Faith · Relationships

6 Simple New Years Resolutions for the Catholic Couple in 2016

I’m following up on my previous post – resolutions for the Catholic college student – with a post on resolutions for the Catholic couple! And I am really excited about this one! This is not an exhaustive list of suggestions, nor is it a perfect one –rather these suggestions have grown out of Timothy and I’s own relationship and I thought they might be helpful for you too! Here goes:

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Sharing prayer intentions on a daily basis is a simple and easy way to communicate to one another what is going on in your social lives, your relationship and your spiritual lives. It is also a great way for you two to know exactly how to support and pray for one another.

Another version of this would be for you two to pray about and come up with 12 prayer intentions that you really want to focus on this year and share them with one another. Last year Timothy and I wrote our 12 intentions on note cards, put them on a ring, and then swapped – each month we would turn to a different prayer intention to pray for!

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Take a look at your schedules and find a good time where you both could stop for even 30 seconds and simply pray for one another – ask God’s protection on or blessings for the other, pray for God to strengthen your relationship or reveal His plan for it!

If your schedules allow it, consider prayers that are typically said at specific hours – like the Angelus or the Divine Mercy Chaplet – and offer those for each other!

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One of Timothy and I’s favorite ways to pray and build our relationship is by doing spiritual reading together. We started with Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves, then did a Marian Consecration together (see more below) with 33 Days to Morning Glory, have started The Second Gratest Story Ever Told, and this year are planning on finally finishing Theology of the Body for Beginners. I recommend all of these to you!

Try working through a chapter a week, or maybe even month depending on your schedules, take turns reading, and share your favorite things afterwards! Feel free to let your own reading style show through as you read together too! I swear I think Timothy is going to throw a fit every time I want to underline something or mark a page, but he is nothing but his ever-patient self!

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The first three of these suggestions allow for a lot of personalization and customized prayer, but praying the Rosary together allows you to enter into the rich Catholic Tradition as a couple! This helps you experience routine and structured types of prayer together, learn more about the life of Christ through praying the various mysteries, unite yourself to the Universal Church, and draw close to our Mother.

Plus, the more you pray the Rosary together the less routine it feels and the more personal it becomes. For Timothy and I, it’s become personal to us through taking turns announcing and leading decades, sharing prayer intentions before beginning,  and asking for the intercession of the saints we’re devoted to after finishing. And the Rosary is one of the best prayers for chastity too!

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The Mass is the ultimate form of prayer for us as Catholics, and so going to Mass together is the most powerful and transformative thing you can do as a couple. Though you may not immediately realize the effect this has on your relationship, I promise you that being in the presence of and receiving the Eucharist will change your relationship from the inside out. This also helps you get to know the small and simple acts of piety that each other manifests, what parts of the Mass each of you connect the most with, and gives you material for further reflection together.

If you can’t go to Mass together (long distance relationships, I feel ya), then try reading the daily Mass readings together –especially the Gospel! Ask each other questions like, “What is your favorite part of this Gospel?”, “What does this Gospel mean to you?”, “How do you think we can live out this Gospel in our relationship?”

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You won’t believe how easy it is to forget this –and yet how important it actually is. In the past Timothy and I have done all of the other things I’ve mentioned above and yet gone weeks without asking each other this simple question. We were saying all of these prayers or doing all of these activities together but still weren’t really sharing where our faith life was at with one another. Ever since we’ve tried to be better at asking each other this question, it has been remarkably easier to talk to one another about our faith and our high places and our struggles there in.

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Consecrating yourselves to Mary is one of the most important things that you could do both for yourselves as individuals and as a couple, but it is not as simple as the others, and so I give it to you as a bonus! To read all about Marian Consecration click here!

I hope that these suggestions have been helpful to you! Any couples out there have anything to add? Feel free to comment below!

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