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But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness,

godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. ~ 1 Timothy 6:11

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Twelve Apostles

These are the 12 Apostles of Jesus:
  1. Peter
  2. Andrew
  3. John
  4. James 
  5. Philip 
  6. Bartholomew
  7. Matthew
  8. James
  9. Thaddeus
  10. Simon
  11. Thomas
  12. Judas (replaced by Matthias)
They are listed in Matthew 10:2-4Mark 3:14-19, and Luke 6:13-16.

Additional Notes on Some of the Apostles

1.) Peter
  • Formerly called Simon
  • In Matthew 16:18-19 Peter was chosen by Christ to lead the Church 
  • Peter was the first pope
2.) Andrew
  • Andrew is Peter's brother
3.) John
  • Was the only one of the 12 to not by martyred, he died of old age
  • Mary went to live with him after Jesus was crucified
  • Brother to James
4.) James 
  • Also called James the Greater
  • Brother to James, son of Zebedee
  • One of the "sons of thunder", so named because of their tempers
7.) Matthew
  • A tax collector (and as such despised by society)
8.) James
  • Also called James the Lesser
  • Son of Alphaeus
9.) Thaddeus
  • Also called Jude or Judas 
  • Son of James
10.) Simon
  • Also called the zealot
  • From Cana
11.) Thomas
  • Poor Thomas is always remembered first as doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29)
12.) Judas Iscariot 
  • Infamous for betraying Jesus and handing him over to be crucified for 30 pieces of silver
  • Judas was replaced by Matthias after Judas' suicide (Acts 1:15-26)

Keep Pursuing

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marriage Insurance

I recently attended a presentation given by Father Rocky of Relevant Radio. He was offering "marriage insurance", saying that if you followed the rules he laid out, he would guarantee your marriage for life.

After listening to the talk, I agree with him, this would make your marriage invincible. The points were so simple and compelling, I wanted to share. Below are Father Rocky's 13 rules divided into 6 categories:

1.) Absolutely No Cohabitation Before Marriage
  • It doubles the chance for divorce. 
  • By the latest estimate 75% of couples who cohabitate before marrying end in divorce.
2.) No Artificial Birth Control
  • Not using artificial means of contraception requires a couple to communicate which is critical to marital success. 
  • Learning about each others cycles, discussing whether you want children right now, and considering each other’s feelings each month increases intimacy. 
3.) Daily Physical Contact
  • As humans, our spiritual and physical needs are intertwined. 
  • We need daily physical contact to guard against estrangement. 
4.) Daily Prayer Together
  • Even if it is just one “Our Father” every morning. 
  • The family that prays together stays together. 
5.) Weekly Mass Together
  • A marriage takes three…you need to keep Jesus at the center of your marriage. 
  • Receiving Jesus weekly keeps you spiritually fit. 
6.) Monthly Confession
  • There is nothing like a clean soul! 
  • Confession is great practice for marriage. It makes you say words that are crucial like, “I was wrong”, “Forgive me”, and “Thank you”. (See #12) 
7.) Go on a Weekly Date
  • Set aside one meal, one day a week for just the two of you to go out alone and just be together. 
  • Just because you are married does not mean you are allowed to stop courting one another. 
8.) Have a Weekly Business Meeting
  • Set aside 30-60 minutes each week for just the two of you to discuss family business like finances, calendars, and tasks. 
  • This builds unity by tackling problems together. (See #11) 
9.) Yearly Vacation
  • Once a year, just the two of you go on a three day vacation. 
  • Just because you are married does not mean you are allowed to stop courting one another. 
10.) Go to Bed at the Same Time
  • A large amount of our communication and time spent together happens naturally when you go to bed. 

11.) Financial Transparency
  • Financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. 
  • Don’t have separate bank accounts, don’t have secrets, and face decisions. (See #8) 
12.) Phrases You Should be Saying Weekly (if not daily)
  • "I love you" 
  • "I am Sorry" 
  • "I was wrong" 
  • "Please forgive me" 
13.) The Word You Should Never Say
  • "Mine" 
I was blown away by how deceptively simple these rules were. Everyone can do these. They seem like common sense.

Ask yourself honestly, do you think a marriage would ever fall apart if you followed these 13 guidelines?

And now ask yourself honestly, are you currently following these 13 guidelines?

Time to get started!

Keep pursuing,

Additional Notes

Here is the short list of additional notes I took that did not fit neatly into the above 13 points.

Father Rocky pointed out that we insure things that are important in our life...houses, cars, jewelry...but why not our marriages? The call to marriage is a vocation that trumps almost all other responsibilities in life. Shouldn't we take greater care of it?

These points seem to dismiss the children in a family. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. The best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse.

My relationship with God comes first, my relationship with my wife second, my relationship with kids third, everything else comes after those three.

As a husband one of my paths to holiness is laying down my life for my wife. (That includes living for my wife.)

The current chance for first time marriages to end in divorce is over 35%. But if you look at people actively involved in the Catholic Church, the rate drops to almost zero. (As an example, the divorce rate in the Lay Ministry of Opus Dei is 1%.)

Marriage is the only sacrament that requires five people to be present.for it to be valid. Most only require two!