09 MARRIAGE – For Love and For Life - Dn Ashwin Castellino

posted Feb 6, 2019, 7:11 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 6, 2019, 7:12 AM ]
We live in a fast-paced society, which often endorses a use-and-throw culture. Exchange offers are available for almost any commodity we use. This mentality also spills over into relationships, with a hook-up culture promoted by television and secular culture. This makes one think, "How is it possible for a married couple to stay happy together for a lifetime? Is there a secret formula for a successful and happy marriage?" There is surely no proven formula; however, with trust, love, sacrifice and understanding, any marriage can be strengthened and made successful. Marriage is much more than just physical intimacy; it also has spiritual, social, emotional and other dimensions.

World Marriage Day celebrates the love of married couples and is observed every second Sunday of February. It was introduced in 1981 by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter which is associated with the Catholic Marriage Encounter movement. In 1993, Saint Pope John Paul II gave his blessings to World Marriage Day. The objective of World Marriage Day is very noble. The purpose statement says "World Marriage Day honours husband and wife as the foundation of the family, the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice and joy in daily married life."

Returning to the questions raised above, here are a few suggestions (not tips) for building a strong foundation for married life, based on my interaction and experience with married couples. I believe if this is understood and applied well, it can surely enhance the quality of married life. Every couple entering marriage wants to be happy. As they exchange their vows on their wedding day, there is an expectation and hope that everything will work out well, and their thoughts and dreams are filled with a sense of "happily ever after". This is good and also right; however, it is important to remember that marriage also requires a lot of perseverance and effort on the part of each spouse. A happy marriage does not happen automatically. Both spouses need to be fully committed and present, as they carefully set and maintain the right priorities. So what are these priorities?

The Inner Circle

There are many important relationships that encompass our lives. If you were to represent yourself as being in the centre of a circle, and others close to you in expanding concentric circles, the ones closest to you would be in the innermost circle.