Tag Archives: Marriage

Breaking: Supreme Court redefines marriage throughout US :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2015 / 08:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a wide-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that same-sex “marriage” is a constitutional right and that states must recognize same-sex unions contracted as marriages in other states.

By a vote of 5-4, the court ruled June 26 that states must recognize same-sex “marriages” under the 14th Amendment, and recognize such unions contracted in other states.

The decision in Obergefell v. Hodges dealt with claims that Ohio’s marriage law discriminated by not recognizing same-sex unions contracted as marriages in other states. Several other states were also facing similar cases on the constitutionality of state marriage laws.

Backers of marriage as a union of one man and one woman argued that marriage is intrinsically connected to the procreation of children and cannot be redefined. Some also said the matter should be left to the people and the states and not decided in court when so much disagreement on the matter persists.

Backers of “gay marriage” asserted a fundamental right to marry whomever one loves, saying that failure to redefine marriage amounts to decimation.

Same-sex “marriage” was not firmly established in any U.S. state until 2004, after a Massachusetts court ruled that the state must give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In response to that ruling, some had called for a federal constitutional amendment to protect the definition of marriage. Voters in 30 states have passed constitutional amendments and referenda strengthening the legal definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Many of these efforts have been overturned in state or federal court challenges.

In 2013, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from supporters of California’s defense-of-marriage amendment, Proposition 8, which California officials had refused to defend in court. The Supreme Court said that the appeal did not have legal standing and allowed a lower state court’s overruling of the proposition to take effect.

The Supreme Court itself has declined to review several recent appeals seeking to defend state marriage laws against lower court decisions.

Also in 2013, a 5-4 ruling from the Supreme Court struck down aspects of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act. The court claimed that a provision defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman for federal purposes violated the U.S. constitution’s equal protection guarantees. The ruling said that the federal government must recognize “gay marriages” in individual states if the states choose to recognize them.

The Defense of Marriage Act had passed Congress overwhelmingly and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton after a Hawaii court ruling briefly recognized such unions.

Increasing requirements for recognition of same-sex unions as marriages, combined with state anti-discrimination laws, have caused growing conflict with religious freedom.

Parents in some school districts have faced difficulty in exempting their children from classes voicing approval of same-sex relationships, while small businesses with moral reservations about participating in same-sex ceremonies have faced discrimination lawsuits. Catholic-run adoption agencies have been forced to close because the law would require them to place children with same-sex couples against their religious beliefs.

The consequences for religious freedom were a topic of the court’s deliberations in Obergefell v. Hodges. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verilli at one point acknowledged that the high court’s approval of a legal right to same-sex “marriage” could mean problems for the tax-exempt status of colleges with objections to recognizing the unions.

Tags: Gay Marriage, Marriage, Supreme Court, Redefining Marriage

via Breaking: Supreme Court redefines marriage throughout US :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

Pope Francis greets pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square, Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Vatican City, May 10, 2015 / 09:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to all those around the world who are celebrating Mother’s Day, after offering advice on loving to the point of laying down one’s life.

“We remember all mothers with gratitude and affection,” the Pope said to the crowds gathered in Saint Peter’s Square under the hot sun for the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer May 10.

Speaking to the mothers after granting the apostolic blessing to those present, he noted that the applause from the crowd embraced all mothers: “those who live with us physically, but also those who live with us spiritually.”

The Pope also greeted those who were beginning to gather around the Vatican to take part in the March for Life. “It is important to collaborate together in order to defend and promote life,” he said.

In his address before the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis recounted Christ‘s words during the Last Supper: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Christ says he loves us even though we have not merited this love, the Pope said. “In this way, Jesus shows us the path for following him, the path of love.”

Pope Francis explained that Christ’s command to love and to lay down one’s life for friends is new, insofar as it was he who first fulfilled it.

“The law of love is written once and for all in the heart of man” he said, “written with the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

“And with this same Spirit, which Jesus gives us, we too can walk along this path!”

Pope Francis’ reflection comes two weeks before Pentecost, on which the Church celebrates the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Apostles 50 days after Christ’s resurrection.

The path which leads us out of ourselves toward others is concrete, the Pope said.

