Imagine you and your spouse driving down an open road and all you see out the window is an endless body of water, a beautiful beach and captivating sunset.
What is your first thought?
Is it the beauty of God’s creation?
Is it the thought of how the water came to be?
Does your husband want to go fishing?
Or do you wish you could lie down and relax on the beach?
Regardless of your thoughts or desires, God created that image. He created the water, the sand, and he has complete control over the sunset. He may have even put those desires on your heart.
This Lent, how will you and your spouse enrich and rejuvenate each other spiritually?
Your job is to aid in your spouse’s salvation, so why not stop from the busyness of your life and work as a team this Lent to grow holier as a couple?
Below are some practical exercises that could provide you and your spouse with the endless, life-giving water the Lord offers.
1) Go to Daily Mass
Attending Mass every day with your spouse can be difficult, but trying to go to one extra mass once a week is better than none at all. Of course the Catholic Church requires our Sunday obligation, but attending a daily Mass grants innumerable additional graces.
St. Padre Pio said, “Every holy Mass, heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we, ourselves, do not know. It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
Imagine the graces God grants couples who attend additional Masses together! And even if my husband cannot go with me, I find abundant strength in attending Mass daily Mass.
2) Go to Adoration
When I was younger, my family went to adoration on Fridays together. Every time I went to adoration, I prayed for my future husband.
After I met him many years later, he told me his family did a Eucharistic holy hour every week. I know Eucharistic devotion within our families played a powerful role in our marriage today.
Every time we go to adoration together, I know that God gives us so much strength. We lay a foundation for each other, as well as for our children. It also unites us in prayer, strengthens us in holiness, and brings us closer together within the sacrament of Matrimony.
3) Pray the Rosary
The holy rosary is one of the most powerful prayers of our times.
In 1917, Our Lady of Fatima asked that we pray the rosary every day. The Ven. Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, also known as “The Rosary Priest,” always said that “the family who prays together stays together.”
Growing up, my family prayed at least two decades of the Rosary together most evenings. No family will ever be without its trials, but I assure you, if you pray the Rosary together as a couple and/or as a family, Our Blessed Mother will wrap her mantle around you and never let you go.
As St. Louis de Montfort said, “The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, Who so loves His Mother.”
4) Practice the Corporal Works of Mercy
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that Lent is a time to practice spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, etc., but also to practice fraternal sharing, or charitable and missionary works. (CCC 1438)
The Corporal Works of Mercy include feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, sheltering the homeless, and burying the dead (CCC 2447).
As a couple, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen, food bank, or local homeless shelter. You could visit a children’s hospital, or someone lonely in a nursing home.
There are endless possibilities. These options not only help those around you, but could help you break through any personal selfish struggles, as well as provide a bond between you and your spouse.
5) Meditate on Christ’s Passion
Praying the Stations of the Cross is a common practice among Catholics during the Lenten season. But have you ever thought about going to a chapel and praying them with your spouse?
As married couples, we are called to die to ourselves and give up our lives for the other. When we meditate on Christ’s passion, we should think of Him as the model we live by within our marriage.
Our human nature oftentimes tempts us to live selfishly. But when we model Christ’s sacrificial love, it reminds us that our spouse’s salvation is the reason for the sacrament.
Today, let us make the resolution to model Jesus, and practice the selfless, sacrificial love we are called in the sacrament of Matrimony.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.” Jn. 3:16.