Interview on Marriage with Deacon Thomas Henrich Fall 2019

Interview on Marriage with Deacon Thomas Henrich Fall 2019


My name is Anna Dice, I’m here at Saint Thomas Aquinas parish, and I’m joined by Deacon Thomas Henrich. How are you today? I’m fine. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Good good So I wanted to talk today a little bit about the topic of marriage, but first before we get into that I’d like to know a little bit about Your story your background who you are. Sure I’m currently 56 years old I am a father of four husband of one my wife and I have been married 31 years Just recently I have Seven grandchildren. I found out literally this morning that the seventh one is in utero from My son and his wife and they were not expecting to have any children ever. They didn’t think it was possible. So that’s a glorious blessing to our family that will be coming to fruition about What would that be May June July somewhere in there next to you? Yeah, I grew up in northwest, Iowa I was a very role and a very farm oriented state to begin with I grew up in a town of about eleven hundred people. I’m one of five kids to my parents My mom and dad were married 1957 and they just celebrated 62 years of marriage Last week on the 26th and They had five children, and I’m the fourth of five Grew up. The town was 1,100 people. My dad was a large animal veterinarian and mom was a stay-at-home mom She was also a home economics teacher before that But Grew up K12 Catholic school, I graduated from Briarcliff college now Briarcliff University in Sioux City Which is a Franciscan University With a bachelor’s degree in psychology. I went to Texas Tech and got my master’s in marriage and family therapy There and that Iowa State for my PhD in marriage and family therapy I met my wife while I was at Iowa State. She was a recruiter for Iowa State. Oh, yeah She had the northern half of the state that she traveled to recruit students but when I met her she was actually On campus and we met at daily mass which everybody kind of rolls their eyes I sure my wife currently is a theology teacher and that’s what her students do all the time They just roll her eyes. Of course, you’d meet your husband at mass But I think that’s one of the greatest things especially at the start of our relationship Because it’s not a requirement to go to daily, Mass but my seeing her Daily Mass told me a mountain of information about who she was and what she valued in her life without her saying a word And I would suspect my presence there did the same that I’m you know, it was at noon And just giving up that time because the mass and faith is just that important And then we were introduced by a mutual friend there and things just progressed from there Very happily I might add so that’s awesome. Yeah, that is really cool. Nope, so I didn’t know she was a recruiter That’s that’s very funny But mass masses the masses the thing that brought you together, you know, it really is Daily mass has not been something. I’m not a daily communicant But try to get to mass as much as as a person possibly can because the graces that come With the receiving not only of the Eucharist which is the source and summit of our faith, which is the greatest of the sacraments Outside of baptism I suppose Not sure which one is the creator and that but The reception of the sacraments is so important for the grace to flow in our lives frequent reception of those that we can I think is central to a very good healthy life for an individual, but certainly For a marriage as well To have a marriage Centered on based on Christ as the rock of that. I don’t think Anything else makes a sense if that’s making sense to you now? You said you have your you got your doctorate as well Yes, practicing Marriage and Family Therapy and when it comes to counseling there’s all different kinds of counseling Specializations and whatnot. What is your passion? What do you like to is there a particular group or demographic that you like to work with? There is? What brought me to the valley was Bishop homesteads into the breech? reading that I don’t think I got more than a paragraph in and Recognizing this man is speaking to exactly what I felt men do not understand what their real calling is and we have lost not just the men but As a society, we’ve lost what our real Paul is as men women husbands fathers sons and daughters and That spoke to me that was a huge part of my wanting to come to the valley Which has only been about four months now But The In cichlid not encyclical the the letter that was written by the Bishop complete my joy Was also a driving factor because we have so many people That do not understand anymore What marriage family being a Catholic family a Catholic man a Catholic woman really means anymore? And Bishop homestead is spot on correct in what he sees is the need for our Men our women and our families and I wanted to be a part of it. So I started a Catholic based Practice and I’m also involved with another Catholic based practice right now in the valley There’s a huge huge need for Really good solid Catholic Therapy, there are a lot of very good practitioners out there, but we’ll say a lot of things that are very anti Catholic teaching For myself what I have learned. I’ve been doing this job believe it or not for Let’s see 33 years about 50,000 hours of Time in the chair one-on-one with families or individuals. I particularly like talking to men I like talking to couples as well But to get them educated and focused on The reality that the Catholic Church has it right the Catholic Church has always had it right There are a lot of different places out there a lot of different voices I will say the Catholic Church is absolutely wrong. I can tell you that in every teaching I’ve found with the church yet You will find number one an extremely good rational thought-out argument as to why this is correct And I can’t refute any of them ever. There might not be easy, but The reality of there being correct is spot on every single time One of the challenges I had When I was back in, Iowa was seeing so many couples that were coming in on their second third and fourth marriage and I started to see Same-sex couples coming in wanting help and that provided a huge challenge for me and I went to the bishop and I asked him bishop. How can I do my job and remain a faithful Catholic in etc? Etc. What what should I do? I was actually kind of looking for a job from him and the man looked me Bishop Walker Nicholas a wonderful wonderful Bishop Said to me, I believe your call to the diaconate And I was not expecting to hear that out of that conversation Whatsoever. How did canceling job to come to you? I have no idea but I can I can still remember driving back to my office after that this I can the literal intersection where that lightning bolt Finally did hit me part of my call to the deck and it was actually here in Arizona at the Grand Canyon a group of men from my church led by our pastor Went on a retreat of a sort and we hiked down the Bright Angel Trail and on the North Kaibab out to Cottonwood campground out of I’m sure some of the people had been there but it is gone from everywhere There’s the dust nobody gets out there and we were talking one night about You know Life and what would happen if our spouse would I was part of the conversation that was a big part of why I did not Look at the jacket. It’s like I couldn’t get remarried and my thought and many of the other men that were there a Comment was but look at the priesthood and I thought that to myself and I this is just the truth It’s a bit embarrassing, but it was in the outhouse at the bottom of the Grand Canyon Where God literally said well, if you would become a priest then why is that a hindrance to you whatsoever on the DIAC event? and that was one of those the bricks of that wall that just came down that day and is like well that’s not a Real issue then for me anymore. Is it if I’m willing to be celibate for the priesthood? Why would there be an issue if you know my wife would? Die in an untimely manner So that that fell that day too So it was a slow long burn for the DIAC and I thought about that probably for the better part of 20 years And came up with lots of excuses. Why shouldn’t I? see my role in the diaconate very much as being Someone that helps the