Tawau : When God created male and female, and called them in union as husband and wife, His purpose is none other than to continue His love through another creation of life or to be the co-creator of God. Married couple united in the Sacrament of Matrimony is the reflection of God's faithfulness in each couple for God Himself is present in their life.
The Christian Family Life Ministry (CLFM) of Holy Trinity Parish Tawau organized a one-day Parish level Marriage Enrichment themed 'Oneness in Marriage' on 20th July 2013. 170 participants comprising 85 couples attended the event to enrich and deepen their understanding of marriage life.
The program began with the Enthronement of the Bible followed with morning prayer led by Sr. Tauria fsic. The CFLM chairman Bro. Mario Domingo gave a briefing on the flow of the day's event, the format,the aims and purpose.
Rev. Fr. Charles Chew of the Keningau Diocese was the main facilitator assisted by members of the CFLM Committee. The topics presented by Fr Charles touched on God’s Purpose on Marriage, The Sacredness of Marriage Vocation and Intimacy in marriage. Julita presented on 'The Joy of married life' while the Reconciliation session was handled by Jocelyn and John. The input session began with an introduction of the Document on Lumen Fidei related to Family Life.
Fr Charles elaborated the document on Lumen Fidei ( Family and Faith #52 and 54 ). 'This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan' inspired most participants especially when recalling their call in marriage life. It continues to say, 'the relationship between husband and wife indeed is a promising love that is eternal to enable them to gain grace , faithfulness and to surrender their journey in the hand of the lord.'.
'Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person. So it was that Sarah, by faith, became a mother, for she trusted in God’s fidelity to his promise.' (cf. Heb 11:11).
Lumen Fidei (54) ..In the family, faith accompanies every age of life, beginning with childhood: children learn to trust in the love of their parents. This is why it is so important that within their families, parents encourage shared expressions of faith which can help children gradually mature in their own faith.
Encountering Christ, letting themselves be caught up in and guided by his love, enlarges the horizons of existence, gives it a firm hope which will not disappoint. Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives. It makes us aware of a magnificent calling, the vocation of love. It assures us that this love is trustworthy and worth embracing, for it is based on God’s faithfulness which is stronger than our every weakness.
The bond between husband and wife based on faith, hope and charity is the driving force of their Christian life, as it advances toward their full communion with God as to live their faith as well to share it and to transfer it to their children.
Fr. Charles concluded the session by highlighting the Art of Intimacy which could be wisely adapted within married couples:
- Become intimate with yourself -Our ability to accept others rests upon our acceptance of the plurality of selves within us.
- Face your aloneness - When we refuse to accept our aloneness, we transfer to those we love the responsibility of solving our problems, making us happy and keeping us safe from things that might go wrong.
- Learn to listen - Your relationships will change in radical ways when you give up having answers and take up learning to listen.
- Straight Talk - Without honesty there is no closeness. We need to say as clearly as we can what we feel, what we want, what pleases and displeases us.
- Choose intimacy - If you want to be close to people, you have to make a conscious decision to make it a priority in your life. And more important, be sensitive to those times when someone needs you to be present to them.
- Take your time - Intimacy develops at its own pace. It is not instant, the intimate relationships that are solid enough to withstand the battering of circumstances and crises may take nearly a life time to create
- .Choose carefully - Not everyone is ready to pay the price in energy, time, imagination and commitment.
- Expect to be afraid and to fall regularly -True intimacy comes only after we discover, after many failures, that we can never take away each others loneliness, fill the void in the bottom of the heart, banish tragedy or take away the shadow of death.
Session ended at 4.30 pm with Fr Charles blessing all couples. The seminar closed with an “AGAPE NIGHT “ at one of the popular restaurants in Tawau. It aimed to unite all couples to build up the 'Holy Trinity One Big Family' motto.