Comer_Michael_7955-180Officially, World Marriage Day was last Sunday, February 10. But because we celebrated World Day of Prayer for the Sick on that day, we are celebrating World Marriage Day this Sunday, February 17.

It has been said, and I wholly agree, that “the future of our culture and society depends upon the future of the family, and the future of the family depends upon the future of marriage.” Healthy individuals come from healthy families. And healthy marriages produce healthy families. Most of the greatest cultural and social scourges are caused by the breakdown of the family, and the breakdown of the family, all too often, is due to the breakdown of the marriage. Therefore, one of the most important things that the Church tries to do is to promote strong, healthy marriages.

A friend who had been married for many years said that he was often asked the secret to a long marriage. He said that his response was usually, “Don’t die and don’t leave!” It sounds simple, but as we all know, even though it may be simple, it is not easy. Every marriage goes through times which are extremely difficult. Most couples will reach points in their relationship when they wonder what they were thinking when they got married.  Most will be tempted to leave from time to time.

I believe that one of the most important things that a couple can do to assure the future success of their marriage is to make God the center of their life together.  I encourage couples to learn to pray together, when things are going well and when things get rough.  Perhaps you could pray the rosary together, from time to time, or even better, every day. Turn off the TV and the phones for 20 minutes and pray the rosary together. If you are having difficulty talking to one another and resolving a conflict, stop and pray the rosary. Then get back to the issue and see if you can see it in a different way.

Another form of prayer that you might want to try is the Liturgy of the Hours. I wrote about that prayer a few weeks ago. Go to your app store and check out iBreviary. It is a free app which contains the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as many other prayers, and the readings for each day. It would take 10 to 15 minutes to pray one of the five hours together.

— Fr. Mike Comer