November 2019

Greetings!

With Halloween over and Daylight Savings ending, we're now looking ahead to the holiday season and the end of 2019. The Church celebrates November as the month of the Holy Souls, those who have died and are being purified in purgatory before seeing God in heaven. Traditionally, Catholics this month will visit local cemeteries to pray for those who have died. If you live near the graves of departed loved ones, set aside some time to visit their graves - perhaps with a flower or two - and say a prayer for them.

As Americans we also celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of this month, which of course represents much more than a famous parade, the usual yearly family drama, and the nation-wide tradition of eating a little too much. And as Catholics, we have something more precious than any family recipe. Eucharist, perhaps the greatest gift we could ever receive, means "thanksgiving." What better way to count your blessings than to receive the gift of God Himself in the Eucharist?

This Thanksgiving, consider praying one of these prayers with your fiancé, spouse, or extended family. Take a few quiet moments to reflect on the blessings of this past year and find a way to express your gratitude for your significant other. We hope that this issue of Marriage Matters will provide you with inspiration and practical advice to prepare for the holidays.

Blessings,
The Marriage & Family Ministry Staff
7 tips from a therapist for handling the holidays
There can be a lot to adjust to in the first years of marriage, but one notoriously tricky topic is how to spend the holidays. However you decide to work out new holiday plans with your spouse, change is inevitable. New foods on the table, sustained time with in-laws, and missed old traditions can throw a wrench in an otherwise-blissful first year of marriage. The following tips will help you and your spouse navigate the holiday season saying, “It’s all gravy.”
Remembering our final goal
As we transition into November, as we approach Advent and a new liturgical year, take time to slow down. Take an honest look at your life and  ask yourself if you are closer to God  than you were a year ago. What changes can you make now in order to make your next year of faith better than before? Don’t let the season slip by you. Curl up with your Bible or journal, grab a warm drink, and let God speak to your heart, directing you to the saint he calls you to be in this upcoming year.
How the process of adopting our daughter changed us
November is National Adoption month! When we decided to adopt, above all, we appreciated hearing first-hand accounts of what adoption is like from those who have lived it. Every story is unique, but it helped us to discover some general dynamics in this exciting, nerve-wracking, joyful, and heartbreaking experience. Adoption is not easy, cheap, or painless, but for couples called to this path, it is completely worth it!
5 things that make a big impact on your 1st year of marriage
The first year of marriage can be quite difficult; it’s important not to get bogged down with the technical questions of making living together work. The truth is, the little things, like simple gestures of affection, matter so much more than who does laundry. Your first year of marriage doesn’t have to be about just surviving—it can thrive when you prioritize things like admiration and positivity. Here are a few ways you can set the tone for a great first year.
4 ideas to practice stewardship in your marriage
Christian stewardship means more than generously sharing our time, talent, and treasure. It means that we “... receive God's gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.” Stewardship looks differently for each couple, and husbands and wives should take time to pray about and discuss what it means for their particular family during this season of their life. Here are some ideas to get the conversation started.
Marriage Tip of the Month

Make a list of 5 things you are grateful for and share them with your significant other. Tell him/her "thank you" for the unique ways he/she loves you.