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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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Athanasius: Athanasius led a tumultuous but dedicated life of service to the Church. He was the great champion of the faith against the widespread heresy of Arianism, the teaching by Arius that Jesus was not truly divine. The vigor of his writings earned him the title of doctor of the Church. 
<p>Born of a Christian family in Alexandria, Egypt, and given a classical education, Athanasius became secretary to Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, entered the priesthood and was eventually named bishop himself. His predecessor, Alexander, had been an outspoken critic of a new movement growing in the East—Arianism. </p><p>When Athanasius assumed his role as bishop of Alexandria, he continued the fight against Arianism. At first it seemed that the battle would be easily won and that Arianism would be condemned. Such, however, did not prove to be the case. The Council of Tyre was called and for several reasons that are still unclear, the Emperor Constantine exiled Athanasius to northern Gaul. This was to be the first in a series of travels and exiles reminiscent of the life of St. Paul. </p><p>After Constantine died, his son restored Athanasius as bishop. This lasted only a year, however, for he was deposed once again by a coalition of Arian bishops. Athanasius took his case to Rome, and Pope Julius I called a synod to review the case and other related matters. </p><p>Five times Athanasius was exiled for his defense of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity. During one period of his life, he enjoyed 10 years of relative peace—reading, writing and promoting the Christian life along the lines of the monastic ideal to which he was greatly devoted. His dogmatic and historical writings are almost all polemic, directed against every aspect of Arianism. </p><p>Among his ascetical writings, his<i> Life of St. Anthony</i> (January 17) achieved astonishing popularity and contributed greatly to the establishment of monastic life throughout the Western Christian world.</p> American Catholic Blog Suffering is redemptive in part because it definitively reveals to man that he is not in fact God, and it thereby opens the human person to receive the divine.

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