“Jesus showed us that love for God puts into effect the love for others,” he added, explaining that these two loves go together.

There are many examples of this love throughout the Gospels: “adults and children, educated and ignorant, rich and poor, righteous and sinners, were welcomed in the heart of Christ.”

Pope Francis stressed this call to love one another, even when we don’t understand each other, or when we don’t get along: “It is here that one sees Christian love.”

This love is greater than differences of opinion or disposition, the Roman Pontiff said.

A love which has been “freed from selfishness,” it gives joy to our hearts.

Pope Francis spoke of the small gestures of closeness shown every day: given to an elderly person, a child, one who is sick, a person alone and in difficulty, without home or job, an immigrant, a refugee.

“The love which Christ has taught us is made manifest in these gestures,” he said.

Tags: Regina Caeli

via Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

A Conscientious Spouse Can Help You Get Ahead


A Conscientious Spouse Can Help You Get Ahead

Who you marry may influence the trajectory of your career. Previous studies have found that home life can influence work life, and new research shows that a spouse’s personality could play a role in on-the-job success. Workers whose spouses are conscientiousness and help foster a satisfying home life score highest on measures of job success like job satisfaction, likelihood of promotion, and salary increases. More… Discuss

Consuelo Vanderbilt


Consuelo Vanderbilt

Consuelo Vanderbilt, a member of the prominent and wealthy Vanderbilt family, was seen as the ultimate marital prize of the Victorian age. Though she was in love with another man, Consuelo was pressured by her overbearing mother to marry Charles Spencer-Churchill, Duke of Marlborough. The couple subsequently divorced, and Consuelo went on to marry Jacques Balsan, a record-breaking balloon and hydroplane pilot. How much money did the Duke of Marlborough collect upon marrying Consuelo? More… Discuss

TODAY’S SAINT: St. Frances of Rome (Feastday: March 9)


Feastday: March 9
1384 – 1440Frances was born in the city of Rome in 1384 to a wealthy, noble family. From her mother she inherited a quiet manner and a pious devotion to God. From her father, however, she inherited a strong will. She decided at eleven that she knew what God wanted for her — she was going to be a nun.

And that’s where her will ran right up against her father’s. He told Frances she was far too young to know her mind — but not too young to be married. He had already promised her in marriage to the son of another wealthy family. In Rome at that time a father’s word was law; a father could even sell his children into slavery or order them killed.

Frances probably felt that’s what he was doing by forcing her to marry. But just as he wouldn’t listen to her, Frances wouldn’t listen to him. She stubbornly prayed to God to prevent the marriage until her confessor pointed out, “Are you crying because you want to do God’s will or because you want God to do your will?”

She gave in to the marriage — reluctantly. It was difficult for people to understand her objection. Her future husband Lorenzo Ponziani was noble, wealthy, a good person and he really cared for her. An ideal match — except for someone who was determined to be a bride of Christ.

Then her nightmare began. This quiet, shy thirteen year old was thrust into the whirl of parties and banquets that accompanied a wedding. Her mother-in-law Cecilia loved to entertain and expected her new daughter-in-law to enjoy the revelry of her social life too. Fasting and scourging were far easier than this torture God now asked her to face.

Frances collapsed from the strain. For months she lay close to death, unable to eat or move or speak.

At her worst, she had a vision of St. Alexis. The son of a noble family, Alexis had run away to beg rather than marry. After years of begging he was so unrecognizable that when he returned home his own father thought he was just another beggar and made him sleep under the stairs. In her own way, Frances must have felt unrecognized by her family — they couldn’t see how she wanted to give up everything for JesusSt. Alexis told her God was giving her an important choice: Did she want to recover or not?

It’s hard for us to understand why a thirteen-year-old would want to die but Frances was miserable. Finally, she whispered, “God’s will is mine.” The hardest words she could have said — but the right words to set her on the road to sanctity.

St. Alexis replied, “Then you will live to glorify His Name.” Her recovery was immediate and complete. Lorenzo became even more devoted to her after this — he was even a little in awe of her because of what she’d been through.

But her problems did not disappear. Her mother-in-law still expected her to entertain and go on visits with her. Look at Frances’ sister-in-law Vannozza –happily going through the rounds of parties, dressing up, playing cards. Why couldn’t Frances be more like Vannozza?

