My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Two different looks at the Royal Wedding

I managed to watch the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last Friday.  I tuned in a little late but got there in time for the homily.   I am old enough to remember the wedding of Charles and Diana on a very tiny black and white portable t.v. that my grandmother had given me when I was a child.  The images were very grainy but I remember trying to discern from their looks and body language whether they were really in love or not.  Watching William grow up from a great distance over the years, it seems that he has the big heart and easy manner of his mother and it seems as if he is determined to avoid the mistakes that his parents made. 

Still there was something a little anticlimactic about it. Avid tabloid browsers (which I am) have known about Kate Middleton for a good while now, so it was almost a relief to have couple married.

I ran across this article by Jenn Giroux  at Renew America called, "Cohabitation, a Royal Mistake" 
that addressed some of my same thoughts.  
Did you ever notice that there is a different tone and feel to a wedding and the celebration that follows when a couple has been living together prior to taking their vows? Something is missing.  Oh, it's not the guests, the music, the cake, or the decorations. There is always plenty of that to go around.  But something is lacking.
I will go so far as to say that there is a special look that is absent in the way a co-habitating bride and groom even look at each other.
         It is, in fact, a myth that cohabitation is a good way to determine compatibility.

        Switching over to a full commitment after finally taking marriage vows can be difficult if not  impossible if the couple lives together first .

The US Bureau of Census (2000) tells us that 60-75% of first marriages are now preceded by cohabitation. A Canadian Study (Wu, 2000) found that prior cohabitation doubles the chances that a marriage would end in divorce. This may explain the utter chaos we see today within society and the Church.

Living together before marriage has a profound, long term effect upon a couple's relationship and marriage. Years of study and actual statistics from both secular and religious sources have confirmed that the list of negatives include: decreased premarital satisfaction, decreased sexual satisfaction after marriage, a heightened acceptance of divorce, increase in the likelihood that there will be sexual infidelity, an increase in violence in the relationship, and an added adverse effect on the couple's desire to have many children.
So is it possible that by making sure he knew his bride ( in the biblical sense!) well before marriage that William may have undermined the very foundation he was trying to make, and that instead of avoiding the marital problems of his parents he may have created new ones? I hope not but only time will tell.  In the meantime I wonder why there was no public discussion of this from the clergy or the royalty on this matter?   It certainly was a teachable moment. 
It is broadly accepted by the mainstream media and young people today that "everybody lives together." Selfish behavior (such as the sexual gratification sought in cohabitation and the use of contraception) always renders consequences. Sadly, many young couples don't even know why they shouldn't 'shack up.'

Ms. Giroux also tackles the other elephant in the room:

It is not unreasonable to question how 8 years of cohabitation did not render a pregnancy unless Kate is using some form of contraception. Knowing what we do about the effects of hormonal contraception on a woman's body (and the fact that long term use often allows fertilization but actually thins out the lining of the uterus, causing a spontaneous abortion masked as a heavy period) could it be possible that several royal embryos have already been aborted?

But what's done is done.  They did marry and I'm sure millions of us hope and pray they have a long, happy and successful marriage.

Columnist, Regina Britt writes in the Plain Dealer

Now the real work starts. The marriage begins.
A wedding can overshadow the marriage. The endless details over the cake, the band, the hall, the food, the flowers, the gown.

She then writes 15 very practical tips on having a successful marriage - very worthwhile. I found myself nodding in agreement with all of them.

Bottom line, Ms. Britt refers us to the prayer that William and Kate wrote for their wedding.  If they can keep to that and really pray that prayer every day, with God's help, they should be fine.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
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  1. Two good points. If you're not already engaged/committed when you move in together, it can lead to a bad/unhappy marriage, lacking in real love, because if you're using living together as a litmus test, there's the chance that you'll decide to get married just because it's the next step, because it's easier than separating your lives ... and not because you truly feel that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.


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