Thursday, June 8, 2017

Prayer as a Gift to Marriage

Fr. John J. Pasquini, Th.D.

“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God” (CCC 2559).  Prayer is founded upon humility and a contrite heart (Ps. 130:1; cf. Lk. 18:9-14).  One must recognize that one needs help in the endeavor of prayer (Rm. 8:26) and one must recognize that whether we realize it or not, prayer is an encounter between God’s longing for us and our longing for him (cf. Jn. 4:10). Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love for God, who is love itself (cf. Jn. 7:37-39; 19:28; Isa. 12:3; 51:1; Zech. 12:10; 13:1).
       Prayer is a gift to marriage.  In fact, couples who do not pray together often drift apart, for prayer is the expression of the heart’s deepest needs and desires (the heart being the very core of a person’s being).  There is no better way to know one’s spouse than by listening to his or her prayers.  Praying as a couple increases one’s knowledge of one’s spouse and enhances the bonding between spouses.
       Prayer requires and fosters humility, which is an elaborate word for self-knowledge—the knowledge of knowing oneself the way one truly is.  Unless you know yourself and your spouse knows himself or herself a marriage is likely to become stale and unable to mature. 
       Prayer requires a contrite heart, the knowledge that one is on a journey.  Marriage is a journey, with its ups and downs, with its need to forgive and to seek forgiveness.  Marriage requires a contrite heart.
       Prayer is an encounter with the source of love, love itself.  Marriage is a mirror of this encounter and this love—being loved and loving.  Can one truly and authentically love if one is detached from the source of love?
       In prayer we ask for gifts from God.  We ask for good things from God.  What greater request is there than to ask for a happy and blessed marriage.  Prayer as a couple places a deep emphasis on the life and love necessary for a successful and fruitful marriage.