In a house where she lived with her husband, his parents, his brother and his brother’s family, she felt all alone. And that’s why Vannozza found her crying bitterly in the garden one day. When Frances poured out her heart to Vannozza and it turned out that this sister-in-law had wanted to live a life devoted to the Lord too. What Frances had written off as frivolity was just Vannozza’s natural easy-going and joyful manner. They became close friends and worked out a program of devout practices and services to work together.

They decided their obligations to their family came first. For Frances that meant dressing up to her rank, making visits and receiving visits — and most importantly doing it gladly. But the two spiritual friends went to masstogether, visited prisons, served in hospitals and set up a secret chapel in an abandoned tower of their palace where they prayed together.

But it wasn’t fashionable for noblewomen to help the poor and people gossiped about two girls out alone on the streets. Cecilia suffered under the laughter of her friends and yelled at her daughters-in-law to stop theirs spiritual practices. When that didn’t work Cecilia then appealed to her sons, but Lorenzo refused to interfere with Frances’ charity.

The beginning of the fifteenth century brought the birth of her first son, Battista, after John the Baptist. We might expect that the grief of losing her mother-in-law soon after might have been mixed with relief — no more pressure to live in society. But a household as large as the Ponziani’s needed someone to run it. Everyone thought that sixteen-year-old Frances was best qualified to take her mother-in-law’s place. She was thrust even more deeply into society and worldly duties. Her family was right, though — she was an excellent administrator and a fair and pleasant employer.

After two more children were born to her — a boy, Giovanni Evangelista, and a girl, Agnes — a flood brought disease and famine to Rome. Frances gave orders that no one asking for alms would be turned away and she and Vannozza went out to the poor with corn, wine, oil and clothing. Her father-in-law, furious that she was giving away their supplies during a famine, took the keys of the granary and wine cellar away from her.

Then just to make sure she wouldn’t have a chance to give away more, he sold off their extra corn, leaving just enough for the family, and all but one cask of one. The two noblewomen went out to the streets to beg instead.

Finally Frances was so desperate for food to give to the poor she went to the now empty corn loft and sifted through the straw searching for a few leftover kernels of corn. After she left Lorenzo came in and was stunned to find the previously empty granary filled with yellow corn. Frances drew wine out of their one cask until one day her father in law went down and found it empty. Everyone screamed at Frances. After saying a prayer, she led them to cellar, turned the spigot on the empty cask, and out flowed the most wonderful wine. These incidents completely converted Lorenzo and her father-in-law.

Having her husband and father-in-law completely on her side meant she could do what she always wanted. She immediately sold her jewels and clothes and distributed money to needy. She started wearing a dress of coarse green cloth.

Civil war came to Rome — this was a time of popes and antipopes and Rome became a battleground. At one point there were three men claiming to be pope. One of them sent a cruel governor, Count Troja, to conquer Rome. Lorenzo was seriously wounded and his brother was arrested. Troja sent word that Lorenzo’s brother would be executed unless he had Battista, Frances’s son and heir of the family, as a hostage. As long as Troja had Battista he knew the Ponzianis would stop fighting.

When Frances heard this she grabbed Battista by the hand and fled. On the street, she ran into her spiritual adviser Don Andrew who told her she was choosing the wrong way and ordered her to trust God. Slowly she turned around and made her way to Capitol Hill where Count Troja was waiting. As she and Battista walked the streets, crowds of people tried to block her way or grab Battista from her to save him. After giving him up, Frances ran to a church to weep and pray.

As soon as she left, Troja had put Battista on a soldier’s horse — but every horse they tried refused to move. Finally the governor gave in to God’s wishes. Frances was still kneeling before the altar when she felt Battista’s little arms around her.

But the troubles were not over. Frances was left alone against the attackers when she sent Lorenzo out of Rome to avoid capture. Drunken invaders broke into her house, tortured and killed the servants, demolished the palace, literally tore it apart and smashed everything. And this time God did not intervene — Battista was taken to Naples. Yet this kidnapping probably saved Battista’s life because soon a plague hit — a plague that took the lives of many including Frances’ nine-year-old son Evangelista.

