An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Friday Fast: for struggling marriages

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Intention: For husbands and wives experiencing difficulties in their marriage – that the Lord would strengthen their love for each other as a sign of His love for the world.

Reflection: On their wedding day, a husband and wife promise to be true to each other “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health” (Rite of Marriage #25). Sure enough, the bad times come. Every married couple encounters times when loving their spouse isn’t so easy, or when outside difficulties put strain on the relationship.

As Pope Francis reminded the youth in Brazil, saying “yes” forever to one’s spouse is a revolutionary act! Not knowing what tomorrow will bring, husbands and wives can rely on the grace of the sacrament they received on their wedding day.

And married couples can take heart that their “yes” to each other, even when it is difficult to say, bears much fruit in the world. Pope Benedict XVI called marriage “a Gospel in itself, a Good News for the world of today… The union of a man and a woman, their becoming ‘one flesh’ in charity, in fruitful and indissoluble love, is a sign that speaks of God with a force and an eloquence.”

Did you know? The Church offers much assistance to husbands and wives who are experiencing marital difficulties. For example, the USCCB website For Your Marriage has advice and articles from experts about a number of obstacles that married couples face, including addictions, disillusionment, infidelity, and pornography. The website also has a list of organizations that provide support for troubled marriages. See also the pamphlet “Finding Help When Your Marriage Is In Trouble.”

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