by Deacon Tony Zimmerman
My wife and I were blessed to witness the wedding of a couple who received their marriage preparation from us.
The priest who would receive their consent to enter into holy matrimony asked the couple to turn toward one another and join their right hands.
The priest then held a crucifix on their hands as they declared their “promise to be faithful to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
The good times and bad, sickness and health, to love and honor will be lived out in all the little ways of daily life. It is a bold promise, a total gift of self that is symbolized by the crucifix.
How can that couple, or any couple, make such a promise not knowing what the years will bring? On their own, they will fail. With Christ, they will persevere.
Around nine years ago, the “Living in Love” marriage enrichment began to be offered in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Hundreds of couples have more joy and love in their lives through this.
My wife Barbara and I, either as presenters or support, have experienced most of these enrichments. Each one gave us another gift in our married love.
We are convinced that a one-time enrichment is not enough support for a strong marriage. Enrichments should be a yearly practice.
Simply put: “Love grows or dies in all the little things every day. Marriage is the greatest gift God could have given us. But it is not a gift we can keep to ourselves. We believe in making your marriage incredible so that it can be a stable shelter for your children and community, a representation of Christ’s love to our church and a beacon of hope for a world desperately in need of your witness.”
“Living in Love,” now known as “Evermore in Love,” will offer the following enrichments for your marriage:
• “Living in Love” retreat: June 26-27 at Holy Spirit Church, Overland Park; Aug. 28-29, Mother Teresa of Calcutta Church, Topeka; register online at: www.archkck.org/livinginlove
• “Everyday Skills for Creating Amazing Marriages”: Thursday nights, June 17-July 29 at 8 p.m. (Zoom); visit the website at: www.EverMoreinLove.org/everyday-skills
• May: “Having More Joyful Homes”: go online to: www.archkcks.org/help
Future enrichments will be offered that illustrate how to use the various tools and skills from “Evermore in Love” to help couples dealing with different situations such as retirement or how to grow in couple prayer.
Remember that Jesus, in the true vine discourse, calls us to abide in him so that “my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15:11).