5 Practical Ingredients to bring Contentment in your Marriage

“Contentment is not a matter of entitlement in marriage. To have contentment, a couple has to work for it. Whether you make marriage a heaven or a hell is contingent upon you.”

1.)

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Count you blessings and never take them for granted

2.)

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Be satisfied with what you have and share it with your partner 

3.)

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Stop feeling better or less than other couples 

4.)

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Bring a new idea to the situation instead of harping on what’s wrong

5.)

Venting

Share amicably when you feel like venting about something 

This Except is taken from the book  ‘Recipe for a Happy Marriage’ by Sajith Cyriac. For more information about the book : Click Here! 

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Feeling Off Course

Sadness

When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. Your healing is not a straight line. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself: ‘All is lost. I have to start all over again.’ This is not true.

What you have gained, you have gained. Sometimes little things build up and make you lose ground for a moment. Fatigue, a seemingly cold remark, someone’s inability to hear you, someone’s innocent forgetfulness which feels like rejection — when all these come together, they can make you feel as if you are right back where you started.

But try to think about it instead of being pulled off the road for a while. When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started. It is important not to dwell on the small moments when you feel pulled away from your progress.

Try to return home, to the solid place within you, immediately. Otherwise, these moments start connecting with similar moments, and together they become powerful enough to pull you far away from the road. Try to remain alert to seemingly innocuous distractions.

It is easier to return to the road when you are on the shoulder than when you are pulled all the way into a nearby swamp. In everything, keep trusting that God is with you, that God has given you companions on the journey. Keep returning to the road to freedom.

This Excerpt is taken from the book : ‘The Dance of Life : A Spiritual Journey with Henri Nouwen’ Edited by Michael Ford . For more information about the book : Click Me!

Children Need Your Presence

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“Only if we devote time to our children, speaking of important things with simplicity and concern, and finding healthy ways for them to spend their time, will we be able to shield them from harm. Vigilance is always necessary and neglect is never beneficial.”    -Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia 

A very busy businessman had only one child, a six-year-old daughter. She was studying in a prestigious English medium school in the city. He left home early every morning and returned home late at night, mostly around midnight. It was all for his family that he worked without respite, earning quite a lot in the process. He wanted to provide his only daughter with every comfort within his reach. He bought her expensive dresses and even arranged for a car to transport her to school and bring her back. In addition her study room air-conditioned and arranged for a homemade midday meal to be served warm at lunch time in the school.

One day while he was on a journey and, sitting in his car, was checking the files to be presented at the meeting, his mobile rang. It was a call from the school where his daughter studied. The headmistress said straight away:

“Sir, you should come to the school today.”
“Not today,” He blurted out, somewhat irritated, “I am very busy.”
“It is to talk about your daughter,” said the headmistress.
“I shall send her mother. She can adjust her time and meet you,” he said
“I want to see her ‘Daddy”, not her ‘Mummy”, said the headmistress.
“I have an important meeting to attend, Ma’am. Please try and understand.”
“What is more important for you, Sir- your business or your daughter?”
Suddenly realizing that having run out of excuses he could not protest anymore, “Well yes, I’ll come.” And boy! Was he glad he did go promptly, setting aside all his work and busyness. When he met the headmistress in the office she straight away said to him, “Yesterday the school held a drawing competition for all its students. The topic was “My family”. Then, pointing to his daughters drawing the headmistress said to him, “In your daughters sketch of the family, all, including her grandfather, grandmother, pet cat and pet dog, the table and the chair, the computer and the TV set are all there, but you, the father, are not indicated anywhere”. Then, as his eyes began to well with tears, the headmistress called in his daughter and said to her, “Dear, your daddy is not to be seen in this picture you’ve so nicely sketched yesterday-how come?”

Pat came her reply, “I usually don’t see my daddy, nor do I talk to him, he is always busy. Mummy says, Daddy came and then went.”  -Malyalam Weekly, November 2004

“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development, greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.” – Mother Teresea

This Excerpt was taken from the book ‘The Gospel of Parenting : The What, The Why & The How of Christian Parenting’. For more information about the book: Click Here!

 

He Kept It Simple!

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“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these
My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Matthew 25:40

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” (Lk 6:31).
With one phrase, the “Golden Rule,” Jesus conveyed the secret to success, the key to inner peace and the essence of the religion he inspired — Christianity.

