Do You Stay Miserable?

“If your house stinks, you don’t need to sell your house, you just need to take the garbage out.” – Jason Angelette

Jason explains that there are more than just two options when you feel miserable in your marriage. He relates Christ’s steadfast love for His often wayward church to the commitment you make to your spouse, even when they stink! Jason instills hope through the reminder that no problem is too great for God, and that He often brings new life through pain.

Perfectly Imperfect

By: Jason and Elise Angelette

Be Perfect???

“Therefore you are to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Christ’s divine words seem like an inspiration and a burden to us. Perfection? That’s a tough one! As a people pleaser and perfectionist, the word “perfection” serves as both my motivator and my worst enemy.

Does Christ really expect true perfection from us?

If you didn’t find yourself prone to mistakes as a child, certainly the roller coaster of adolescence, college, adulthood, or, better yet, marriage brought a mishap or two! Other than our Blessed Mother, none of us have been given the miraculous gift to never slip and fall. This makes following the Lord’s call in the book of Matthew quite a challenge! It feels impossible to attain perfection individually, much less in relationships when other people are involved! If we can’t control ourselves, how on earth can we be perfect with another person?

God created Eve for Adam not just so he would have someone to talk to – he could have babbled on to the animals or rambled to himself! God made Eve so that she and Adam could assist one another, grow together, love, and be loved. God, who is love, is perfect – He and He alone. Yet it is through our ability to love and be loved, calling upon the grace of God’s perfect love, that we can be fulfilled! That is our taste of perfection – Christ’s life within us through grace.

No, we cannot achieve absolute “perfection” in this life. Yet we can receive Christ, in His perfect power, wisdom, and grace, through the sacraments and our personal devotions. We can experience Him through loving another because Christ dwells at the center of every relationship – in our families, our friendships, or our vocations. God knows that we are sinners. He has seen us fall as He has been there throughout our journey, and He will continue to be there for what lies ahead. Perfection awaits us in Heaven – the ultimate goal. He desires for us to reach heaven and see Him face-to-face and live eternally in His presence. There we can be made perfect, in our holiness with Him.

So what can we expect while we tarry on this earth?

We can expect to strive, to fall, to get up, and to try again. This is our responsibility – we must choose to continue striving. We determine what we focus on and how we respond when we fail. Who do we reach out to for help to start again? He will be there to help us up. He is always there! He lives in your spouse, in your children, your co-workers, your leaders – in the faces of all those close to us and in perfect strangers. We need only ask God for the grace to see it. Christ dwells in all of His creation, but most importantly in the people created in His image.

As we serve Him in our vocations, He gives us grace in each sacrament and the opportunity to love as Christ loves. He loves us so much that He chose to live among us and lay His life down for us! Our God is a father who wants nothing but the best for his children. This is what He expects of us: “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children” (Eph 5:1). We are called to imitate His sacrificial love not just in our devotion to Christ, but also how we speak to, care for, forgive, seek forgiveness from, and pray for His children.

In Philippians 3:12 Saint Paul wrote: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” He knows us more deeply than we know ourselves, and He promises to remain with us in all that we do. He simply asks that we never give up in our imperfection. Allow Him to be the perfect part of our imperfect lives. Allow Him to be the perfect love in our marriage. Allow Him to be the strength to get up again and seek to forgive and be forgiven. May we call upon grace – “God’s life within us” – to permeate our every move along our journey to Heaven.

We Must Study Love

In this episode of at the heart, Jason challenges us to study love. In order to love we must study not just a word but a person. God is love. For us to love one another all the days of our lives we must first be students of Christ who was the picture of our Father in Heaven. The key is faith.

Please, Thank You, & I’m Sorry

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What is Marriage?

Marriage is the most fundamental building block of society. If we lose marriage, we lose the family, and ultimately we lose the society in which we live. Marriage and the family are so vitally important – St. John Paul II said that the future of the Church depends upon it.

Today the value of marriage is under attack – both from within and from the culture. Our response must be to more deeply understand Biblical marriage, to protect it, defend it, and model it in our lives. On the most basic level, marriage is an intimate, exclusive, and indissoluble union of man and woman. It is formed at the call of the Creator, for the good of the spouses, and for the procreation and education of children.

Baptized marriage is a Sacrament, which signifies the union of Christ and the Church. Marriage is a sign to the world proclaiming that God loves us, He will not abandon us, and He wants to be with us forever. A critical vocation to further the Gospel, marriage is a means by which Christ gives grace to spouses. He enables them to love one another as He loves the Church, perfecting their love, and leading them closer to one another and closer to God.

CCC 1661 “The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf Council of Trent: DS 1799).”

Only by abiding in God’s love can spouses lead one another to Heaven while experiencing the love and truth that God designed. This is not an easy calling, and there will many be challenges along the way. The enemy will send troubles, distractions, and temptations. There will be times when it seems that the feeling of love is gone, or that time has changed your spouse. Yet it is in these places that Christ meets us in our need as we strive to draw closer to Him and live out His sacrificial love for us. Because of His great love, we may rise from our darkest hours and grow even closer to Him and our spouse until we reach our ultimate goal – union with God in Heaven.

As you grow in your understanding of the calling of marriage, commit to praying for other married couples in your life. Work together to encourage one another to grow in Christ, to protect your marriages with the truth. Allow God to use your marriage to shine a light in our culture, instead of the world threatening your marriage.

Marriage is a Vocation

Most of us immediately think of priesthood or religious life when we hear the word “vocation.” Yes – these are vocations, but did you know that marriage is as well?

Vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, which means “to call.” Marriage is a calling that originates not from hormones or fear of loneliness but from God. Not only is it God who calls us to marriage, He also calls us to something amazing in marriage.

So what exactly is the calling of marriage? What is the mission in marriage?

To find the answer we must consider the striking fact that marriage is categorized as a holy Sacrament. The seven Sacraments are actually placed into three categories:

    1. Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, the Eucharist, & Confirmation
    2. Sacraments of Healing: Anointing of the Sick & Reconciliation
    3. Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Holy Orders & Marriage

The church teaches that the Sacraments at the Service of Communion are “directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so.”

In this description we find two key points. The first is that marriage is primarily calling spouses to help lead each other and their children to heaven. The “work” in a marriage is that of sanctification and pursuing holiness. The second point is that marriage may assist in the personal salvation of others! As a husband or wife serves, leads, and loves their spouse and children, they reflect God’s love and draw others to Him.

It may sound daunting, but remember – you and I are not meant to do this work on our own. Not one good thing that we can do in marriage or for our family originates in us. It is God who is good and He is the Giver of all good gifts. Because of God’s generous love we can experience an abiding and faithful relationship with Him, which empowers us to have healthy marriages. His plan for marriage is that we will have the grace to thrive – not just survive – in marriage.

God is with us! In the Sacrament of Marriage God gives to us the specific grace which is “intended to perfect a couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity.” By this grace, God enables spouses to “help one another attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children.” This is why marriage is hard – not because it is a bad thing we strive to make good, but rather it is a very good thing meant to make us into saints!