetan.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 5:50 AM