fishers of men the priests are the fishers of men. The bishop is the Fisher of men I see myself as there’s always an image with the story of the overflowing Nets of My job is to help them while they’re hauling in the fish. I keep the fish in the net in essence I’ve Felt very drawn to helping those Catholics that have always been here understand the faith that they’ve got that has been a part of Them for a long time that they didn’t even know was there throughout My preparation to begin formation and formation itself, I read everything in sight and I’m still amazed with how much there was there that I just didn’t want to bother learning because I just didn’t want to take the time and I’ve got a great passion of Teaching that to people and I found that when I have taken the time to sit and talk with people Tell them about what their true dignity their true worth is What a marriage is really about they tend to get very quiet and they tend to say things like Just beautiful. That’s amazing. I never thought of it that way Because we have an ear now To listen to Society to listen to whatever Hollywood star is the current one with the loudest voice Saying I’ve got this opinion on such-and-such issue with absolutely nothing to back it up with nothing whatsoever to back it up So but one of my favorite is talking about Well, my practices name is Holy Family Therapy and It’s very much based on the two holy families The greatest and most perfect is the Holy Trinity Where you have the Father the Son the Holy Spirit is a perfect union of love the father so self-forgetting Lee loves his son and The son so self-forgetting Lee loves the father that the love between them becomes alive which is the Holy Spirit and When I tell people that what I just described to them is a very short understanding of what human sexuality in the marital State is about The husband loving the wife the wife loving the husband both unforgettably holding nothing back giving everything of themselves who they really are and Then nine months later that love takes on life and the name that love their child’s name that’s one of those moments when people go oh Because they’ve never thought about it they’ve never been told this is what true human sexuality is about and then the Church’s teachings come from that and then we have of course the most perfect of Human families that there ever has been which is the Holy Family Mary Jesus and Joseph The human component is there too and they are a great source and a great Inspiration for us one of the things that I really like about their story is the flight into Egypt I don’t know. If you’ve ever heard the joke that there is biblical proof that Jesus had a pet flea. Did you know that? So in a dream Josephus is has an angel come to him and says take the mother baby and flee The jokes don’t get any better Bad jokes. I love them but that word flee is Such an incredibly powerful one for our families today Because what is associated with that one word? fear trepidation uncertainty Grab the child and run as fast as you can out the back door because they’re coming in the front door to kill him The most perfect family that has ever lived had all of those emotions and experiences as part of their existence And that was the best one that’s been out there All of us are going to have that same kind of experience and it’s okay We’re going to have fear we’re gonna have uncertainty. We’re not going to know what to do. We won’t know everything that’s coming It’s okay. It’s how do we live a life? What do we live that life based on with great faith? to address those issues to Follow and to solve those things as they come up in life That’s beautiful. It’s a really beautiful Story and image Before I definitely want to talk about some of the difficulties We face family space today Particularly in our society but real quick I wanted to know if there was anything in particular from the documents that you’ve mentioned complete my joy or into the breach Any other points that you wanted to highlight? I think the title into the breach Itself was extraordinarily brilliant Because what the bishop is talking about throughout the entire document. Is there is this gaping hole if you think of a line? In a battlefield the breach is where the break in the line is and the bishop is calling for men to stand in that breach Because our families are under attack and they need us to stand there to be the protector to be the leader to be the stalwart Guardian and That comes out in that document and for men to understand that the company of good solid men in men’s groups that the bishop calls for Specifically to understand that there’s a brotherhood that is out there that can be of assistance and we can help one another We have So few examples of that anymore You know, there’s there’s a quote that I like myself. There’s no shame in being wounded in battle the shame comes in desertion under fire you know we’re going to be beat up in battle and and frankly our society is one that men are now seen as buffoons and as the the butt of jokes Fair enough because we’ve got plenty of that anyway But we are not seen as those strong leaders anymore and I think men are afraid to be that that does not equal being a brute or being domineering or being Hyper masculine to that stent the extent of saying, you know, it’s got to be the man’s way I think it’s probably one of the most greatly misunderstood Scripture passages, I think it’s a officience 5:22 I’m not sure somewhere in there Men be the head of the family as Christ is head of the church wives be submissive to your husband’s and everything the secular world will see that as men are here women are here and they dominate over women and that is Absolutely completely and totally wrong and again This is one of those areas where the church is teaching has been very clear for a long time If I would ask anyone if I ask you Did Christ come to be served or to serve? dessert, okay, so If Jesus is the head of the church, he is the servant of the church so if I am the head of the family, I am the of the family So my position is not here. My position is here especially with my wife I Am her servant that’s how I am the head and my job is what can I do for you? How can I serve you? please What can I do for you today? Now what is submissive then? This is actually hard when I’ve found four women let your husband serve you That tends to be hard most women kind of go. Oh, I really like that But then when the reality of doing that it’s it’s really difficult Do you want to really this is this is one for the people watching this video then you’re married Husbands, try washing your wife’s feet simple tasks give warm water get a bowl or a bucket or whatever and Wash her feet It’s an easy thing that will make her eyes roll into the back of her head But I’ve also found that women have a hard time With letting that happen to be served like that another really interesting one is washing your wife’s hair simple tasks every woman I’ve ever met that it goes to The salon to have her hair cut styled whatever they get the hair wash that they always go. Oh Love that what I have found is meant I’d love to do that for you But though the wives typically don’t know Know which is a real shame. That’s that’s one of those areas. That just is really heart-wrenching for me because what I have found is so many women will say things like This isn’t really about service to me This is a backhanded Around the back door Something really for you You really want something from me with this It’s not an act of service and we need to honor that and recognize because we have fed into the cultural Norms of how things are done that we have brought that on ourself But there’s those are acts of incredible Intimacy between husband and wife that just can be demonstrated small little things that are there Every where the possibilities are everywhere to be that servant and when you you do it and you get hungry for it and do it more and more and more and more and more and Then to be a servant to one another You won’t need to come into my office If people would just live that one thing be the servant of the other They would avoid my office Yeah, and I’m just thinking in our Western culture we so easily think of Marriage and even relationships as a contract, you know, what am I getting out of this? you know