Are you married now? Or just thinking about it? "What have you done for your marriage today?" is the question the Catholic Church is asking you, whether you're dating, engaged, newlywed or a mature couple at the new Web site www.foryourmarriage.org from the U.S. Catholic bishops.
"Healthy marriages are the bedrock of our church and our society," said Archbishop-elect Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the bishops' Marriage and Family Life Committee. "The church seeks to do all it can to encourage what goes into a solid marriage: prayer, fidelity, commitment, and the little things that count."
Foryourmarriage.org is loaded with information, skills, inspiration and resources, and even a little humor to help you prepare and care for your marriage. Learn more about why marriage matters and what makes marriages work. Find out more about the common issues that married people face.
What about the little things? In short video clips, a variety of people interviewed on the street share what they have done for their marriage from getting up early with the baby to carrying a spouse's purse. They show that short-term kindnesses cement a lifelong relationship. With humorous bits of life, the spots prompt people to think of and do more for their own commitments.
Want to find out what you and your spouse know about marriage and your marriage? Take the Marriage Quiz of the Month or grade your marriage. Looking for little helpful tips that any married person can put into practice? Subscribe to the daily marriage tip RSS feed or read today's or any previous day's tip.
"We're saying that a happy, healthy, holy and lifelong marriage can be yours," said Archbishop Charles Chaput, archbishop of Denver, in his remarks at the launch of the For Your Marriage Campaign. "It takes daily attention. Even doing little things can make a big difference."
For those preparing for marriage, ForYourMarriage.org has interactive resources to help you have those "must have" conversations and information and resources for those who are getting married in the Catholic Church. There's a premarital inventory, a list of books that are helpful before and after marriage, and a list of marriage preparation programs to choose from.
One of the highlights of the Web site is the articles on marital sexuality and the spirituality of marriage. On marital sexuality: "The Church's positive understanding of sexuality is rooted in the teachings of Jesus that were, in part, drawn from the wisdom of the Old Testament. Both the Book of Genesis and the Song of Songs describe the basic goodness of sexual love in marriage. In the New Testament, Jesus began his public ministry with his supportive presence at the wedding feast of Cana, a further indication of the goodness of marriage."
Joann Heaney-Hunter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, St. John's University (NY), the author of the article on the spirituality of marriage, writes, "A spirituality of marriage, therefore, is a way to help husbands and wives live out the vocation of marriage in light of faith. Catholic marriage has a distinctive spirituality that is sacramental, communitarian, and missionary. . . . Marriage is sacramental because it is a sign of Christ's unbreakable love for his people. It is communitarian because it creates and deepens a permanent partnership of life and love. It is missionary because in Catholic marriage couples are called to share with others the good news of their relationship in Christ."