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What's a Parent to Do? View Comments
By Susan Vogt

Jacinta and Mark were engaged. Jacinta’s parents were concerned because they didn’t see in Mark
the capacity to love generously. Their dilemma was whether to share their misgivings with Jacinta. Would it drive her to defend Mark and alienate their prospective son-in-law? They decided to share their concern with Jacinta while reiterating that they trusted her judgment and would welcome Mark wholeheartedly into the family if this was her choice. They knew Jacinta and Mark would be attending a reputable marriage preparation program, so they prayed and said no more.

During the Engaged Encounter, Jacinta observed how other couples treated each other and that, by comparison, Mark acted like a spoiled teenager. She decided to break off the engagement. It was hard, but her parents’ words helped her to be open to this possibility and to make the decision herself.

A discussion of marriage such as the one above must begin before any wedding or, preferably, even before the engagement. I hope you find that you really like the man or woman with whom your young adult appears to be getting serious. Still, there are bound to be times leading up to the wedding and afterward when you see things differently.

Generally, these are relatively minor and can be handled by the overall rule of thumb: Intervene as little as possible, and trust your young adult’s good judgment.

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Susan V. Vogt is an award-winning freelance writer and speaker on marriage, parenting and spirituality. She lives in Covington, Ky., with her husband, Jim.

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Sharbel Makhluf: Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely. 
<p>Joseph Zaroun Makluf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later. </p><p>Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly. </p><p>He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him 12 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog You cannot claim to be ‘for Christ’ and espouse a political cause that implies callous indifference to the needs of millions of human beings and even cooperate in their destruction.

 
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