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12 Keys to a Sacramental Marriage View Comments
By Andrew and Terri Lyke

Terri and Andrew Lyke of Chicago, who married in 1975, have been leaders in Christian marriage preparation, education and enrichment since 1982.

AFTER 35 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, we look back and see clearly how the wisdom of others has shaped us. We have benefited from many stakeholders who opened their lives to us to witness their love through good, bad, fun, tragic—holy times.

Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Letting God’s light shine through us is our way of following Jesus. He instructs us in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Here are 12 ways sacramental marriages let God’s light shine through them and put their lamp on a lampstand. We will be using personal examples to illustrate this. Readers can make their own adaptations.

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Andrew and Terri Lyke were married in 1975 and have been leaders in Christian marriage preparation, education and enrichment since 1982. They are the designers of the Arusi Retreat for Christian Marriages, which they have presented across the United States. They are also the founders of Arusi Network, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that educates African-Americans on the skills and benefits of Christian marriage.

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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog When we go through pain it is easy to feel abandoned or forgotten, but suffering doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, He does. Even Jesus suffered, and He was completely without sin.

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