and then if it’s a contract it’s something that can be terminated and What you’re talking about those serving and totally giving of yourself brings a whole difference And it’s just it completely changes the idea of marriage the idea of relationship and unity, but it’s not something that Okay, he could walk away from me or that I’ve got to fulfill some kind of expectation and then I’m okay with marriage. We should be truly free I don’t have to worry ever again about My wife leaving it’s like, you know, I need to take myself I need to be as healthy as I can. That’s a gift But if you don’t maintain a certain weight if you don’t maintain a certain look, etc, etc Then you’re replaceable that again is not that vision of that Trinitarian love that. I mentioned before and I want to talk about that just a little bit more as well because when I look at that in the human sense of human sexuality the in divisible part where we understand now biologically My wife gave her DNA. I gave my DNA I gave everything that I was on a biological level and Fused it together in an inseparable Way, I cannot undo that with any of my children or any of my grandchildren It is in dissolvable. It cannot be undone and you know When you think about I I view marriage very much as a covenant I am now yours you are mine. We are exchanging people when we get married This is not contractual at all And the the image from Abraham the the covenant between God and he had the smoking pot in the burning torch in between the split animals the imagery there is If I break this covenant, may I be ripped in two? like these animals And when we think of divorce when that happens and there are children involved Who is the one that’s really getting ripped into the most and that’s our children? Now I understand that. There are a lot of people out there that are divorced and that there are children involved This is in no way of blaming or shaming of any kind I think it’s the greatest gift that we can give to our children is to love our spouse In that self giving self donating selfless way For the sake of the kids as well And to have that as primary in our focus and that is our primary Attention because so often we don’t do that. We just Tend to think well, this is all just gonna be okay. It’s all gonna be fine Yeah So powerful To think of that when it when you make that shift and that’s change and it completely changes Our whole outlook our whole dynamic how we approach things Yeah, I’ve been I’ve been holding this in my hand And the people that may have noticed I’ve been kind of holding it here because I didn’t want to put it down as it’s so small This this is actually it’s a little bottle of sand. I think this is like Five milliliters. I can’t remember exactly what it was My wife put my wife and I put together about 1,500 of no 3,000 of these I gave 1500 away when I gave a homily once and I want to tell you the story about that because I believe it’s really important that we as parents and as couples really focus on what the true goal and the true focus is Frequently I’ll talk to people about their spiritual life and what they believe in certain things and Oftentimes death will come up and one of my favorite quotes as I told you earlier is The only real tragedy in life is not to become a saint now a saint is anyone that is in heaven That does not mean canonized that’s the Earthly process that goes on but to not be in heaven Is a true tragedy to not have our children in Heaven my job as a father is to help get my children to heaven. That is the ultimate goal Nothing else matters and I talked to people about well, what does what does that mean being a help? They always think of well that’s being in happiness and being at peace. That’s all certainly great And I ask well, how long does that last? They say forever I say well, what does that mean? Well, it’s forever And then I tell them this story this comes from father Larry Richards from his book be a man and I’ve just loved it and he tells a story about imagine wherever you are That you’ve got a grain of sand on your shoe And you have this little grain of sand on the tip of your finger and your job becomes Walking this one grain of sand to the top of Mount Everest Now every step that you take takes a really long time So every step is about ten thousand years on earth, okay and You know in my office, it’s usually about five steps to just get out my door Well, there’s fifty thousand years to get outside. The practice is we’re talking a quarter you know of a million years, I’ve already gone by and You walk that to the top of Mount Everest you put that single grain of sand down and you turn around and you walk back to my office at ten thousand years per step and then your job becomes taking every grain of sand that is in my carpet every grain of sand that is Outside on the walkways every grain of sand here in Arizona and all of the deserts off of every lake every Sea every River every ocean on the entire planet one grain at a time Ten thousand years per step to the top of Mount Everest When you get that entire job done eternity Just started and we thinking eternity ins like wow, that’s really great about heaven but people don’t think about eternity in hell is exactly the same that that kind of Agony Would be awful our only goal is to Be able to get to heaven I told that story to a man once and he said before I even think about taking that first step My way through a life is gone said yeah it is but we tend to think about everything on Our earthly life as being everything and it is not it is only a small little piece of our life a small little piece our real home is Heaven, that’s where dad wants all of us and he’s begging for all of us to be there. Just come follow me Be like me conform yourself to be like me Archbishop Fulton sheen talked about that a little bit when he was talking about what it’s like for a person that is going to have him versus hell and The job of the Holy Spirit is to conform each of us to be like Christ in whatever fashion certainly as an individual and then as a family as a marriage partnership And he saw envisioned a soul that had not conformed himself to look like Christ in the afterlife looking for Jesus and Looking Jesus squarely in the face And going I don’t see the family resemblance And The south of Jesus saying I don’t see the family resemblance either I agree with you and the person keeps going looking for and not seeing his family Versus a person that has conformed their life to live like Christ to be like Christ who when they died With you and then Jesus looking at that person saying yes, I see the family resemblance to Come on in See Jesus does not force us to anything. He doesn’t force us to be with them we choose that or we don’t and Then we are the living examples of that for our families here. We’ve got to live a life With that in mind which is why I have these You know that I encourage people to put this on your desk and when you see it just to be reminded of Where is my ultimate goal? What am I working toward? What do I really want and then live their life according? to that 1500 when I did that homily the grand total Amount of saying that I used was about five pounds, maybe maybe a little more than that But about that little bag and every time I stepped on a beach my family rolls their eyes at the old man without So picked up a handful of sand and I just you know the beach that’s going on for miles in every direction About what? Little kids playing with matches with our lives but To live a life devoted to know something greater and my children and my family is even greater Now applying that in our life. How do we live a life that is focused on that Does that mean we are on our knees 24/7, you know, we gotta have green chat playing in the background know What is in front of us, you know the dinner time with the kids Kids really want they want to be important in their parents life that I That you carve time out for me not just going through the ballgames and that the Let’s get them involved in x y&z sport or activity. It’s alright So those are fine too in the right proportion and in the right amounts But to Really take the time to know me So really know me Sitting around the dinner table talking about things that happen during the day and to listen with rapt attention Say you’re important. I want to know