Today is my oldest daughter Claire's birthday, please pray for her!
Deuteronomy, Chapter 1, Verse 17
In rendering judgment, do not consider who a person is; give ear to the lowly and to the great alike, fearing no one, for the judgment is God’s. Any case that is too difficult for you bring to me and I will hear it.”
Deuteronomy is the last of the five books of Moses. The book explains to the Israelites how to make a success of their life. To be a success we must as General Patton said, “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.” After appointing Elders this was Moses advice to them; fear no one except God. The greatest of our church is that we when we are troubled and don’t know what to do we can always approach Him in prayer and seek the advice of his elders (Mary and the Saints) anywhere we are. If we desire we may also approach our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and bring any case that is too difficult for Him to hear and He will answer us. Likewise we may approach a priest in confession or connect with a local parish spiritual director. How great is our God that He does not abandon us. Furthermore there is a multitude of great Catholic websites and organizations where there are elders of the church who can assist us in our difficult moments.
Today is Valentine’s Day by his love you can see we truly are His Valentine. The idea of Valentine's Day seems to have originated during the Middle Ages, somewhere around the 14th or 15th century. The holiday is named after a Saint Valentine who was martyred. Chaucer, a famous poet, wrote about "Seynt Valentyne's day" in his famous Parliament of Foules. Other historians attribute the holiday as a celebration of the life of Saint Valentine who lived in Constantinople 150 years after Constantine turned the city into a Christian one. There was a pagan celebration on February 15th where lots of unmarried men chose a bride and were married on this day. Married men didn't want to go to war, so Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry. Valentine ignored the decree and was executed on February 14, in the year A.D. 270.
The Two Ends or Purposes of Marriage
Marriage has two fundamental ends or purposes towards which it is oriented, namely, the good of the spouses as well as the procreation of children. Thus, the Church teaches that marriage is both unitive and procreative, and that it is inseparably both.
Pope John Paul II‘s theology of the body speaks of the human body as having a spousal significance. This means that the human body by its very nature signifies that we humans are directed to relationship—that we are to seek union with others. For it is only in relationship that we achieve a true wholeness as a communion of persons. Before Eve was created, Adam was alone. His joy upon perceiving Eve indicated that with Eve he achieved the―original unity that human nature seeks. God clearly made human beings to love and to be loved, to be in relationships wherein the act of giving oneself and receiving the other becomes complete. In this context, the word ―original means not only that these experiences go back to the dawn of human history but, more importantly, that they are key to understanding our most basic human experiences. The experience of Adam and Eve speaks powerfully to our search not only to understand ourselves but also to love and be loved, to be in a relationship of love with a person of the opposite sex. God established marriage so that man and woman could participate in his love and thus selflessly give themselves to each other in love. A man and a woman who by their act of consent are no longer two but one flesh (see Mt 19:6ff.) render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions.―My lover belongs to me and I to him (Song 2:16; see Song6:3).With all the dignity and simplicity of poetry, the Bride in the Song of Songs sings of the unitive meaning of married love.―You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. . . . How beautiful is your love! (Song 4:9-10). So responds the Bridegroom of the Song, overcome with the wonder of conjugal love that is extended to him by the Bride. This is the love that is strong as death (see Song 8:6b). Just as beautifully, Tobiah prays with his wife, Sarah, on their wedding night, awestruck at the mercy of the God of their fathers, that is, the God of the covenant, in bringing them together in a union of true conjugal love: Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, ―It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself. Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age. (Tb 8:5-7) The love that is as strong as death is the love that prays and praises, caught up into divine love.1413See Pope John Paul II, General Audience, May 30, 1984.14See GS, no. 48: ―Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.
It is the nature of love to overflow, to be life-giving. Thus, it is no surprise that marriage is ordained not only to growing in love but to transmitting life: ―by its very nature the institution of marriage and married love [is]ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory. Married love itself is ordered to the procreation of children, for, after all, the first command given to Adam and Eve is―be fertile and multiply (Gn 1:28). Tobiah‘s prayer, even as it asks for a happy and lifelong union, remembers that the human race descended from Adam and Eve. His prayer for happiness certainly includes, even if implicitly, a prayer for offspring. God indeed sends the couple seven sons (Tb 14:3) and long life (Tb 14:14). Again, in the words of the Second Vatican Council: Children are the supreme gift of marriage. . . . Without intending to underestimate the other ends of marriage, it must be said that true married love and the family life which flows from it have this end in view: that the spouses would cooperate generously with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will in due time increase and enrich his family. Children are a gift in a myriad of ways. They bring joy even in the midst of heartaches; they give added direction to the lives of their parents. Children, who are the fruit of love and meaningful commitment, are a cause of love and meaning. It is true that some marriages will not result in procreation due to infertility, even though the couple is capable of the natural act by which procreation takes place. Indeed, this situation often comes as a surprise and can be a source of deep disappointment, anxiety, and even great suffering for a husband and wife. When such tragedy affects a marriage, a couple may be tempted to think that their union is not complete or truly blessed. This is not true. The marital union of a man and a woman is a distinctive communion of persons. An infertile couple continues to manifest this attribute. Even when their child-bearing years have passed, a couple should continue to be life-affirming. They can do this by staying involved in the lives of young people, and especially their grandchildren, as spiritual mentors, teachers, and wisdom figures. They can also continue to be nurturing through the exercise of care for those who are needy, disabled, or pushed to the margins of society, and by their support for or participation in works of charity and justice.