At this point, her house in ruins, her husband gone, one son dead, one son a hostage, she could have given up. She looked around, cleared out the wreckage of the house and turned it into a makeshift hospital and a shelter for the homeless.

One year after his death Evangelista came to her in a vision and told her that Agnes was going to die too. In returnGod was granting her a special grace by sending an archangel to be her guardian angel for the rest of her life. She would always been able to see him. A constant companion and spiritual adviser, he once commanded her to stop her severe penances (eating only bread and water and wearing a hair shirt). “You should understand by now,” theangel told her, “that the God who made your body and gave it to your soul as a servant never intended that thespirit should ruin the flesh and return it to him despoiled.”

Finally the wars were over and Battista and her husband returned home. But though her son came back a charming young man her husband returned broken in mind and body. Probably the hardest work of healing Frances had to do in her life was to restore Lorenzo back to his old self.

When Battista married a pretty young woman named Mabilia Frances expected to find someone to share in the management of the household. But Mabilia wanted none of it. She was as opposite of Frances and Frances had been of her mother-in- law. Mabilia wanted to party and ridiculed Frances in public for her shabby green dress, her habits, and her standards. One day in the middle of yelling at her, Mabilia suddenly turned pale and fainted, crying, “Oh my pride, my dreadful pride.” Frances nursed her back to health and healed their differences as well. A converted Mabilia did her best to imitate Frances after that.

With Lorenzo’s support and respect, Frances started a lay order of women attached to the Benedictines called the Oblates of Mary. The women lived in the world but pledged to offer themselves to God and serve the poor. Eventually they bought a house where the widowed members could live in community.

Frances nursed Lorenzo until he died. His last words to her were, “I feel as if my whole life has been one beautiful dream of purest happiness. God has given me so much in your love.” After his death, Frances moved into the house with the other Oblates and was made superior. At 52 she had the life she dreamed of when she was eleven. She had been right in discerning her original vocation — she just had the timing wrong. God had had other plans for her in between.

Frances died four years later. Her last words were “The angel has finished his task — he beckons me to follow him.”

In Her Footsteps:Do you have a spiritual friend who helps you on your journey, someone to pray with and serve with? If you don’t have one now, ask God to send you such a companion. Then look around you. This friend, like Frances’ Vannozza, may be near you already. Try sharing some of your spiritual hopes and desires with those closest to you. You may be surprised at their reaction. (But don’t force your opinions on others or get discouraged by lack of interest. Just keep asking God to lead you.) 

Other Saints for March 9:

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ARTICLE: PETER ABELARD


Peter Abelard

Abelard was a 12th-century French philosopher and teacher whose career was derailed by a scandalous relationship with a tutee named Heloise. After a son and a secret marriage, Abelard sent Heloise to a convent to protect her from her disapproving family. In response, her uncle had Abelard castrated. Heloise became an abbess, while Abelard sought refuge as a monk. After his first theological work was burned as heretical, he established a monastery and resumed teaching. What were his last words? More… Discuss

 

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Some photos: Saint Valentine’s Day with #PopeFrancis


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Word: ANTEDILUVIAN


Definition: (adjective) So extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period.
Synonyms: antiquatedarchaic
Usage: My grandfather’s antediluvian ideas about relationships and marriage are frequently at odds with my views. Discuss.

 

Who said what and sometimes why: W. Somerset Maugham on guess what? …Yes, Marriage…


Marriage is a very good thing, but I think it’s a mistake to make a habit of it.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Discuss

 

Quotation: Jane Austen on marriage


Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

survival of the happiest


Bypass Patients in Happy Marriages Live Longer

Happy marriages could help coronary artery bypass patients live longer. A study of 255 bypass patients found that the 15-year survival rates were higher for married patients than unmarried ones and were highest for those who reported having happy marriages. Though men in the study seemed to benefit regardless of the quality of their marriage, women who reported dissatisfaction in their marriages actually had no survival benefit over unmarried women. Researchers believe the social support marriages provide is responsible for the improved long-term survival of bypass patients. More… Discuss

Quotation of the Day: Jane Austen – On Human Temerity To Adjust and Surmount


There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.
(from Ch. 5 of Mansfield Park)

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

Mansfield Park @ Project Gutemberg: