Passion: it’s not just for newly weds!
By Francine Pirola
Now here is a great exercise for every married couple: think back to the time you first fell in love with your husband/wife. Remember the excitement, the passion, the urgency you felt for one another? Being in love was easy, a joy, and a natural priority.
Then along came the children, the in-laws, the mortgage, the added work pressures and a million other responsibilities, not to mention all the little hurts and disappointments that build up along the way.
Gradually, without even meaning to, you began to lose the freshness of being in love. Being married became a daily chore rather than a daily delight.
Is this the way marriage is meant to be? Sadly, a lot of people think so. But this is not the vision God holds out to us. As married couples, God calls us to love – but not just to love in a ‘dutiful’ way.
God wants our passion and delight for one another to be a lifelong experience; a powerful wellspring that keeps us wonderfully intimate through good times and bad.
Possible? Yes! But it doesn’t just happen. There is an ‘art’ to marriage. There are insights, tools and exercises that can help us fine-tune the way we relate as a couple.
Taking time out to learn and practise these tools can make all the difference between being ‘dutifully loving’ and ‘passionately in love’.
One tool that has been immensely helpful to our own marriage is the Celebrate Love marriage enrichment seminar. Celebrate Love is a weekend program for couples in strong marriages, which explores the sexual and spiritual dimensions of married life.
It consists of a series of presentations by married couples and exercises shared privately between husband and wife. There is no counseling and couples are not asked to share their relationship with anyone.
Drawing on the insights of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (see P6 this issue) and current relationship research, Celebrate Love gives couples a new understanding of themselves and their spouse and provides practical strategies for them to use in their everyday lives.
It is a program in the Catholic tradition, although couples or spouses of other denominations are very welcome. We warmly recommend it to every couple who enjoys a solid marriage and would like to explore their untapped potential.
Celebrate Love is being offered in the Diocese of Parramatta on the weekend of 30-31 October. Local couple Anne and Bernard Ellis are working with support from Fr Zvonimir Gavranovic, Parish Priest of Luddenham Parish, to make the event a success.
The venue is the beautiful surrounds of the Edmund Rice Retreat Centre at Mulgoa. Couples can choose to sleep at home or stay onsite.
Become one of the thousands of couples who have already benefited from the seminar, or read their testimonies online: http://www.celebratelove.com.au/
Celebrate Love Seminar
Dates Saturday 30 October (9am-9pm) and Sunday 31 October (9am-5pm).
Venue Edmund Rice Retreat Centre, Mulgoa.
Cost $200 per couple (includes meals and all materials).
Accommodation (optional) Contact the retreat centre direct Ph 02 4773 5555.
Bookings and inquiries www.celebratelove.com.au
Contact Bernard and Anne Ellis Ph 02 4751 4333 or PMRC Office Ph 02 9319 1111.
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