As a special treat for CatholicMom readers, Lisa Hendey convinced me to offer four exclusive excerpts from the new book The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime (Ave Maria Press, 2016). To learn more about what’s inside The Four Keys, you can read Lisa’s interview of me and my co-author, hubby Dr. Manuel Santos, by clicking here.
Without further ado, here is the introduction to our book’s Part I: Called to Be Faithful and Forgiving!
CALLED TO BE FAITHFUL AND FORGIVING:
Two Become One for Life
In each part of this book, we’ll tell you about one of the four keys to everlasting love—the faithful, free, fruitful, and total love that Jesus gives to us and that we can share with our beloved. Part 1 of this book describes the call to faithfulness, which must be paired with the call to forgiveness.
People in love have an intense desire to always to be true to each other in thought, word, and deed. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says they yearn for an “unbreakable union” (CCC, 1646), and they never want their differences to drive them apart (CCC, 2365).
And yet, all too often, reality intrudes. Husbands and wives are different from one another, and overcoming their differences can be a real struggle. Remaining faithful to their lifelong promise requires constant, small, and loving acts of forgiveness.
The graces of the Sacrament of Matrimony and especially the Sacrament of Penance, or Confession, will help you to stay true to your marital vocation. Infidelity can present a powerful temptation. Christ would never betray his Church, but spouses sometimes do betray one another through adultery or abandonment (CCC, 2381, 2384–2386). God’s grace in your marriage is a powerful force to keep potential infidelities at bay and usher you all the way to the doors of his heavenly kingdom.
Faithfulness to your spouse expands to encompass his or her family as well. When marriage joins two people, it also binds their two families together. Communication, compromise, and forgiveness are essential to cementing this bond. And the bonds you forge between your families can be the start of unity and peace in your corner of the world.
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Excerpt reprinted from The Four Keys to Everlasting Love with permission from Ave Maria Press.
Image courtesy of Ave Maria Press.