Secret to Healthy Relationships

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday September 3, 2023

We are blessed to have many marriages take place here in our parish. Not just our own parishioners, but people from neighboring cities as well. It’s a very photogenic church, from the fountain courtyard in the front, the long aisle, and the Spanish-style sanctuary. It makes a beautiful backdrop to any wedding. As anyone who has been involved in the planning of a wedding, they know it takes a lot of effort to make sure the ceremony and the reception go smoothly. Even after the big day is over, the hard work of building a family together now begins. How do we create a happy marriage? This is a huge question for any married couple. We first need to appreciate that marriage will always be hard. Always. Even if you have the greatest couple on earth, it will always be difficult. Marriage brings a man and a woman together, with different life experiences and upbringings, different values and outlooks on life, attempting to weave their lives into one. Even more so, they are both broken in some way. Like all of us, we are “fallen.” We have the stain of Original Sin in our hearts that we hear about in the Book of Genesis, when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of good and evil (Cf. Genesis 3). From that moment on, I have a proclivity to choose the bad.

We must return to a biblical view of marriage if we want to see healthier families. In 1983, Sister Lucia, the last surviving visionary of the Marian apparition of Fatima in Portugal, famously wrote in a letter to an Italian cardinal, a time will come when the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family. And those who will work for the good of the family will experience persecution and tribulation. But do not be afraid, because Our Lady has already crushed his head.” Forty years later, her words have become true. How are we called to build a “Civilization of love”? The answer is in today’s Gospel reading: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.r For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” We must kill our ego. That is the secret to love. We must lay down our lives for our loved ones. Put their needs before our own. If we do this, we will be following the path of Jesus Christ.