The Movement of Faithful Hearts: Hope that does not Disappoint
Author: Editorial staff,
"Love One Another!" 17/2010 → Christian family
There is a saying that hope is the mother of fools. But this is the hope we place in money, in our own wisdom, in our own strength. But Saint Paul speaks of another kind of hope: “[W]e even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly” (Rom 5: 3-6).
The hope that does not disappoint is the hope we place in God through the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ died for our sins while we were sinners so that He might forgive us and we might forgive those who do us harm. This hope leads to the rebirth of interpersonal relations, the alleviation of pain, and the building up of marital relationships.
Encouraged by the idea of the Movement of Faithful Hearts (MFH), one of our readers began to pray for the return of her husband who had gone to Holland for work and there found himself another woman. A few months later, the husband did come back, but he lacked the guts to ask for his wife’s forgiveness. He figured his return was enough to convince her of his intention to make amends for his past. Clearly this was not enough. And so, despite their mutual desire to rebuild their ruined marital happiness, the husband’s return brought with it a mare’s nest of problems.
To make matters worse, the family began to play a negative role in this affair by inciting each of the spouses to forgo the effort and seek a divorce. Strange how often “well-meaning” people will help a couple to destroy their family instead of helping them to resolve their conflicts and bring them together! But in this case, God’s grace was clearly evident, for the couple resisted these pressures and, through persevering prayer, confession, and frequent reception of the Eucharist, allowed Jesus to heal and rebuild their marriage. Last Christmas, our reader sent us a joyful letter informing us that her husband had got up the nerve to ask for her forgiveness. He had undergone a complete transformation and was now very attentive and affectionate toward her and doing his best to please her. An apology and a declared resolve to make amends proved to be a real breakthrough in rebuilding love in this marriage.
Of course, it is not easy for the couple. Betrayal, once committed, casts a lifelong shadow; it poisons even they most beautiful moments spent together. It is not easy to rebuild the trust of the betrayed spouse. In times of conflict, especially, it is not easy for a spouse to resist dredging up the old sins of the other. And yet, thanks to the grace of Christ, forgiveness is possible, and rebuilding a broken marital relationship is better than remaining in the sin of betrayal and adultery; for, Jesus clearly tells us that a person who divorces his or her spouse and marries another, commits the sin of adultery (cf. Mat 19: 9).
We urge all those who have experienced a crisis in their marriage (or who are witnesses to a marital crisis) to pray and strive for a reconciliation and mutual forgiveness. At the same time, we urge married couples who have been touched by betrayal and divorce to remain faithful in spite of the betrayal; to pray for the return of their spouse, to hope against hope — trusting that the hope they have placed in Jesus will never disappoint. The Movement of Faithful Hearts is for spouses joined in sacramental matrimony who wish to be stand strong in God and be strengthened by the graces that flow from the holy sacraments, and in difficult situations to stand by their marriage vows: so as to remain in a state of sanctifying grace and entrust themselves to Christ with all their strength.
There is no need for you to be alone with your problems. Jesus is always ready to help you, and people who persevere together help each other. Seek out also spiritual and psychological counsel, read other people’s testimonies, and take part in spiritual retreats. You may wish to join the Movement of Faithful Hearts. For more information see: www.rws.kryzys.org. We invite you also to participate in joint prayers for the intentions of those listed on the “Sychar” Help Forum: www.kryzys.org.
We urge all those who have experienced a crisis in their marriage (or who are witnesses to a marital crisis) to pray and strive for a reconciliation and mutual forgiveness. At the same time, we urge married couples who have been touched by betrayal and divorce to remain faithful in spite of the betrayal; to pray for the return of their spouse, to hope against hope — trusting that the hope they have placed in Jesus will never disappoint.
The Prayer of Consecration of the Movement of Faithful Hearts
Lord Jesus, I offer you our marriage. I thank you for uniting us, for bestowing us upon each other, and for strengthening our union in the sacrament of matrimony. However, our marriage now stands in need of healing.
I offer you, Lord, myself, my memory, my soul, and my body. Please teach me to love my husband (wife) and children with the love that comes from you.
Grant both of us, dear Jesus, a pure heart modeled on yours. Enable me to remain faithful in my difficult situation and give me the grace to forgive my husband (wife) for all the wounds and harm he (she) has dealt me. That I may not lose hope in the possibility of reconciliation (in the case of separation or divorce).
Cleanse my thoughts that I may persevere in fidelity and love. May daily prayer — the rosary, the chaplet of divine mercy, participation in Holy Mass, and frequent reception of Holy Communion — help me in this endeavor. I promise to pick myself up from every serious sin in the sacrament of penance. Grant that I may always be strengthened by the graces of the sacrament of matrimony.
Lord Jesus, be the One Lord of my life. Teach me to control my emotions and sexual desires, that my love for my husband (wife) may endure and be faithful until death do us part. Purify my love of all selfishness, that I may always forgive, nurse no grudges, and persevere in prayer.
I promise never to read, purchase, or look at pornographic magazines, TV programs, or films, so that I may preserve a pure heart. Grant me your help, O Lord, that I may avoid everything that enslaves and incites me to evil.
Mary, my Mother, lead me in the ways of faith toward the one source of love in our marriage — to Jesus, that I may always trust and believe in Him.
The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!" in August 2016.
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