Our family is a mess!

The Christmas Vigil Mass features the Gospel of Matthew (1:1-25). Depending on whether you get the long or short version, you might hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ – a rather long list of the forebears of Jesus, going all the way back to Abraham. It includes some of the most dysfunctional characters from the…

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When history repeats, choose freedom

We remember sitting with a young couple who were locked in combat. She was prone to reactive outbursts and he was mystified as to what he was doing to trigger it. As we probed her on her family of origin the penny dropped; she was repeating a relationship pattern that she had established with her…

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Love in the Waiting

Advent is the season of waiting; we wait in anticipation of the coming of Christ. But are we the only ones doing the waiting? I (Francine) was hurrying to get out the door for 7am Mass. I looked at the time on the car clock and sighed in defeat: 6:58. There was no way I’d…

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The Names we use Matter

Our second granddaughter finally has a name. Born over a month ago, her parents took their sweet, merry time before committing it to official record. In the interim, this bonny lass (her father is of Irish-Scottish descent) ‘tried on’ a dozen names before the right fit was found. Her name, Theresa Mairead, links her to…

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Spare the Left-Overs

Christmas present for your spouse||

It’s that time of year again – the season of joy and gluttony. By the time Christmas day is over, our refrigerator will be filled with yummy, delectable left-overs. Unfortunately, not all left-overs are so delicious. Too often in a marriage, instead of our best selves, we serve up the less than appetising left-overs. We…

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Like Parent, Like Child

The most powerful influence on a couple is their family of origin. Good or bad, our experiences in our childhood prepared us for marriage. The young couple sitting opposite us had been married only a few years. They were experiencing some health challenges, but this is not what brought them to us; they were locked…

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What is Happiness Anyway?

Part 4 in the Quest for Happiness Series Speaking of what makes a wife or husband happy (see SmartLoving The Equality Myth, What Women Really Want & What do Men Want?) perhaps we should look at what happiness is and more importantly, whether it really is the ultimate goal. ‘Happiness’ should be distinguished from ‘joy’.…

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My Family of Origin

People often say that “you marry into a family”. This is certainly true in that you gain a whole new set of relatives, but it is also true in that you will be exposed to all the customs, traditions, and family values that are characteristic of the people to whom your fiancé belongs. More significantly,…

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Formation – Family of Origin

This session is designed to help you see clearly the pictures in your brain of what you think is right and normal. That is, your unconscious expectations of the dynamic between husband and wife – what it means to be husband and father or wife and mother. Even if your parents were extraordinarily happy in…

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Gratitude

Extension Activities Gratitude is like a wonder drug! While many people turn to escapist distractions, the simple habit of gratitude is often more effective, and more enduring in its impact, in helping us to find the joy we seek. Gratitude Journal “Give thanks to God in all things” – 1 Thes 5:18 St Paul beseeches…

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