True genius makes the complicated simple, i.e. “The kingdom of Is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.” (Mt 13:24). With this simple description Jesus was able to illustrate an abstract heaven, in a way most people could understand. Jesus used parables describing common everyday experiences anyone could relate to to as his preferred teaching method. Jesus was a master communicator because he kept his message simple.

There is nothing disingenuous about simple descriptions or straightforward solutions to problems. In fact, understatement, brevity and simplicity convey sophistication. For example, the Declaration of Independence, the Bedrock of American Democracy, is approximately 1300 words and based on a simple premise, “All men are created equal.” Arguably the best speech  ever given in  American politics, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, was only 272 words and helped heal a divided nation. Albert Einstein reduced his general theory of relativity, an incredibly complex subject, to a simple formula: E=MC2. Thomas Watson, founder of one of the world’s greatest corporate successes, IBM, summed up the essence of his business philosophy with one word — Think.
Simplicity focuses the mind. Your mind, and the minds of those you need to inform, persuade and even change to achieve your dreams, craves order. Especially today, because the world is increasingly complex, information so overwhelming, most people are not willing to take the time needed to really grasp a complex message. When you keep it simple, you gain a powerful advantage.
Think about your life, career and relationships. Are they complicated? Think about your goals and your mission in life. Can yo like the U.S. Marine Corps’ axiom Semper Fi, (Latin: semper fidelis, always faithful), convey your values, message or brand in a sing phrase?

Can you inspire, lead or manage others with the power a simple message? Jesus achieved success by keeping his message simple.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘The 99 Success Secrets of Jesus – How to Create Miracles in Your Life’. For more information about the book : Click Here!

 

Be Aware, Be Mindful

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The essence of divine wisdom is a universality that embraces all religions. ” If man were to come out of self-limiting  veil that covers his eyes,” wrote Ghalib, “what glorious revelations he will see in every faith” 

Here are 5 insightful stories that will inspire you and give you deep revelations from the profound minds of the much revered ages, seers and Sufi saints of the eastern religions, awakening us to the Divine.

1.) Your True Self- Image

Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us.” -Genesis 2:26

“Master,” the disciple asked, “Who am I? Who am I?” “Ah!” exclaimed the Master. “That’s a question you alone must answer.”

“Help me,Master” the disciple pleaded.”You were born a noble Knight,” the Master replied. “You could either strive for the unreachable star or live and die the ignoble death of a despicable toad in some stagnant wayside pond.”

Not satisfied, the restless disciple anguished, “Master, who am I? who am I?”

The Master relented. “You were created in the image and likeness of God,” said the Master. “In all humility, awaken to your true self-image and live up to your dignity and purpose.”

“Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of the Lord….If you don’t, you will be exactly like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall to hold a dipper gourd. You will be wasting valuable keenness and foolishly ignoring your dignity and your purpose.” -Jalaluddin Rumi

2.) Let Go….

After Lot had left, the Lord said to Abram, “….I am going to give you and your descendants all the land that you see, and it will be yours forever. I am going to give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all….” -Genesis 13:14-18

An old lady, bent low with the burden of her years, approached the venerable Rabbi and cried her eyes out: “Help me,” she groaned. “My lips are weary, my mind fatigued and my whole body throbs with pain. Yahweh doesn’t pay heed to my prayers.”

Observing closely her pursed lips and tightly clenched fist, he said, “Watch your dreams and desires lest they possess you as you tenaciously cling to them. Let go, let go of them like our Father Abraham who left his country, his land, his house, only believing in the promise made to him by Yahweh that he would be blessed with descendants as innumerable as the stars.”

“It is sheer stupidity to hold on to anything in life. The great mistake is to grasp tightly; in doing so one loses what one would have got. In claiming that ‘it is mine’ we lose what is ours already.” – Osho

3.) Respect Life

The Lord said, “……Do not kill.” -Deuteronomy 17

The pesky mosquito teasingly hovered round the disciple as he meditated in the sanctuary of the temple. His patience tested beyond limits, the irritated disciple raised his hand to swat it when his inner voice warned him: “It’s unlawful to kill on holy ground.”

Summoned to attention, the disciple withdrew his hand and gazed kindly at the mosquito. Raising his level of consciousness, the Master said: “Wherever you are, on holy ground or public space, life in all its forms is sacred. It is unlawful to kill.”

“One should not injure, subjugate, enslave, torture or kill any animal, living being, organism or sentient being….Just as suffering is painful to you, in the same way it is painful, disquieting and terrifying to all animals, living beings, organism and sentient beings.” – Acarangasutra 4:25-26

4.) The Law of Life

As I see it, those who plough evil or sow trouble reap the same. – Job 4:8

Disturbed by the injustices in the world, a man asked the Master, “Why is it that the wicked in our midst thrive while the honest and the upright suffer?”

“Recall the words of wisdom of the Buddha,” the Master said, “If a man speaks or acts with evil thoughts, pain surely follows him e’en as the wheel follows the ox that drags the cart along.”

“Be ever mindful of your thoughts, words and actions,” the Master cautioned. “It is the law of life: The good you do blesses you a hundredfold and more already in this life. The evil you do stays with you to haunt you, morning, noon and night, every moment of your life.”

“One day I met the Lord face to face, and bending my knees, I prayed, “Tell me,O king of Compassion, ‘Is it thou who punishest the sinner and givest rewards to the virtuous ones?’ ‘No,’ said He smiling, “the sinner earns his reward.” – Hazarat Inayat Khan

5.) Song of the Bird

Have you ever seen a guiltless man perish or an upright man done away with completely?  -Job 4:7

A prisoner of conscience who survived ten long years of solitary confienment was asked how he endured the ordeal.

He humbly testified: “Every morning I was visited by a tiny bird that perched itself on the branch of a tree just outside my cell window. Faithfully it sang its little heart out sending my drooping spirits soaring and reminding me that one day the Truth would prevail. Tenaciously I clung to the song of the bird as I survived the dark night of my soul.”

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark -Rabindranath Tagore 

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘The Word Through Eastern Eyes‘ by Cedric Rebello, SJ. For more information about this book: Click Here

Venial Sin : No Small Matter

Sin

“All wrongdoing is sin,” says Saint John, “but there is sin which is not mortal” (1 Jn 5:17). Venial sin is the name we give to faults of lesser gravity. There’s no such thing as a sinless lie; but not all lies weigh as heavily as perjury under oath or false accusation. Thus, perjury is a mortal sin; but lying about your age, for vanity’s sake, might be venial.

Venial sin weakens our will. It wounds us in the spirit, though it does not kill us. Pope John Paul II wrote: “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.”;0 We can get to heaven if we die with venial sins unconfessed, but they must lirst be cleansed from our soul; for “nothing unclean shall enter” God’s eternal life (Rev 21:27).

We are not obligated to confess our venial sins. Indeed, they can be forgiven in other ways. For example, every time we receive Holy Communion, our venial sins are wiped away entirely. We can ask and obtain forgiveness for venial sins by reciting a simple, sincere Act of Contrition. The Bible tells us that venial sins can even be forgiven through the intercession of others: “If anyone sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal” (1 Jn 5:16).

Still, we do best if we discern these smaller sins and begin to conquer them now, by seeking forgiveness in the confessional. The sacrament will give us grace, then, to overcome them in the future; and the priest-confessor can give us very specific, practical advice on how best to correspond to that grace with action. The introduction to the rite of penance tells us that the confession of venial sins is not a mere “psychological exercise”. It is, rather, “a constant and renewed commitment to refine the grace of baptism so that, while we carry about in our bodies the dying of Christ Jesus, His life may be ever more revealed in us.” No sin — no matter how small — is compatible with the life of Christ, Who is forever sinless. If we want to grow in His life, if we want His life to grow in us, we must be firm in our resolve not to sin at all, or at least (for starters) to sin less frequently.

We need not be discouraged if we continue to fall into venial sin. But neither should we give up our resolve to put off such sins entirely. For we must not underestimate the damage venial sins can do. Again, some lies are less serious than others, but there’s no such thing as a lie that’s “little” or “white”. Pope John Paul II taught: “It must not be forgotten that venial sins can inflict dangerous wounds on the sinner.”3′ Venial sins, especially if they are habitual, make us ever weaker in our resistance to mortal sin. They are the thin edge of sin’s wedge in our lives.

Confessing these sins, however, provides a powerful counteractive force. Said Pope John Paul II: “The confession of these sins with a view to sacramental forgiveness, in fact, singularly helps us grow aware of our condition as sinners before God in order to make amends.”” Thus armed with grace and good advice, we can continue resolutely on the path to our perfection. “In this way the penitent tends toward ‘that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature’ [Eph 4:13]; besides, ‘professing the truth in love,’ he is spurred on to ‘grow to the full maturity of Christ the head’ [Eph 4:15].”

This Excerpt is taken from the book: ‘Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession’ by Scott Hahn. For more information about the book: Click Here!

The way to overcome Sadness is One Word!

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“The wise man said: “Cast sadness far from thee,  because it has killed many, and is good for nothing.” There is hardly anything as apt to bring our hearts to a state of irksome disgust as sadness. Those who have made a psychological study of sadness tell us that one of its principal effects is to disturb our judgements, making us take a darker view of life than the facts justify. Thus, sadness leads to pessimism and the reverse effect is also true — all pessimists are necessarily sad: disaster, for them, is just around the corner.

A second effect of sadness is to make us rude to others and severe towards them, suspicious and ready to put the worst interpretation on the actions of everyone around us. There are different ways of trying to overcome the sense of sadness. Some people take recourse to alcohol to make them forget. Others fling themselves into carnal pleasures hoping that the intensity of a momentary thrill will compensate them for want of a goal and a purpose in life. But all sad people are alike in this: at some time they say — perhaps scarcely conscious that they are saying it — “I do not love myself.” This is not an “inferiority complex”. It is rather the higher part of the self looking down on the lower part and reprimanding it for its pitiable condition.

Animals cannot reflect on themselves as human beings do; hence they cannot feel the same kind of disgust. There is a remedy for sadness — the one suggested by the Scriptures. To some minds it may seem far-fetched, when it says: “If you are suffering, pray!” (Jm 5:13). Actually, these words touch on a profound psychological truth, for they imply that we must be reconciled to ourselves in order to be happy. So long as we are merely the battleground of a war between the lower self and the higher self within us, there can be no relaxation and no joy. But to resolve the conflict, to bring the battle to an end, we must see ourselves as we really are.

It does no good to blame the golf club if our game is at fault, or the pitcher because we spill the milk, the fault must be seen as our own in little mishaps of this kind, and for our states of mind as well. The discovery that we are to blame for being the way we are is greater than the discovery made by any explorer — such a discovery of our own fault is impossible unless there be a higher standard outside ourselves, from whose love we know that we have fallen.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘Way to Inner Peace’ by Fulton J. Sheen. For more information on the book: Click Me!

What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit ?

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Baptism in the Holy Spirit Baptism in the Holy Spirit? What is it? Even though I was an active Catholic, I had never heard the term. Heck, in seventh grade I won the local catechism bee but never had that question. I asked one of the other Netters who appeared to be pretty normal but also seemed to know what was going with the whole baptism in the Holy Spirit thing. She said that it was really just being “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

She told me that I could read more about in the scriptures. That, to me, sounded like a pretty good place to start. I began reading the scriptures and found that being baptized in the Holy Spirit (or words similar) is mentioned in each of the 4 gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles. (See Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33; Acts 1:5.) John the Baptist made it clear that he baptized in water but that Jesus would baptize ill the Holy Spirit. It became apparent to me that what I experienced as a baby might be different than baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In his gospel, Luke said that we would be baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire. Again in the Acts of the Apostles, Luke has Jesus instructing the apostles to go back to Jerusalem and wait for the “promise of the Father” and the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5), When I read the various accounts of the baptism in the Holy Spirit I didn’t necessarily have a better understanding of exactly what baptism in the Holy Spirit was, but I was able to see that it was important. It seemed to be something that Jesus intended for us, and it changed people. Scripture states clearly that Jesus came to baptize us in the Holy Spirit. It seemed to me that if this is one of the reasons Christ came, then perhaps I was missing something.

As I made my way through scripture, I was also able to see the effects of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. From my reading the Acts of the Apostles it appeared to me that the disciples experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It became clear that the baptism of the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to do something that they were unable to do before. Before Pentecost they were locked in a room paralyzed by fear and after experiencing the Holy Spirit they boldly proclaimed Jesus. Something changed in them. Slowly, I was beginning to see more clearly what  the baptism in the Holy Spirit might be about.

It seemed to be about power. The disciples’ experience of the Holy Spirit gave them the power to escape the confines of a locked room where they were bound by fear. It gave them the power to witness to Jesus’ resurrection and the ability to faithfully live the christian life.

This Excerpt is take from the book ‘Breath of God‘ by Dave Pivonka, T.O.R