By Mary Sayad
The family and community celebrated the birth of Mary and when the Holy Virgin was three years of age, Joachim and Ann, in fulfillment of their promise to God, took her to the Temple and dedicated her life to the service of the Lord. St. Ann was very diligent in teaching Mary how to pray and how to maintain love of the Holy Scriptures. Their spirituality never waned and they were truly a pious family.
Young married couples are cheerful, joyful and filled with hope for living happily ever after. As they start their journey together, they look forward to raising a family as well as being successful in their professions.
Successful marriages need genuine love, deep commitment and consistent prayer to flourish and weather difficult times. Difficult marital situations, require persistent prayer and consistent attendance at Liturgy. Lasting marriages are blessed and stand like a rock.
Ephesians 5:31 - 32 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cling to his wife, and the two shall be made into one."
"This is a great mystery; I mean that it refers to Christ and the church. In any case, each one should love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife should respect her husband."
Today's families have come a long way. Sadly, some families no longer have lasting ties. Instant gratification, intolerance and lack of commitment are the norm. Developing deep roots in their communities is unfortunately an alien concept. According to the Bible, marriages were meant to be permanent. Easy divorce laws do not please God. Marriage vows were not meant to be broken for reasons of inconvenience, desire for personal freedom or desire for another partner. When families become fractured, more often than not, children suffer and become victims of a selfish situation. In addition, the children tend to follow in their parents' footsteps perpetuating an unwholesome pattern.
A beneficial prayer for all families:
God made us a family
We need one another
We love one another
We forgive one another
We work together
We play together
We worship together
Together we use God's word
Together we grow in Christ
Together we love all men
Together we serve our God
Together we hope for Heaven
These are our hopes and ideals
Help us to attain them,
O God, Through Jesus Christ our Lord
Your companion in prayer,