everything to get the bad the ugly the beautiful all of it I wanna know all of that about you is so critically important and I think that gets lost in so many of our Busyness of that we have in our life About the first date and who asked who out and things of that nature There’s always this great fear I mean I never was smooth with asking girls out my wife and I asked well for the first time didn’t remember who I was But when that right girl says, yes To Rocky tends to go off in guy’s head. That’s what it feels like. Oh, she said yes, I Asked them and the right guy asked around and they say yes that Music goes off as well. But tends to be more love story kind of music, but the theme is the same. I’m so lucky He asked me I’m the lucky one here and that first date Everybody story is so similar Whatever you want is fine with me Because I’m the lucky one here. We know how to do it and to live that all the time that I’m lucky went Unfortunately, what happens is that attitude within us? individually changes Then we will bite into the Rye That well, the truth isn’t I’m the lucky one here. The truth is really you’re lucky to be with me That’s the lie The truth is we were lucky to have one another You know my job to be that servant of you and my great joy to be in service to you That those those joys just come out of us. And again people understand that. I’ll tell another story. I Don’t know if you who you would have to dinner at your home, but you picture whomever That would be some famous person. Just don’t make it family, you know, a lot of people will talk about You know some sports hero. That is there’s Tom Brady feature. It’s probably are not the best The We talk about you know getting ready for that person to come to dinner and you know I’m gonna make what they like and I’m gonna have what they want to drink and I’m gonna make the house shine and and looking During the time that the person is there for any small little cyan’t that they need something and how quickly would jump Do what? Can I get for you? What can I do for you? How can I serve you right? And the jewelry that comes with having that attitude like that That Understand that that is just fabulous I would love that and I asked them okay now this dinners done and it was perfect and This person is very content. Would you say to that person? Okay. Now you get up I’m sitting down You serve me We will never do that to anybody To remember that inside of a marriage I am a servant forever. I am always the servant And you know when someone wants to serve me yes I say yes If it’s not received Another I’m married to an English teacher theology teacher I’m reminded of that frequently and the Catholic Church again in its wisdom has Changed the Names right I’m not sure if you knew this or not the most recent managed right when I put this ring on my finger with my wife She said to me take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit That has been changed now to receive this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity now people just Parsing words. It’s like I don’t think so I’ve Got for one of my nieces nephews or my children grandchildren And I’m really excited to give it to them and they come running up from behind me They grab it out of my hands and they start opening it with reckless abandon They just ripped it out of my hands. It just got kind of a Funny taste to it. Doesn’t it now? That’s give and take Now that same child comes up to me and is in front of me I got this for you And I want you to have it I give it to them they receive it and they go and open it with that same reckless abandon everything changes marriages give and receive It is not I’m going to give and then take for myself. Thank you very much It is not that it is not that it is give and receive I think it’s something that’s so easily forgotten again as we said earlier about it being a contractual Society I’m so so grateful for I was not at the time father Dan Knepper was the priest that Witnessed my wife’s and my marriage and he insisted on us memorizing our marriage vows And I’ve done weddings and people do not want to memorize them at all The grace of a holy and great marriage is Encapsulated in them in a very practical way. I wish people could Almost brand them on their eyeballs Tom take you Cecilia to be my wife I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad in sickness and in health I will love you and honor you all the days of my life the end There was not one word in there at all about what my wife had to do not one I Just said what I’m going to do I’m going to love you I will army you I will cherish you our respective in good and bad sick in health all the days of my life That’s it And that’s my job but here’s the thing. What if I’m successful? what if by the way I act and how I treat my wife she feels loved She feels honored shieff is cherished. She feels respected. I mean For selfish region reason which is a really bad thing to do But if I was only doing it for selfish reasons, how would she be back to me more like that or less like that? So even just for me treat her nice and kind and all those things that’s only gonna help me that’s on the worst I’m doing that altruistically for someone else Because this is what I need to do. I’ve got to do this I’ve got a hunger for this and then if my wife has its own hunger back this way again you Won’t need to come in my office and then if our kids see that being lived what is their likelihood of them living that for their children and their wives and their spouses and That’s the greatness that we have because then it can grow and grow and grow and grow and grow. Yeah, so Well, let’s talk a little bit. I love all the stories that you’ve told in everything and it’s wonderful But I know there’s times where we can say. All right, this is this is wonderful. This is beautiful This is what the Church teaches for. This is not my life. Hmm. And what do I do? How now um in the middle of a mess or whatever it may be. How do I live this? How do I For my wife and I I’ve only received the whining roses. That’s all she’s The realities of that free has been present in our life as well where it’s been very very difficult at times with very very difficult situations It is the how we deal with those situations That are the things that make us great my dissertation by the way was on long term happily married couples This had nothing to do whatsoever with spirituality But I can recognize it since then where I Talked to already was talk to couples that have been married 50 plus years. How did you do it? How did you do it and every one of them Said two things. The first one was they were saying jokingly They said we never thought of divorce without of a gun but never divorce That’s a literal quote from every single one of them but all of them said in there we had really really hard times But it was how we got through those hard times. That made us great and that is really stuck with me that was 30 38 no 28 years ago that I did that dissertation True and in the myriad of ways that families struggle the different things that we have We usually turn to ourself And we tend to try and solve these things on our own usually with the best of intentions Instead of turning to our spouse one of the big issues that is hitting our culture now is pornography Men with pornography as well. We are in a culture that says there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this That is an absolute and total complete lie Pornography is destroying our Families it’s destroying men. It’s destroying relationships. It’s destroying everything but because it’s so pervasive Just think it’s okay But there’s still that element of people know instinctually this is not okay, for example if a man is looking at pornography on the laptop as soon as somebody else comes in from Close they close it Because they don’t want this to be seen they think we know this is not correct To go to one spouse and talk about I’ve got this problem is one of the hardest things in the world to do but It tends to be like cockroaches Whenever you flip the light on What happens with the cockroaches they say? They scattered they run from the light and we need to shine the light of truth on whatever issue that we have pornography being a huge one And then it tends to just run That doesn’t mean that’s easily combated and easily dealt with there are treatment programs. There are some wonderful Sites online reclaim is one that I can think of off the top of my head that can help with that and there are addiction specialists not nearly enough to deal with sexual Pornographic addictions, I think it is far more common then Alcohol and drugs combined to be quite honest in America today. It is at that level and needs to be addressed it but it needs to be addressed honestly and we start with Admitting that this is not right and I want it gone. Yeah, but turning to our First best natural helper number one, which is God through the sacrament of reconciliation and frequent reception of the sacraments But then also the natural helpers that are in our life and who better than our spouse Men especially I don’t think understand how damaging point aground or pornography is The the heart ache that I hear from women so so much about He doesn’t want me He wants that I’m not that I can’t be that I don’t want to be that But that’s what he’s really after. He doesn’t want me He wants you want something else and their heart dies, and that’s the real tragedy It’s one of the reasons I like NFP so so much that I Don’t think people understand is and we’re getting better in terms of the education but to to Propose to women number one. You don’t have to put chemicals in your body To be able to understand how your body functions and works and how you can Work within the rhythms that God put there and we can understand and know them very scientifically and extraordinarily effectively But it’s more than that. It is really knowing the other person there again, we’re going back to it The kids really want to be known Wives really want to be you want you They want to really be known by their husband that’s one of the things that used to upset my wife to know and She had some physical issues later on that she had to have a hysterectomy, so it’s not the same anymore But when we were practicing NFP way back in the day, my youngest is 22 I Would be able to tell within an hour of what her period would start Because I knew her That well, and it would make her so good That’s time. Nothing to do with what’s going on. It’s like and then an hour later, she’d come back and go you were right again I would check the like that and get myself into so much trouble But but it was that element of knowing and again, there is no saint here not not by a longshot I just want to be one and I want to keep striving toward that goal But if husbands would have that goal if I really want to really know love cherish You women love? cherish to feel cherished by their husband, ah for the men The thing they want is to be I want you to desire me and frequently it is I want you to desire me as much as you do the children. I want to be that kind of priority in your life I’m a big believer. A lot of people especially moms will get mad at me with I’m about to say But marriage and family is never a competition Okay, it’s like the sacraments the sacraments can never be at odds with one another they have to be aligned the same with marriage and family I am a huge believer in marriage first Family second personal time third career fourth And I’ve had a lot of moms yell at me know that kids need to come first and I’m not talking about the Practicalities of we’ve got to feed them We got to care their needs and yeah, I’m not talking about that. But I’m talking about in our heart in our soul What is our number-one priority? Excuse me because so often times we lose sight of that and Men feel well, all I was needed was to help make children. That’s what my that’s all you wanted me for And that’s a real loss that they feel that they won’t say men will not share a lot of these kind of things These are the things that I’ve learned from them that they feel just very cast off and second now the practicalities of how do you Put one another first. I think of a time in my life gets the best thing I’ve got is my own stories That my wife and I were going to a state speech competition for our son And it was two and a half hour drive and he was performing I think it like 9 o’clock in the morning So it was a Saturday morning we get up at 6 o’clock. We drive two and a half hours fine where he’s at fine Where he is? See him perform for five minutes Find him afterwards Find out get his rainy and get something to eat. Bla. Bla bla and we go home We don’t get home until about one o’clock in the afternoon Now is that marriage first or is that family first? A lot of people will talk about well, that’s family first. That’s actually marriage first because my wife and I several things with that number one we Decided this is the time in our life when We get to put the kids in that position where we’re going to attend their things We are going to be doing this. We’re going to be sacrificing but the we is there first We’re going to do this and on the drive over. She and I are talking about the different things What’s going on with us? Our daughter was asleep in the back? You know laughing and joking about different things what’s going on with different kids events that are coming up etc, etc that was very much a marriage first moment and You know we do four things for our number one priority in life The first thing we’ll do is we’ll sacrifice for our number-one priority the second thing is we will give We’ll carve special time out for our number-one priority Third we’ll give our best energy to it and fourth we will Give our best attitude toward that oftentimes Something is not necessarily bad in and of itself It’s just in the wrong place of priority stopping doing something I shouldn’t be doing to begin with. It’s not sacrifice I shouldn’t have to be doing it to begin with You know, it’s a sacrifice. I laid out a legitimately good thing lovingly for someone else. That’s what sacrifice is But that that word attitude is so so critically important in terms of how and why I do what I do so If I would say to my wife feel fine, you know, I’m not golfing I’m sacrificing golf for you We’re gonna go to this movie that you want. You know, we carved the time out I took a nap. I’m well-rested. Are you are you happy now? Are you happy well with that kind of an attitude Why bother? You know, it’s gotta be and then again, this is a change of the individual What do I need to change about? Me not what does the other person need to change? That’s true Probably as well most times when people come in and they’ve got to let me in the list of this person’s got to change this and bad I Doubt it it’s like fair enough. They’re almost always right But are they listening to the list? The other person has toward them? With that equal sense of wow, they’re right about that about me and I need to change that about me Lovingly as a gift to the other Whatever those are and you know the people that are listening to this that’s one that they need to really wrestle with in themselves and confession is a great place to start to really Take a look at the examination of conscience about what am I really? Doing how am I really living my life? What are those? truest first priorities that Show it not to what do I say? What do I do? And how do I really need to change? If they take a really hard look at that and then start that process they’re onto a path of greatness again that very few people get to I find okay, so you have brought up a lot about attitude and I think that’s really important and kind of ties into our next piece of going back to the idea of handling different issues pornography for example going back to that and Okay, the husband does come and say yes, I do have this problem I’m struggling with this How does the wife respond or even if it’s vice versa with another issue? Like how do you respond? with that with one caveat I would say the response is going to be the response that she has so long as it’s not violent You know violence towards another person is never a good thing but so oftentimes the wives I just feel such a unbelievable sense of betrayal a violation of their wedding vows and their commitments and Just a sense they almost take out on themselves what’s wrong with me, how am I not enough how have I? Somehow failed and I’m going to tell the wives very specifically No, you didn’t this is an issue on his part. I don’t know what it is or what’s going on? There can be a lot of different things but each of us makes our own choice So it is not necessarily something there. There are things probably that the couple needs to change like all couples do But if it’s at all possible To Reach out to your husband in that loving sense, maybe mad as heck and maybe angry But I still love you and I will help you and we can move forward That is saintly that is saintly and that that would be the best response that I could possibly suggest To to see that your hopefully your best friend is coming to you Recognizing. I’ve got a problem and I need help and to reach back in that same way and in the same way again If you think of it as if you would go to your husband, I’ve got this problem. How would you want him to respond back? Not condoning the problem. But how do we lovingly address it together? pornography tends to be one of those that is a real knife to the heart And again so much of our society is saying it’s perfectly fine. It’s perfectly. Okay, you know, what’s really interesting the problem that we have with IDI in our culture. Now, you hear cialis you hear viagra all these other things They are directly related to Internet pornography They are they are a result of Internet pornography This was not as big of an issue before pornography online porn create CD Now, what would I talk to most men about something? Oh, I don’t want that. It’s like good That’s great. But it is Related now again allow the secular world would say no, that’s not correct Well, I’m telling you is the second the world that told me again, it is just that violation of such a wonderful bond that is between husband and wife and if using and that coming together that Is just spectacular, but if there is a problem Having the courage to really address the number one in yourself Going and talking to your priest is something I cannot recommend highly enough. We don’t make enough of the use use of the sacrament of reconciliation and then taking those courageous steps potentially going to treatment and Just owning up to very humbly This is an issue that I have and I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want it So and that takes a lot of courage to do that Well, another one that we’re dealing with today is infidelity there is a ton of infidelity and It starts almost invariably quite innocuously very simply It was roughly 10 years ago, I think I heard the statistic back then one out of five divorces mentioned Facebook specifically In what caused the divorce? Hmm and it was it was well, I just wonder what so-and-so from High School has been doing I Wonder what they were up to these days. Well my old girlfriend my old boyfriends been doing and everybody has Their own Facebook page, you know I’ve got mine and my wife’s got hers and better than tada And we hide these things from one another again like those cockroaches with the lights off You know, I can have these things in you know, it’s not doing anyone any harm Well, that’s the lie again And at some point I just found out, you know, we’ve been talking back and forth and etc. Etc. And with my old classmate but over the course of months years All of a sudden it just becomes more and more and more and people think I can have this without her even knowing Without him even knowing this and It’s almost when when people come in to my office when they’ve Made that appointment It’s who had an affair on who was some kind of social media that is one that is again of epidemic Proportions the solution that I found that is quite simple And I do practice it. My wife does not have her own Facebook account. And neither do I we have one shared together? Now there’s nothing wrong with Twitter and all those other things There are some things that are very wrong Tinder for example is one that is very wrong. That is only about people hooking up for sex. That’s it That is its whole function It speaks to that I want to really beloved That we all have that great yearning and that’s what I’m supposed to have with this person that I’m married to But I need to give that that that great knowing that great love eNOS can be satisfied there But we’re looking for in all these other places the a number of people that are out there having affairs is Is just sad it is just sad and again people are thinking there’s nothing wrong with this so You know I can be doing this too And again, that’s that lie that is being spread right now That it’s okay the church has it wrong You know the church talks about the end dissolve ability of marriage infidelity is not Grounds for an annulment It’s one of the things that I don’t believe people understand about annulment annulments. Look at the moment of Getting married in the exchange of vows Was there something in the way at that exact moment anything that happens after that if it has its roots? Before that the church can look at that but in and of itself That’s that better or worse part that we talked about that in dissolve ability That’s a hard one for people to recognize a very hard one. I Talked to a lot of women unfortunately that were standing in the back of the church and there was there was one a Person in particular that just said dad. I don’t want to get married today. I don’t want to get married today You said you’re getting married today? That’s it. You’re going through with this and I mean, we’ve spent all this money with this with that now did she freely give herself? To her husband at the exchange of vows right then Or you know the pregnancy before marriage and just out of plain fear, etc, etc some people will say and do things just I’ve got to do this because I’ve got to deal with us. When are they really fully giving and that’s what the tribunal looks at. Was there something going on? prior to and up to the moment of The consent to vows consent to marriage That kept the sacrament from happening where it didn’t happen. And since they did not get married legally Certainly, the children are certainly legitimate. There’s nothing about that at all. This is all about the sacrament at that moment And that’s something I don’t think people understand Because again, we’re biting into the secular world of What we believe marriage is right, right and again it comes back to that The sacramental bond which is a covenant which is so different from a contract that the giving of ourselves not a Service not well as long as we’re happy, but I give my whole self to you and receive you That that’s I get again that really changes it to see from that moment. And again, those are the teachings of the church one of the the quotes that I that I’d love to share with people and people are amazed to learn that this wisdom is 1600 years old from st. John Chrysostom Who wrote a lot on marriage and family life? And again, this is one of those those little nuggets that has been laying there for 16 centuries that we just are I for myself just didn’t bother to see and pick up but I think it it speaks so wonderfully as to What the marriage state is and what men specifically can do this is from a non married, man And he nails it. This is a quote from him. He young men should say to their wives I have taken you in my arms, and I love you and I prefer you to my life itself For the present life is nothing and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you In such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us. I place your love above all things and Nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you If we live a life with that as our focus the the front of our brain Not as an afterthought, but I live a lie. That is Larger than me a life that is focused on The other like that now we if we get that Philosophically in our head now the issue of pornography when it comes up. Well, what do we Do with it. That doesn’t fit Pornography doesn’t fit that Selfishness does not fit that Self-centeredness does not fit that other centeredness does Very very well so That’s one of my favorites I Just want to touch on real quick so we’ve we’ve talked about pornography and how that is damaged marriage and how harmful that can be and that in infidelity Facebook has specifically been named and so kind of and just the ideas of our society being contractual and It’s just so pervasive in society doesn’t see these things as wrong at all or harmful How old are you talk with kids? How would you you know as recommend his parents, you know? It’s one thing just for their parents themselves as a couple to be working on these things and working through this But society is telling our children as well You know telling our kids that these things are fine and that they’re been good It’s go ahead and joy, this this is what you do Well, there’s a couple of different schools of thought on that and I’m not sure exactly where I land just yet The computer age is such now that It’s not going away social media is not going away So we can deny our kids access to it which has a whole different set of problems because that’s how their classmates etc are communicating with one another and It’s how information is traveling But then when do we let them have it? My kids were at an age where was just starting. So it was very much in the high school years now I mean, you know that tall are having devices what I will say is The kids get addicted to it like that I’m thinking of my own grandchildren The oldest is six the youngest is months, but when these devices are out They go to them immediately They gravitate toward them instantly. They want to be holding with them. They want to be playing with them It will become addicted to them very very quickly. I do recommend not letting them have their own devices and If there is ever a question of you give me the device right now and I will be looking through it and I will have all the passwords and I will have complete access and if that’s not Acceptable then you will not have the device a lot of parents will say well that’s just not practical and you think it’s a lot of I hate use from the kids and etc, but I think Being very good guides for our kids in how to deal with these media In fact, I’m going to not have this on me anymore because I don’t like it anywhere near me There are subtle messages that come with that When we have a phone in our hand constantly we’re saying what the most important thing is in our life, aren’t we? You know or what I say. Well just a minute. I’m going to check this not this person. I’m saying the device That’s far far too powerful there are very powerful tools and everybody’s got one and everybody wants them, but we have to Be the guide to show our kids the right use of any tool These are like loaded guns in our children’s hands and they do far more damage Because what the kids can find on there that they can stumble across that they can Have from one another I would have the parents do a lot of education on their own on what different means mean and the acronyms that the kids are coming up with to describe things You know just with the letter so you will be a hauled And to find out what some of these things mean And again, it’s done very Blindly and the parents intent is not to turn a blind eye But we need to stay on top of an educated as to what’s out there and it needs to be an open Network if you will inside the home where the parents have control of all of it and they need to guide it and they need to regulate it and withdraw it I do well kids will not sleep as well At night if they’ve got screens on constantly two hours before bedtime Should be all screens off That includes television The kids will sleep better though. Most parents were only going Exactly, you know when my now thirty year old son was in high school. So 14 years ago He was telling me about his friends that would have the phone in their hand and it one vibrate so it will wake them up in the middle of the night So they wouldn’t miss anything We’re not missing anything. All of that is just fill in the blank Garbage, we don’t understand the value in silence and the value in being unplugged and we need to get that back So I’m a very large advocate for restrictions on Social media Not letting kids have access to it Just at will and it’d be extraordinarily highly monitored Okay This kind of brings up. Another question too is Discipline sometimes I think it’s hard to transition from whenever a child is younger Reward system your system can work really well, but as the child gets older it can be helpful beneficial to switch and Shift into something a little bit different and not just punishment reward How would you? recommend maybe a adjusting to that show, you know, I think it’s really Incredible God’s plan that it takes men and women to create children. It takes men and women to raise children and again The scientific world the second the world is starting to show us some new things where the moms they’re finding are the better primary parent from the ages of 0 to about 12 and From the ages of 12 to 18. The fathers are the better primary parent. That’s always kind of fascinated me moms You guys are so superior to us. It’s insane because women Can see so many different angles and Facets of a situation you guys pick up more tones of voice than men do we just don’t hear them? But you can see how the different pieces play with one another or men are more black-white yes-no. Good bad off on Okay, the kids need that Multifaceted up until about 11 or 12, but Then it’s kind of shifts at that point where it needs to be more. Yes. No good bad black/white off on And it takes that dad to step in a little bit more that’s a really hard one for them to do to be you’re the primary not like I’m gonna wait your dad gets home and then you’re really Gonna get it. No, no, no, no, no, nothing like that at all But that guiding hand that only a father can do in his own unique way and that father specifically To those children specifically, there’s no replacing that and again that involvement all the way through and the the disrespect that we see so much of our children towards their mothers and Whereas dad you know, my dad was extraordinarily clear with my brother and my three sisters that There would be consequences On biblical proportions if he ever disrespected His mom, he said I cannot make you respect your mother, but I will absolutely make sure you expect my wife And I’ll treat you like any other person that disrespects my wife and we knew it and it was never an issue But we allow children to get away with far too much And we go. Wow, you know, they’re just growing Well, of course, they’re growing but they need to truly grow. A lot of people will tell me spare the rod spoil the child Correct. Now it’s probably one of the most misrepresented scripture passages as well The rod is referring to the shepherd’s crook Okay And it was they would put the crook by the side of the sheep’s head to guide it in the right direction Sparing the rod with sparing guidance So if I spare guidance, I’m gonna spoil my child. I agree with that The kids need to be guided that’s the parents job guide them all the way through don’t just show up You know when trouble starts happening when you’re spending time with? Them all of the available time we can Doing projects then getting to know you father Michael Schmitt stood as a video on that Talking about why does God the Father want to work with us? Through prayer and he talks about his dad building a shed and you know having the kids help him with this Because they learn more about the father then They learn how the dad works. They learn more about him and how I should be in life Ultimately to be converted more towards God the Father So spending that time with our kids all the way through You know and then, you know when kids step out of line when I’m finding today his parents just give to them anyway Because I don’t want to deal with the know I’m a huge believer in Found parents want to give their kids with both hands. I want to give with both hands And I think that’s great if that’s the case don’t spoil because you don’t want to go too far but when the kids are not behaving Like a member of the family, why are they getting like a member of the family? I’ve never understood that so to withdraw The positives to withdraw those things I think is great and to for the kids to understand why But we’ve let the kids be more in control than the parents are in control today And again, this is not anything, you know like this. It’s a very loving Thing. I’m not a fan of corporal punishment Because I don’t think it’s as effective as other things for example If you tell any teenager You get to choose your punishment You’re going to get five swats, or I’m going to take your cell phone for five days Which one do you think the kid’s gonna