Prayer for Marriage usccb.org
God our Father,
we give you thanks for the gift of marriage:
the bond of life and love,
and the font of the family.
The love of husband and wife
enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude
of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son,
Jesus Christ, for his Church.
The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana
at the request of the Blessed Mother.
May your Son,
through the intercession of Mary,
pour out upon us
a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect
the unique beauty of marriage.
May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers be joined
to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Prayer of a Child in the Womb
God, author of all life,
bless, we pray, this unborn child;
give constant protection
and grant a healthy birth
that is the sign of our rebirth one day
into the eternal rejoicing of heaven...
~ excerpt from the Prayer of Blessing
675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. 574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth 575 will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. 576
676 The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, 577 especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism. 578
677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. 579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. 580 God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world. 581
TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching. 582 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.583 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned. 584 Our attitude to our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love. 585 On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." 586
679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. The Father has given "all judgment to the Son". 587 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself. 588 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love. 589
680 Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church, but all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him. The triumph of Christ's kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil.
681 On Judgment Day at the end of the world, Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which, like the wheat and the tares, have grown up together in the course of history.
682 When he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works, and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace.
The Meaning of Holy Week
The first Holy Week, by the plan of God, was the most important week in the life of Jesus Christ. This Holy Week, likewise, should be the most important week in the entire year for each one of us. It should be a week of prayer and meditation, in understanding the events of the Passion of Our Lord, knowledge of the Scriptural account of Holy Week is invaluable.
1. Place - The entire Passion took place in Jerusalem (the Capital of Palestine) and its environs.
2. Time - Probably in the year A.D. 30, during Passover Week, from the 9th to the 16th of the Jewish Month Nisan (March-April). Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims.
3. Political Conditions - The Jewish Nation was subject to Rome. The Roman Governor was Pontius Pilate; the Jews were ruled by their High Priest,
Caiaphas, and the Council of 70 elders, the Sanhedrin. Galilee, the region in the north of Palestine, had Herod as king.
4. Recent Developments - Jesus of Nazareth, who for three years had been preaching the Kingdom of God, working miracles, and finally claiming to be
the Messiah, was so growing in popularity that the High Priest and the Jewish authorities saw in Him a serious threat to their authority over the people.
The recent resurrection of Lazarus had caused many to believe in Jesus. The Jewish leaders planned to kill Lazarus, to kill Jesus as a seditionist, and so to end this threat to their power. However, as a subject nation, they could not put anyone to death. Only the Roman Governor had the power to condemn a
criminal to death. Now Passover Week, with the great influx of pilgrims to Jerusalem, was a hand. Under such circumstances Holy Week began . . .
click The Meaning of Holy Week to continue:
When we hear heretical voices about us..., when we see that the sanctity of marriage and the priesthood are attacked without fear of rebuke, have confidence, for the Holy Church is incorruptible. St Augustine ewtn