By Paul Spence

The Men’s Fellowship topic for its Dec. 4 meeting was “Bone of My Bones … A Man and His Wife”.  A Christian discussion about marriage often touches upon the controversial “elbow passages” found in St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

At Mass during the Liturgy of the Word when Ephesians Chapter 5 verse 22 is read, “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord…”, the first elbow flies with husbands nudging their wives.  The second elbowing occurs shortly afterward when verse 25 is read by the lector, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over to her to sanctify her…” when the wives respond with a loving, return jab to their husbands. 

St. Paul uses these two verses to highlight what author Mike Aquilina calls “The Spousal Secret” in a chapter of his book titled “Love in Little Things”. The spousal secret is that true love in marriage is based upon self-sacrifice by both the husband and the wife to the point that they make it their second nature. It takes real work over a lifetime for each of us to put ourselves aside and sacrifice for the good of our spouse as it is always as St. Paul states “…the more excellent way…” (1 Corinthians 12:31).

To fully achieve this “gift of self” that St. Pope John Paul II frequently spoke about, we need to call upon the help of God.  A verse in Ecclesiastes (4:12) highlights that marriage is a tri-party covenant between the wife, husband and God – “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” 

Bishop Fulton Sheen’s classic book, “Three to Get Married,” sets out the Church’s beautiful understanding of marriage. Bishop Sheen emphasizes that our Blessed Lord is at the center of every successful and loving marriage. Frankly and charitably, Sheen presents the causes of and solutions to common marital crises, and tells touching real-life stories of people whose lives were transformed through marriage.

Our next meeting — on Monday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria — will end at 6:50 p.m. to allow those wanting to attend the St. Alphonsus’ Penance Service at 7 p.m. The Signpost topic for the meeting will be “Am I My Brother’s Keeper … Caring for the Needs of Others”. It will draw from these readings:  Genesis 4:1-10; 2 Samuel 12:1-8; Luke 10:25-37 and the Catechism:  1878-1879 and 2448.

As always, remember that our time parallels CCD, so if you are dropping a student off, why not spend the hour in Men’s Fellowship.  After our meeting, we often head to Cenci’s to continue our Fellowship over food and drink.  All are welcome!