choose? They choose the swats because it’s over with right, you know, the other one has more teeth but the dealing with the Teenager without a cell phone for five days The parents are usually the ones that are saying I don’t want to deal with that well, there’s that sacrifice again and that doing the hard things for the right reasons come in but In in terms of the kids, you know a child is not the same as a teenager You’re going to have to adapt and and become but our kids really really want to do things to earn our praise our admiration and Those attaboys if you will They’ll do anything To get that from our parents from their parents just that I’m important to you That’s what they really want to give them the opportunities to shine That it’s the preemptive discipline. If you will give them areas where they can really stand up and say wow I’m proud of you for this That I think is one of the greatest things we have and just as I’m hearing you talking here the more You know that you’re your you know showing those attitudes you know, it’s attitudes are caught not taught release it as the saying goes but Also just in terms of parents being the primary educators for the children when it comes to faith raising children of faith research studies now are showing that Kids are making decisions about whether or not they believe in God at younger and younger ages 10 11 12 You know at that point they’re making the decision For their lives of how they’re going to live that out in their 20s and not at that point So just it sounds so natural in a way of just being involved with them of giving that attention And then those are also opportunities to image God the Father that that helps In that do you have any other specific? Or things that you like in terms of evangelizing children and helping them get to know sharing Christ with them well, one of the best ways when you were mentioning this About the the parents being the primary educator of the kids in the faith. That is absolutely correct and I stand by that and in every baptism class that I do I reinforce that with the parents Because I do a lot of the baptisms and I was a deacon And it’s like you and your wife will be the primary teachers of your child in the faith It’s not the church and it’s not the school that are the teachers of the faith It’s the parents so number one know the faith yourself educate yourself if there’s something that you don’t know ask there are resources out there that will Help you with that But to in the baptism, right to take the time to Reinforce with everybody there. I’m thinking of this one little girl one of the one of the Dominants Understandings or beliefs that people have is when we die. We become an angel And it’s like no. No, we do not become an angel angels or angels humans or humans. We do not become angels This little girl was really saddened by that but I reinforced with the The people during the baptism because a lot of people that haven’t been touched in a while are there We talk about what the person’s real identity is going to be after they’re baptized and at the end of the baptism they are anointed as a priest a prophet and the King I am now a part of God’s family We are elevated past the angels And I asked this little girl. So what do they call the daughter of a king? And she said Princess that is who you are and that’s what she Anything else anybody else tells you not this nonsensical name-calling that we do in our society your reality is you’re the daughter of a king and To live a life where you are treated that way and you treat others that way and it’s all about the king You know and sitting on that throne With the king. Oh So do I get a tiara yeah But to Recognize and focus again like that. Little grain is saying what is the reality out there that does what does it look like? So to practically put that in front of our eyes more and more and more Let’s just like that’s your question and that no I think it I think it’s got to that something. Yeah and one last thing What would you say to? Single parents because sometimes you know divorce is real we’ve been talking about this again The ideal the family and even in some of these issues that we’ve discussed There’s still an assumption of both husband and wife are they’re trying to work through it What if okay. It’s already done? It’s already Divorce has already happened or I’m even trying but my spouse has Left has remarried whatever the situation may be. What would you say to single parents? number one I would say that church still loves you and the church wants you and you belong you belong in the church Do not if there’s ever any if feeling of the church is discarding you Come and talk to someone again because we we want you here you belong here. This is the refuge for you That’s the the the church is not a museum for Saints. It is a hospital for sinners Starting with me. None of us has it perfectly And there are a lot of single parents out there doing their very level best and I have nothing but admiration for them to continue to do their best and they keep Looking for the resources you need in the specific areas of your life. Where? We can assist in we can help But this is the place that we really really want to be Again, the church has it figured out This is a little bit off topic but you know, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Mm-hmm. I was given the wonderful privilege of preaching the homily there and You know I asked this is Holy Spirit moment cuz it was not part of what I had prepared but I asked everybody present you know, if you’ve been married 25 years or more stand up, would you please and a third of the place stood up and I asked them Where else are you gonna see something like this? If you go to a rock concert and I say whoever is married 25 years stand up what a third of the people stand up or a movie theater or A football game etc. Etc. You’ll only find that in the church You’ll only find it there. That is the the rock bed. Not just of that issue but of goodness of wholeness of Holiness of living a life greater than something that’s just of this world for every one of us is going to be in the church Every one of us that’s where the answer is Don’t give up on that but turn to it and if it feels like the church is turning against you on that Heard that it can’t happen take a breath and Try again. It might need to be in a different space or with a different person in that same space. Try again Don’t give up. This is where you belong you belong here Yeah, that’s that’s you know with our baptism. That’s what’s happening Or insert it into the same body This is where you belong. Yeah, and I think it With some of these issues, you know, it comes back to okay Objectively the action is wrong But you as a person are still loved and that we don’t separate that so much in our society today we identify well, if I feel this way, that’s who I am and We don’t understand that no matter what we’re loved no matter how we’re feeling that doesn’t make everything we do Right just because I feel so angry to murder doesn’t make that right The action is still wrong, but me as a person Made in them into likeness of God still has value in dignity and we still belong in the church. We still need work on our Actions, but that we still belong And again that’s worth saying or not say the Pope Francis was talking about it being a field hospital It’s exactly what we need. Yeah, just know the center there Yes, well, thank you for coming today and Answering our questions and again you were practicing right now here in the valley. Yes, and if you want to give your website Just some information Holy Family Therapy all one word.com if a person wants to schedule any kind of an appointment with me, they can go there and There’s a link that they can request an appointment and that will put us in communication My telephone number is six. Oh two six one five six nine two one They would get me directly. No, nobody else. I’m also working at a wonderful Catholic Practice in town in Mesa called journey to peace counseling services and you can find that a journey to peace Online as well. So Lots of options and those numbers of catholic therapists in the valley is growing. It’s a wonderful need and We’re there to help. Yeah Alright, thank you. You’re welcome You

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